Prof Melissa Leach appointed director of IDS

Professor Melissa Leach, ESRC STEPS Centre director, has been appointed as the new director of the UK’s Institute of Development Studies.

Prof. Leach will continue in her current roles, as director of the ESRC Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre and the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, until she begins her new role at IDS in spring 2014. She will help manage a smooth transition to new leadership arrangements for these investments and will continue to take an active role in the intellectual work of both.

Prof Leach founded the STEPS Centre in 2006 alongside co-directors Professors Ian Scoones and Andy Stirling and was recently appointed as vice chair of the Future Earth science committee.

Prof Leach said: “Directing the STEPS Centre since its inception in 2006 has been a superb building block and inspiration for this new role. Many of the ideas and practices that I’ve worked with STEPS co-directors, members, and partners around the world to develop over the last few years – from engaging research with real-world sustainability and social justice challenges, to building inclusive, collaborative relationships and activities – are ones I hope to take forward into IDS as a whole as we think towards the Institute’s post-2015 strategy. Meanwhile, STEPS agendas are more exciting than ever. I greatly look forward to staying intellectually engaged, while working with the team to develop an effective new leadership arrangement that will take us into the future.”

For the IDS press release about Prof Leach’s appointment please see the IDS website.

Current IDS director Lawrence Haddad has written about Prof Leach’s appointment on his blog Development Horizons today.