7 December 2021
With the appointment of Lord Dr. Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE as the next Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees, SOAS now has a complete leadership team and governance committee to take the university’s new strategic plan forward.
The award-winning broadcaster, journalist and SOAS alum, Zeinab Badawi, started her role as the President of SOAS in October. Zeinab is one of the best-known broadcast journalists working in the field today, her lifelong commitment to making a difference through her work combined with her distinguished career in broadcasting will be valuable to the SOAS community and the SOAS mission.
SOAS also has a strong new leadership team in place to steer the university forward, under the directorship of Professor Adam Habib. Since taking up the role of Director in January 2021, Adam has conceived, consulted on and delivered a new strategic plan for SOAS which positions SOAS to play a leading role in reimagining higher education globally. He served as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2013 to 2020.
Professor Claire Ozanne took up the role of SOAS Deputy Director and Provost in summer 2020 and provides academic and strategic leadership including for the delivery of an excellent education and student experience. Prior to joining SOAS, Professor Ozanne served as Vice Provost at the University of Roehampton, bringing a strong personal reputation for designing and delivering high-quality academic programmes and with a deep commitment to the student experience. She is Professor of Ecology and a Principal Fellow of the HEA.
Khadir Meer joined SOAS in autumn 2021 as Chief Operating Officer (COO), Registrar and Clerk of the Board of Trustees, bringing invaluable experience from outside the HE sector. Prior to joining SOAS, Khadir held a number of senior positions in the NHS, Local and National Government. Most recently he was COO and Deputy CEO for the London Ambulance Service, where he led significant service and digital transformation alongside meeting the challenges of the Service during the heights of the global pandemic.
Professor Andrea Cornwall continues in her post as Pro-Director Research and Enterprise and is responsible for the development and delivery of SOAS’s Research and Knowledge Exchange strategies. A SOAS alum, academic activist and distinguished research leader with interests in gender and sexualities, radical democracy, participation and citizen engagement, Professor Cornwall brings a diversity of research and leadership experience, including substantial advisory and international experience.
Dr Awino Okech was appointed as the inaugural Associate Director Equity and Accountability to drive forward racial justice commitments and steward the overall coordination of SOAS work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. A Reader in Political Sociology, Dr Okech’s teaching and research interests lie in the nexus between gender, sexuality, security, and nation and state making projects as they occur in conflict and post-conflict societies.
The new five-year SOAS Strategic Plan commits SOAS to both student responsiveness and research intensity. The student journey is at the heart of the new plan as students and our alumni community represent a vital part of SOAS’s contribution to and engagement with the global community. The plan articulates a vision for a new model of international partnerships which is responsive to the transnational character of our global challenges and commits SOAS to ensuring a socially just institutional community in which everyone experiences belonging and is treated with respect.