Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:
I am pleased to be able to appoint Professor Andrew Thompson as interim Chief Executive of the AHRC. His academic knowledge and experience will serve him well in leading the AHRC with its key role of funding world-class research in the Arts and Humanities.
Sir Drummond Bone, Chair of the AHRC said:
Ahead of finalising arrangements for a new permanent CEO, it is vitally important for the Arts and Humanities research community that the AHRC has the highest quality of interim CEO who will be able to engage immediately with the post spending review agenda – in Andrew we have just such a person who given his current work for the AHRC will be up to speed immediately.
Professor Thompson said:
The AHRC has moved from strength to strength under the leadership of Professor Rick Rylance. I have worked closely with Rick in recent years and look forward to taking on the role of interim CEO at this vital time.
The interim appointment will run from 1 December 2015 until a new CEO is recruited to replace Rick Rylance.
The AHRC is a national funding agency supporting arts and humanities research and study in the UK. In the 2015 Spending Review, the government protected science funding of £4.7 billion in real terms over the Parliament. This will include a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Fund.
Notes for Editors
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.
Professor Andrew Thompson is a historian of modern empire and Director of the Centre for Global & Imperial History at the University of Exeter. He studied for his D.Phil at Nuffield College in Oxford and was later a fixed-term Tutorial Fellow in Modern History at Corpus Christi College. The major strand of his research interests have focused on the effects of empire on British private and public life during the 19th and 20th centuries, including Imperial Britain (2000) and The Empire Strikes Back (2005) and, most recently, a companion volume to the Oxford History of the British Empire series entitled Britain’s Experience of Empire in the 20th Century (2012). He is currently working on a project on the history of international humanitarian aid after the Second World War, including a partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva exploring the history and practice of their humanitarian principles. This is shortly to be published as a joint report: Connecting with the Past. The Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – A Critical Historical Perspective. He previously co-founded Leeds University’s Institute of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, and was also Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at the University Leeds.