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A volunteer Council is responsible for the overall management of the charity and meets three times a year in London. It delegates much of its work to several Committees of the Council—currently Fieldwork and Research, Finance, the Fundraising Taskforce, Outreach, Strategy, Succession Planning and Publications. BISI’s current Council members cover a broad range of expertise and the majority of Council members are academics, highly knowledgeable in Mesopotamian, Medieval Islamic and Contemporary Iraq.

The activities of the Council are directed by the elected key office holders: the Chair, Vice-Chair, President and Honorary Treasurer. BISI is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association adopted and approved at the Annual General Meeting in December 2009. 

London Staff

BISI Executive Officer: Ali Khadr

Based at the British Academy, Ali is the first port of call for general enquiries about the Institute and coordinates the Institute’s fundraising work. Ali can be contacted at [email protected] / 020 7969 5274 (voicemail) on Monday-Friday

Financial Controller: Karon Cook

Karon oversees the Institute’s financial activities and can be contacted on [email protected]

Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Co-ordinator: Ms Anne-Marie Misconi

Ms Anne-Marie Misconi is currently organising scholarships for visitors from Iraq, as part of BISI’s Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Programme and can be contacted at [email protected]

Key Office Holders

Chair of Council: Dr Rosalind Wade Haddon

Dr Rosalind Wade Haddon is a SOAS Research Associate in the School of Arts and has been a BISI Council Member since 2020. Dr Wade Haddon’s own research interests centre on the archaeology, architecture and material culture of Iraq, Syria, the Levant, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq, focusing on the 9th and 14th centuries CE. 

Dr Wade Haddon’s interest in the Middle East was inspired by a couple of years spent working in Iraq (1969-1971) where she had close contact with the British School of Archaeology (now BISI). Whilst in Iraq, Dr Wade Haddon spent weekends visiting archaeological sites where she quickly realised that archaeology would make a fascinating career. Soon after, Dr Wade Haddon applied for a university place, but not before completing practical fieldwork in Jordan, under the auspices of the British School, to make sure she was suited to the life. After graduating in 1976, Dr Wade Haddon worked on the Amman Citadel’s Islamic settlements and was awarded several grants to travel and survey sites in North Yemen. This led to 5 years’ employment as an archaeological adviser to the Ṣanʿāʾ National Museum. Whilst, in Yemen she found that much of her time was spent studying historical mosques that were in desperate need of conservation. Following marriage Dr Wade Haddon’s path led her to Hong Kong, however, with insufficient libraries in a pre-internet age her research was put on hold. But five years later a posting in Cairo meant she could study for an MA in Islamic Art and Archaeology at the American University and later, when back in the UK, a doctorate at SOAS and the availability to freelance on various archaeological projects in both museums and in the field. 

Vice-Chair of Council: Professor Paul Collins

Prof Paul Collins has been voluntary Chair of BISI’s Council since 2017, and before that served as a Member of Council for 6 years. Prof Collins stepped down as Chair of Council on November 2023. Prof Collins’ own research interests centre on the archaeology and material culture of ancient Iraq and Iran with a specialism in the Uruk-Early Dynastic periods (4th-mid-3rd millennium BC) and the Neo-Assyrian period (approximately 900-600 BC). 

Prof Paul Collins is the Keeper of the Middle East at The British Museum and is currently a Huge Price Fellow at Jesus College and holds a supernumerary Fellowship at Wolfson College. He has worked previously as the Jaleh Hearn Curator of Ancient Near East in the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, a Curator in the Middle East Department of the British Museum and the Ancient Near Eastern Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Honorary Treasurer: Dr Tim Clayden OBE 

President: Dr John Curtis OBE, FBA

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.  


Sir Terence Clark KBE CMG CVO

Sir Terence Clark KBE CMG CVO joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1955. For much of his diplomatic career he was involved with the Middle East both in the region and at the Foreign Office. Having studied Arabic in Lebanon, he served in Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and briefly Libya. After a period in Europe, he returned to the region as Ambassador to Iraq in 1985, and to Oman in 1990. Since leaving the Diplomatic Service, Sir Terence Clark has kept close connections with the Middle East, he is the former Chairman of The Friends of Basrah Museum and is currently a Patron of The British Institute for the Study of Iraq and Vice-President of the Anglo Omani Society. 

Ms Maysoon Al-Damluji

Having graduated from Baghdad’s prestigious Al Mansoor Private School, Ms Al-Damluji went on to receive an Architecture degree from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, before starting a successful practice in West London. During her time in London, she founded and promoted organisations to support the Iraqi arts, including the Iraqi Arts Association, the Kufa Gallery, and the Studio of the Actor. Ms Al-Damluji served the Government of Iraq as the Deputy Minister of Culture (2004-2006), as a Member of Parliament (3 terms – 2006-2018), and as the former Chairperson of the Parliamentary Culture and Media Committee. Ms Maysoon Al-Damluji is currently the Cultural Adviser to the Iraqi President Barham Saleh. 

Honorary Vice-Presidents

HE Mark Bryson-Richardson MBE, UK Ambassador to Iraq

HE Mohammad Jaafar Al-Sadr, Iraqi Ambassador to the UK 

Council Members

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

Professor Paul Collins, (Vice-Chair), 2020-23 (Keeper of Middle East, British Museum)

Dr Jon Taylor, 2022-25, (Curator, Department of the Middle East, British Museum)

Dr Tim Clayden OBE, (Hon Treasurer), 2021-22 (Bursar, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford)

Dr Renad Mansour, 2020-23 (Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House)

Dr Rosalind Wade Haddon, (Chair), 2020-23 (Research Associate, Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS)

Mr Daniel Lowe, 2022-25 (Curator, British Library)

Mr Frank Baker CMG OBE, 2021-24 (Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq 2014-17)

Dr Gareth Brereton, 2021-24 (Stronach Fellow, University of York

Dr Erica Hunter, 2021-24 (Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity, SOAS)

Dr Eva Miller, 2021-24 (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, UCL)

Dr Mary Shepperson, 2021-24 (Lecturer, University of Liverpool)

Dr Noorah Al Gailani, 2021-24 (Curator, Glasgow Museum/GlasgowLife)

Ms Clare Bebbington, 2023-26 (Audire Consultants)

Mrs Joan Porter MacIver, 2023-24, Co-opted to Council

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

Recent Projects

BISI works to advance research and public education about Iraq in all of the arts, humanities and social sciences subjects, and enables exchange and collaboration between UK and Iraqi academics. Our grants and scholarships have helped the fund the following research projects.