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Appointment of Professor Christopher Gerry as the Acting Rector of UCA

University of Central Asia
1 December 2023

​Professor Christopher Gerry has been appointed as the Acting Rector of the University of Central Asia, effective 1 January 2024. The announcement was made today by Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman, UCA Board of Trustees. Please read the announcement below:

“I am pleased to announce that at its meeting on 24 November, the Board of Trustees appointed Professor Chris Gerry as Acting Rector of UCA, effective 1 January 2024.

In his new role, Chris will report to the Board through the Chairman. While maintaining his position as Dean of the Graduate School of Development (GSD), Chris will oversee the operations of the entire University including its three Schools, and based on their respective approved strategies, steer the development of the University-wide strategy and its new initiatives under the guidance of the Board. The Chairman will continue to lead on matters relating to government and diplomatic relations, financial policy matters, fundraising, major construction projects as well as relationships with global heads of AKDN agencies and leadership of the institutions of the Ismaili Imamat.

Prior to joining UCA as Dean of GSD in August 2022, Chris was Professor of Public Health and Health Economics in Russia and Eurasia at the University of Oxford as well as Dean of St Anthony’s College at Oxford and Head of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies. He has over two decades of experience in senior academic and administrative roles in higher education in the UK and Russia.

At UCA, Chris has shown impressive leadership qualities in reorganizing and strengthening GSD. His collaborative approach in reshaping GSD’s development strategy, restructuring and implementing the Naryn and Khorog Urban Resilience Projects through his Chairmanship of their Advisory Committees, strengthening UCA’s relationship with its academic partners, reorganizing the International Office and enhancing UCA’s executive education programmes positions him as an individual with the vision and capacity to lead at the highest level.

Chris has demonstrated his commitment to UCA’s mission and has a sound understanding of the University’s role within the AKDN. His maturity and thoughtfulness have earned him the respect and confidence of his peers, the Board, and senior AKDN colleagues.

Please join the Board and I in extending your support to Professor Chris Gerry as he takes on the leadership of our complex institution spanning four countries and 16 academic centres.

Finally, I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Board of Trustees, the senior management and the UCA community for their valuable support during my interim leadership of the University, following the departure of the Rector in August 2022.

With my best wishes.”