The former FCO diplomat is now head of Middle East region at Christian Aid as well as president of BRISMES (the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies). To quote the latter's self-description:
'Founded in 1973, BRISMES is the UK’s premier higher education umbrella organisation for MENA [Middle East and North Africa] studies, embracing all the top universities in the UK to promote the study of all aspects of the region.
Sponsorship and corporate and individual membership of BRISMES has long facilitated access and exposure to the best academics, emerging scholars and substantive research in the field.
This is, if anything, even more important in today’s world than it has been historically. The MENA region remains one of the most complex and volatile parts of the world – as well as being of major strategic and economic importance to the United Kingdom. A better understanding of the dynamics and tensions underlying its political and economic situation is essential not only in its own right but also to the analysis and understanding of wider global questions.'BRISMES is holding a conference at the London School of Economics on the theme "Liberation". The Conference program and list of speakers is available here.
It would appear that BDS in the form of the Academic Boycott is off the agenda at the conference, and certain individuals are distinctly unhappy, to judge from what anti-Israel activists (for instance here) have been posting on Facebook:
I wonder whether the desperados will get their wicked way.
(Update next post)