Call for Nominations | President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

BRISMES is seeking nominations for a new President, who will play a leading role in the Society as President-Elect (2024-2025) and subsequently President (2025-2027). Founded in 1973, BRISMES is the largest national academic association in Europe focused on the study of the Middle East and North Africa, and a leading voice for the discipline both within the UK and internationally. Since 2019, the Society has undertaken an extensive process of reform, becoming more diverse and more democratic. We are seeking a President who shares our aims, purpose and values, and who wishes to play an active role in helping to drive forward the work of our growing Society.

What we’re looking for

The BRISMES President will be an accomplished scholar in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, which is taken to include (but not limited to) culture and society, economics, history, language, law, literature, linguistics and translation, and politics, in and related to the Middle East and North Africa region. We strongly welcome nominations of candidates from groups who are under-represented in BRISMES leadership, or in academia more broadly. We believe that a diverse leadership is essential for fostering an environment that is aligned with our aims and purpose.

 A nominee must be a member of BRISMES at the time of their nomination; no prior experience on BRISMES Council is necessary to be elected as President. The successful candidate will serve a term of one year as President-Elect followed by a two year (non-renewable) term as President, and will gain experience of Council and the Society as a whole during their year as President-Elect. 

What the position involves

Upon assuming the role of President, the successful nominee will become one of the Society’s four Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer) and will, together and equally with the other Officers, take a leading role in the strategic development and promotion of the Society.

More specifically, the President will: 

  • attend and chair meetings of BRISMES Council and the Annual General Meeting;
  • chair the Outreach and Pedagogy Subcommittee;
  • coordinate the activities of the various subcommittees;
  • be invited to sit on the Finances Subcommittee;
  • act as ‘Conference Lead’ for one year;
  • normally introduce the Society at BRISMES events, and chair the Annual Lecture;
  • represent the Society, when available, at non-BRISMES events;
  • take primary responsibility (with the support of the Officers and Trustees) for liaison with civil society and the government;
  • guide the Officers and Trustees (in coordination with the Secretary) to ensure that Trustees’ statutory obligations are fulfilled; 
  • be appointed as a director and trustee of BRISMES with Companies House and the Charity Commission
  • undertake other duties as appropriate, as agreed with other Officers and/or Trustees; and
  • benefit from such administrative support as is necessary to fulfil the aforementioned activities.

Nominations Process and Timeline

Nominations will close on Friday 19th January 2024 at 5pm (UK time) and should be submitted to the Presidential Nominations Committee via the form below.    

All nominees require a proposer and seconder, who must be BRISMES members. It is possible to self-nominate, provided the requirement of a seconder is met. The proposer must provide a biography and a short statement (250 words maximum each) explaining their reasons for nominating the candidate. This information may be circulated to BRISMES members in the event that the candidate is shortlisted. They must also confirm that the person they are nominating has indicated they are willing to serve if elected.   

BRISMES’ Presidential Nominations Committee (composed of Zeina Al Azmeh, Diala Lteif, Sharri Plonski, Hana Sleiman, and Lewis Turner (Chair)), which is also empowered to make nominations, will put forward up to 4 candidates in a final shortlist. BRISMES members will select the President in an online vote, from the final shortlist. We anticipate that the election will take place in February-March 2024. The successful candidate will formally take office at the Society’s Annual General Meeting in early July 2024, but an informal handover period will commence as soon as possible after their election.  

Please address any questions to the Chair of the Presidential Nominations Committee, Lewis Turner: