SOAS University of London

SOAS appoints new Chair of the Board of Trustees

26 November 2021
Lord Hastings

Lord Dr. Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE has been appointed as the next Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees.

Lord Hastings has had a deeply purposeful career across the public, private and non-profit sectors, working within education, philanthropy, justice and commercial business to support and develop communities around the world.

Lord Hastings began his career as a teacher then worked across government agencies on policies to build racial equality, including as a Commissioner with the Commission for Racial Equality for nine years. He is Chair of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Black Business Association and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Black Business Institute.  He was conferred with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2003 for services to crime reduction; with Peerage to House of Lords in 2005 as an Independent Baron. He is currently a Vice President at UNICEF UK and a trustee for the Africa Philanthropy Foundation.

On the appointment as Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees, Lord Hastings said:

“I am honoured to be joining SOAS as its Chair at this optimistic moment of student growth and a new strategic agenda which centres research, graduate studies and equitable international partnerships. SOAS has one of the world’s greatest archives for Asian, African and Middle Eastern research materials and collections that document the history, cultures and development of countries that were once seen as colonies or part of another world. Now in our interconnected world, we are mutual neighbours and have so much here to learn from each other… so I hope that in my time as Chair, we can fully ignite the thrill of learning, debate and positive enquiry, and relentlessly bring the adventures of all of our collective cultures to life in this vibrant global city.”

Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees Marie Staunton said:

“It has been a privilege to chair SOAS and to leave it with a strong future and opportunity to make a significant contribution to addressing the global challenges of our time. I welcome Lord Hastings, and the impressive skills and expertise that he will bring to leading a renewed institution tackling global issues.”

Director of SOAS Professor Adam Habib said:

“Lord Hastings brings to SOAS a wealth of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, both nationally and globally. We look forward to Lord Hastings’ stewardship of our new strategic agenda as we consolidate SOAS’ place in the global academy and begin a positive disruption of global higher education for the 21st century.”

A former Head of Public Affairs at the BBC, Lord Hastings was their first head of Corporate Social Responsibility for 12 years. He also served as the Global Head of Citizenship for KPMG for 13 years and was Trustee of the Vodafone Group Foundation for 11 years stepping down in 2019. He is the Co-Founder of My Brother’s Keeper – an in-depth, ongoing, in-prison service and support network building better outcomes for insiders.

Lord Hastings will assume the role of Chair from January 2022 following from the renowned humanitarian Marie Staunton.