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Officers of the Society are the President, Vice-President, Executive Director and Treasurer.

As well as officers of the Society, there are currently 16 members of Council. Council members are elected from among the Fellows for a period of three years, or co-opted. The current officers are as follows:

stuart1President: Stuart Laing

After reading Classics at Cambridge, Stuart Laing had a first career in the British diplomatic service. After Arabic language study in Lebanon, he specialised in Arab and Middle Eastern affairs, serving in Saudi Arabia early in his career, and later in Cairo. He was Deputy Ambassador in Prague and then Riyadh, and was appointed High Commissioner to Brunei (1998-2002), Ambassador to Muscat (2002-05), and Ambassador to Kuwait (2005-08). He has been Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, since October 2008.

In addition to his duties as Master, he researches and writes on Arab and East African history. He took an MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies in Cambridge in 2012, and has published, jointly with Robert Alston, “Unshook till the end of time”, a book on the history of Britain’s relationship with Oman. This year he has completed a biography of the Arab ivory and slave trader, Tippu Tip, to be published in October. From 2008 to 2016 he was a Trustee of the Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT Education Trust), and chaired the Trust’s companies in Muscat and Abu Dhabi.  He is a keen amateur musician; he plays keyboard instruments and the oboe. His other recreations are desert travel, cycling, Real Tennis and hill-walking. His wife, Sibella, has been a University teacher and English Language teacher trainer while accompanying him on diplomatic service postings, and is now a Cambridge City Guide. They have three adult children.   

Mr Laing may be contacted via the Administrative Office.

paulstarkey This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Professor Paul Starkey is former Head of Arabic, Durham University and Co-Director of CASAW. He has regularly served on BRISMES Council over the last 25 years, and between 1990 and 1996 edited first the BRISMES Bulletin and later the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. He also convened the BRISMES Annual Conference in 1989 and 2005. 

sbob Executive Director: Robert Lowe

Robert Lowe is the Deputy Director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. His main research interest is Kurdish politics with particular focus on Syria. Previously, Robert was Manager and Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House. 


mehmet This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mehmet teaches and supervises research on Islamic Political Economy, Islamic Banking and Finance, Political Economy of Middle East, Middle East Economy, Turkish Political Economy, Kurdish Political Economy at the University of Durham. He is the Programme Director for MA/MSc in Islamic Finance. 


Council Members:

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Gary Bunt
University of Wales Trinity St David

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James Dickins
University of Leeds

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Vincent Durac 
University College, Dublin

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Jeroen Gunning
King's College, London

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Aula Hariri
Middle East Centre, LSE

hilary kalmbach

Hilary Kalmbach
University of Sussex

Maria Marsh

Maria Marsh
African & Middle Eastern studies commissioning editor at Cambridge University Press

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Noha Mellor
University of Bedfordshire

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Lloyd Ridgeon
University of Glasgow

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Alam Saleh
Lancaster University

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Greg Shapland
Formerly Foreign Office 

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Bruce Stanley
Richmond University 


Mina Toksoz
Emerging markets and country risk Consultant 

Dr James Worrall

James Worrall
University of Leeds