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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 7969 5274 (voicemail) on Monday-Friday

Financial Controller: Karon Cook

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

Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Co-ordinator: Isobel Ransome

Isobel Ransome 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: Dr. Paul Collins

Dr. Paul Collins has been voluntary Chair of BISI's Council since 2017, and before that served as a Member of Council for 6 years. Dr. Collin's 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). 

Dr. Paul Collins is the Jaleh Hearn Curator of Ancient Near East in the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum and is currently a Huge Price Fellow at Jesus College and holds a supernumerary Fellowship at Wolfson Colege. He has worked previously as 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.

Vice Chair of Council: Joan Porter MacIver

Joan Porter MacIver undertakes a couple of important duties for BISI. She is Vice-Chair of Council, Chair of the Fundraising Committee and oversees BISI's Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Programme. As the Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Joan Porter MacIver is currently spearheading a major fundraising drive to secure BISI's long-term future. 

Joan Porter MacIver worked for thirteen years as BISI's Administrator, London Manager and was Co-ordinator of the Gertrude Bell and Iraq - A Life and Legacy Conference and has been a BISI Trustee since 2014.

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
  • The Rt Hon. Lord Lamont of Lerwick
  • Nadhim Zahawi MP

Honorary Vice-Presidents: 

  • HE Jon Wilks CMG, UK Ambassador to Iraq
  • HE Dr. Salih Ali Husain, Iraqi Ambassador to the UK 

Council Members

  • Mr. Frank Baker CMG OBE, 2018-21 (Her Majesty's Ambassador to Iraq 2014-17)
  • Dr. Gareth Brereton, 2018-21 (Curator of Early Mesopotamia, Department of the Middle East, British Museum)
  • Dr. Tim Clayden OBE, (Hon Treasurer), 2018-19 (Bursar, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford)
  • Dr. Paul Collins, (Chair), 2017-20 (Jaleh Hearn Curator for the Ancient Near East, Ashmolean Museum)
  • Dr. John Curtis OBE, FBA, (President) (Chief Executive Officer of Iran Heritage Foundation)
  • Dr. Erica Hunter, 2018-21 (Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity, SOAS)
  • Daniel Lowe, 2018-21 (Curator of Arabic Collections at the British Library)
  • Dr. John MacGinnis, 2018-21 (Lead Archaeologist, Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Programme, British Museum)
  • Mrs Joan Porter MacIver, (Vice-Chair), 2017-20
  • Dr Renad Mansour, co-opted 2018-19 (Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House)
  • Dr. Ellen McAdam, 2017-20 (Director of Birmingham Museums Trust)
  • Dr. Glen Rangwala, 2017-20 (Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge)

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