The British Academy today announces that Alun Evans, currently Director of the Scotland Office, is to be its next Chief Executive. He takes over next year from Dr Robin Jackson, who has been Chief Executive and Secretary since 2006.
Announcing the appointment, the Academy’s President, Professor Nicholas Stern (Lord Stern of Brentford), said: “Alun will bring to the Academy great wealth of senior level experience in public service, as well as a real understanding of, and commitment to, Britain’s higher education and research sectors and the central role humanities and social science play within them.”
Alun Evans said: “The British Academy provides a vital national forum for the humanities and social sciences. These subjects make a fundamental contribution to our understanding of identity, humanity and community – and it is essential that the UK continues to recognise the competitive advantage this wealth of knowledge and expertise gives the country.
“As part of that process, the Academy will continue to engage with government and others to contribute to debate and the shaping of public policy.
“I see my role as helping to ensure that the social sciences and humanities continue to prosper as a central part of Britain’s world-class research base and that their voice is heard clearly and strongly on the national stage.”
As Director of the Scotland Office, Alun heads the Whitehall department which ensures the smooth working of the devolution settlement and is currently making a case for Scotland to remain as part of the UK in the Scottish independence referendum. It represents Scottish interests within the UK government and represents the UK government in Scotland.
Before taking up his current role as head of the Scotland Office, Alun was Secretary of the Detainee Inquiry from 2010 to 2012, and prior to that, Head of Strategy at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Director-General in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and Director-General (Transformation) in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). He has also been Principal Private Secretary to three Secretaries of State and worked as Head of Strategic Communications at 10 Downing Street and as Director of Communications to the former Deputy Prime Minister.
Alun was born in 1958. After his first degree in Government at Essex University, he took an MPhil in Politics and Russian Studies at the University of Birmingham and is currently working towards a PhD in Modern Political History at Queen Mary, University of London.
He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government where he has contributed to a range of Institute projects, including on government transitions, policy making and communication.
Alun Evans will take up his duties as Chief Executive Designate at a date to be agreed, prior to Robin Jackson completing his term of office in summer 2015.