Stephen Anderson, Director of the Academy of Social Sciences, retires at 65

15 January 2019

Stephen Anderson was the Executive Director of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Campaign for Social Science. He is also a member of the Campaign Board. Stephen joined the Academy in April 2008 with a tiny office and an even tinier budget. He incrementally increased the Academy’s reputation and income over the next 10 years and it is testament to his tenacious nature and his love for challenges that the Academy today is unrecognisable from its humble origins.

Before he joined the Academy, Stephen had 25 years of leadership experience of business management in financial services, with a history of much improving organizational performance. He was brought into Equitable Life PLC at the height of the crisis as the Chief Operating Officer and improved operational capability and capacity at a very difficult time. He then undertook various turnaround type assignments within the not for profit sector. An Economics graduate, with a further three years of postgraduate research experience, Stephen has pursued lifelong learning, gaining further occupational qualifications in banking, business management and organizational psychology. He also gained a certificate in ministry studies.

At the Academy, Stephen immediately went to work on governance reviews to restructure, streamline and increase effectiveness of committees and Council. He created a new vision and mission for the Academy while also spearheading the founding of the Campaign for Social Science to complement and expand on the work of the Academy and social science in the UK. The Campaign was set up in just four months:  from an initial idea to a fully functioning entity with a website, brand identity, literature and a major launch at the House of Lords in 2011. Under his guidance, the Academy and Campaign have flourished into a professional organization that has grown in reputation, produces astute reports that contribute to policy creation, enables its member societies to work together on matters of mutual concern, and provides an excellent networking environment to its Fellows.

Stephen’s wisdom and experience were clearly evident in his role as director of the Academy. His eye for potential has helped him develop and cultivate relationships that are crucial for the Academy such as its partnership with SAGE publications. His ability to think on his feet and knack for spotting an opportunity allowed the Academy to move to 33 Finsbury Square with the kind support of the University of Liverpool– premises better suited to the image of the Academy and giving it a sense of a ‘home’.

Stephen has always been a champion of the Academy and the Campaign, and his leadership, sense of duty and commitment will be missed. We wish him all the best in his retirement.