Trustee recommendations for the Annual General Meeting

Since the AGM in November 2018, two Trustees, Dr Alice Stevenson and Dr Alexandra Villing, have retired. The Board is delighted to announce that it has appointed Mr Richard Ayre and Mr Luke Purser to fill these vacancies. 

At the AGM on 16th November 2019, four Trustees (Dr Val Billingham, Dr Margaret Mountford, Dr Sami Sadek, and Dr Katharina Zinn) will retire by rotation. Sami Sadek and Katharina Zinn are willing to be reappointed for a further term and will offer themselves for re-election.  Margaret Mountford and Val Billingham will not be standing for re-election and the Board has decided to recommend Mr Taco van Heusden and Dr Penelope Wilson to fill the two vacancies that will arise because of these retirements.

In addition, our two new Trustees, Richard Ayre and Luke Purser, having joined since the last AGM, will stand for election by members, with the recommendation of the Board.  

Short biographies of the new and proposed Trustees are set out below.

The AGM will be preceded by a study day, Egypt: Exchange, and beyond. You can book tickets for this event here.

Members' right to stand for election

Any member is entitled to stand for election as a Trustee at the AGM in accordance with the provisions of Article 33 of the Society’s Articles of Association, namely by giving the Society a notice signed by 1) the member who wishes to be appointed and 2) another member who is entitled to vote at the AGM, stating that member’s intention to propose the first member as a Trustee.  The notice must contain the name, any former name, service address, country or state (or part of the UK) in which he/she is usually resident, nationality, business occupation (if any) and date of birth of the member to be proposed; this is the information required to be filed at Companies House about directors. To be valid the notice has to be received by the Society not less than 70 clear days before the date of the AGM, ie by Thursday 5th September.

UPDATE (06/09/2019): A member, Mr Keith Raffan, has also decided to stand for election without the Board’s recommendation.

The Board’s recommendations for Trustees to fill the 6 vacancies

The Board's nominees for election

Mr Richard Ayre

Richard Ayre’s career as a broadcast journalist culminated in his being in charge of editorial regulation, first at Ofcom and then at the BBC.  He has chaired two charities, the Asian and African-Caribbean Reporters Trust and Article 19-The Global Campaign for Free Expression.

Richard’s career began as a BBC trainee, his first permanent posts being as a TV and radio reporter in Belfast through the worst years of The Troubles in the 1970s.  He then led BBC TV’s team of UK correspondents before becoming Head of BBC Westminster for the final months of the Thatcher administration.  He moved to become Controller of Editorial Policy for the BBC, and deputy chief executive of BBC News. 

He took early retirement in 2000 to be a founder board member of the Food Standards Agency, serving two terms as acting deputy chairman and standing down when he was appointed to the Ofcom Content Board in 2007, then moving to the BBC Trust for seven years.  Simultaneously he was the Law Society’s FoI Adjudicator 2001-2013.

Following the allied invasion of Iraq he chaired the editorial board of Al-Mirbad, the first post-Saddam broadcaster in Mosel.  He has worked on assignment in Iraq, Kuwait, and Israel, and has visited Egypt on three occasions though as a tourist.

Richard lives with his partner of 37 years, the artist Guy Burch, on the Isle of Dogs.

Mr Taco van Heusden

Taco van Heusden is the Chief Investment Officer of an Egyptian hotel and real estate developer and operator. Based both in Giza and London, he has been working in the country since 2011.

He started his career in investment banking at UBS and later moved to work for several institutional investors, always in the real estate space. In the last 10 years of his career Taco has focused on working with and for high net worth individuals in the development of hotels.

He has started and been involved in several entrepreneurial ventures and has experience in the automation of processes and information. He hopes to bring his experience in investments and property to the role of trustee for the EES.

Taco has obtained a BSc in Hotel Administration from the Hotelschool Maastricht and MSc in Finance from Nyenrode University. He lives in Wimbledon with his partner Livia and their three children Luca, Enzo and Raffi.

Mr Luke Purser, FRSA

Luke is Development Director of English Heritage. He has held leadership roles at the Royal College of Art, the Mayor’s Fund for London, and the University of Oxford. Luke has raised significant funds for numerous projects from funders around the world, with considerable experience in the USA and the Middle East. A strategic and creative leader, he has helped develop internationalisation and earned income strategies, and built partnerships with global brands including Google, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, IDEO, and Burberry.

