Change of Director at the Royal African Society

Thursday, 28 September 2017

A message from the Chair, Zeinab Badawi

After a remarkable 12 years at the helm of the Royal African Society, Richard Dowden will step down as Director on 30 September. During his time in charge, Richard has been instrumental in shaping the RAS as the country’s oldest yet most vibrant and forward looking organisation dedicated to promoting Africa and its people to wide audiences both within and outside the continent. It is a testament to his vision, tenacity and energy that RAS has become the institution it is today. Richard’s deep knowledge, insights and first-hand experience of Africa as well as his extensive network are all qualities that have made him an outstanding leader in this field.  We wish him all the best with his future endeavours and we look forward to maintaining our links with him as a true supporter and friend of RAS.

His successor as Director will be Dr Nicholas Westcott. 

Nick has been engaged with Africa for over 40 years and brings to the job a wealth of academic, economic and diplomatic experience of the continent. He has spent seven years working in East and West Africa and travelled extensively in all its regions. His passion for the people, places, politics and culture of Africa, in the continent and amongst the diaspora, reflects the full range of the RAS's activities, and his enthusiasm and wide network of contacts will help consolidate the RAS's existing role and provide leadership as we head into a new stage of our journey.   

We warmly welcome Nick, and look forward to working with him during this period of exciting change for the RAS, under our new Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Zeinab Badawi