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London Staff 

BISI Administrator: Ali Khadr

Based at the British Academy, Ali is the first port of call for general enquiries about the Institute and can be contacted at / 020 7969 5274 (voicemail) on Monday-Friday 

Financial Controller: Karon Cook 

Karon oversees the Institute's financial activities and can be contacted on

Development Co-ordinator: Ali Khadr 

Ali co-ordinates the Institute's fundraising work and can be contacted at

Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Co-ordinator: Jennifer Griggs  

Jennifer is currently organising scholarships for visitors from Iraq, as part of BISI's Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Programme and can be contacted at 


Key Office Holders 

Chair of Council: Professor Eleanor Robson

Professor Eleanor Robson has been voluntary Chair of BISI's Council since 2012, and before that served as its Vice-Chair for six years. She is currently spearheading a major fundraising drive to secure BISI's long-term future and to develop its research and education remit in Iraq itself. Eleanor's own research focuses on the social and political contexts of intellectual life in ancient Iraq, and on the history of Assyriology. She is Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at the Department of History, University College London. 


Vice-Chair of Council: Professor Charles Tripp  

Professor Charles Tripp currently undertakes a number of important duties for BISI. He is Vice-Chair of Council and Chair of the Fieldwork and Research Committee, with oversight of BISI’s Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Programme. Professor Tripp is the author of; A History of Iraq (Cambridge University Press, 2007), The Power and the People: paths of resistance in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and the joint author of Iran and Iraq at War (I.B. Tauris, 1988). He is Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy.


President: Dr. John Curtis 

Dr. John Curtis has long-standing ties with BISI and its predecessor organisation, The British School of Archaeology in Iraq (BSAI).  Today in his role as President he works closely with the Chair and Vice-Chair in shaping the institute’s future projects and strategy. Dr. Curtis is the CEO of the Iran Heritage Foundation. Previously he was Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum, with special interests in Iraq and Iran. 


Honorary Treasurer: Peter Defty  

Since 2015, Peter has played a leading role in the financial and strategic management of BISI. With a background in Wealth Management focused on The Middle East, advising Sovereign Wealth Funds, major institutions and family offices, he brings a Middle Eastern insight to the role.



Sir Terence Clark KBE CMG CVO 

The Rt Hon. The Lord Lamont of Lerwick 

Nadhim Zahawi 


Honorary Vice-Presidents: 

HE Frank Baker, UK Ambassador to Iraq

HE Dr. Salih Ali Husain, Iraqi Ambassador to the UK  


Council Members

Dr. Mark Altaweel, 2015-18 (Lecturer in Near Eastern Archaeology, UCL)

Dr. Gareth Brereton, co-opted for 2015-2016 (Curator of Early Mesopotamia, Department of the Middle East, British Museum)

Edward Chaplin, CMG, OBE, 2015-18

Dr. Paul Collins, co-opted for 2016-17 (Jaleh Hearn Curator for the Ancient Near East, Ashmolean Museum)

Dr. John Curtis, (President) (Chief Executive Officer of Iran Heritage Foundation)

Peter Defty, (Honorary Treasurer)  

Dr. Nelida Fuccaro, 2016-19 (Reader in the Modern History of the Middle East, SOAS)

Daniel Lowe, 2015-18 (Curator of Arabic Collections at the British Library)

Dr. John MacGinnis, 2015-18 (Independent Doctoral Researcher, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge) 

Joan Porter MacIver, 2014-17   

Dr. Ellen McAdam, 2014-17 (Director of Birmingham Museums Trust) 

Dr. Augusta McMahon, 2015-18 (Senior Lecturer in Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East, Cambridge)

Professor Eleanor Robson, (Chair), 2014- 17 (Department of History, UCL)

Professor Charles Tripp (Vice-Chair), 2014-17 (Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East, SOAS)


All Council members are Trustees of the Charity and Directors of the Company.