Luke has advised the Sunday Times Fast Track for 15 years and was a Board member of InnovationRCA, the UK’s most successful university business incubator. In 2014 he co-founded the Global Grad Show in Dubai, which has become the world’s biggest design education exhibition. He is a non-executive director of Interactive Imagination, and a founding director of events and media company Hawkwood International Ltd. Luke is a trustee of the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and holds a degree in history from the University of Oxford. With their two children at university, Luke and his wife Anna now divide their time between homes in West Sussex and the Charente-Maritime, France.

Dr Penelope Wilson

Penny is an Egyptologist with a specialist interest in both philological research of Ptolemaic hieroglyphic texts and temples and Egyptian settlement archaeology particularly in the Northern Nile Delta region. She studied at Liverpool University for both her BA and PhD (on the Edfu Temple texts) and then worked as Assistant Keeper in the Antiquities Department of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Penny is now Associate Professor in Egyptian Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, having joined the Department in 1999. She has worked on excavations and projects in Egypt including at Qasr Ibrim as epigrapher, at Naukratis, Tell el Balamun, Ashmunein, North Sinai and at Zawiyet Umm el Rakham with the Liverpool University team. As Field Director at the ancient capital city site of Sais (EES and AHRC funded) she has helped to uncover the archaeological potential of a highly important but ‘lost’ site. Penny is also Director of the Special British Academy Project the Delta Survey documenting many otherwise unknown sites in the Nile Delta. She joined the EES when at school and would be honoured to serve as a Trustee when we look forward to an interesting and dynamic future.

The EES would like to acknowledge the support of Nurole in advertising and recruiting new Trustee positions. 

Nurole connects tens of thousands of leaders across more than 100 countries to roles that match their interests. Whether a public company chair, a private equity CEO or a chief digital officer, Nurole enables individuals to put themselves forward, and recommend others, for career defining positions with iconic public and private companies, as well as exciting VC-backed start-ups and pro-bono roles in government and not-for-profit organisations.

The Board's nominees for re-election

Dr Sami Sadek

Dr Sami Sadek was born in Cairo in 1951 and graduated from Medical School in Cairo with Honours in 1974. He came to Britain with his wife and family in 1980 to further his surgical training, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a PhD (University of Dundee) in 1982. Sami’s first consultant appointment was Senior Lecturer in the University of Leeds (1990) specialising in Liver and Kidney Transplantation as well as General Surgery. In 1995 he moved to Portsmouth as Head of Renal Transplant and built up the living donor programme while supervising several MD theses produced by his research fellows. Sami continued with major cancer surgery and developed a major interest in laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, introducing new laparoscopic procedures to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. He retired in 2014, but still works as a part time consultant in General Surgery, which frees up time for special interests, including Egyptology.


Dr Katharina Zinn

Dr Katharina ZinnDr Katharina Zinn is Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology and Heritage at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus. Being at home at the School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, she is perfectly placed to teach and publish in her areas of interest (museums, heritage, material culture, identity, religion, Amarna, art, gender) using ancient Egypt as the civilisation which provides her case studies. She studied Egyptology (major), Communication- and Media-Sciences (minor), Economy (minor) at the University of Leipzig (Germany) where she also obtained her Dr.Phil. in Egyptology in 2008. Before moving to Wales and working both at Swansea University and UWTSD, Katharina was affiliated lecturer at the Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. From her first steps in Egyptology onwards, she was involved in work in museums, be it as guide, research assistant or assistant curator. As part of the museum projects she has done a lot of outreach activities.


Member standing for election without Board recommendation

Mr Raffan has sent the following statement:

"A longstanding Member of the EES, Keith Raffan is standing to be a Trustee for one purpose only – to represent the interests of Members on the Board: 

As an MP and MSP I worked hard for my Constituents. Now I want to do the same for EES Members – to make your voice heard across the chasm that has developed between the Board and Members; to ensure that the Board is fully accountable to Members for the decisions it takes. 

I was an active Member of the EES Fundraising Group presenting three memoranda – on ‘Fundraising’ (I was a founding Member of Cambridge University’s USA Fundraising Committee); on ‘Raising the EES’s Media Profile’ (I am a former Fleet Street journalist and ITV Wales television interviewer); and on ‘Parliamentary Liaison’. All my proposals were well-received but have yet to be implemented. 

There needs to be a massive shake-up in the way the EES is run – not only to ensure the Society becomes truly democratic but also financially viable. The Trustees are but the servants of the Society and its Members. 

I encourage all Members to contact me with their views and questions by e-mail: [email protected]"

Updated: 6th September, 2019