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At the Society’s Annual General Meeting on Monday 4 June 2018, Baroness Chalker will become President for a three year term. She takes over from writer, geographer and broadcaster Nicholas Crane as the Society’s figurehead, and chair of its elected trustees.

A member of the House of Lords since 1992, Baroness Chalker previously served as Minister for Overseas Development and Africa at the Foreign Office and is one of the longest continuous serving politicians in British history.

Baroness Chalker led the British delegation during the first ever International Conference on International Development in 1993 in Tokyo. She is the Founder and President of Africa Matters, an independent consultancy that provides advice and assistance to companies developing their activities in Africa. Baroness Chalker is also a former Chair of the Medicines for Malaria Venture, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to reducing the burden of malaria in disease endemic countries.

As an Honorary Member of the Society since 1998, and having previously served on the Society’s Council as a trustee for seven years, she brings a wealth of experience about the Society, geographical issues, policy and international development to the role of President.

Commenting on her appointment, Baroness Chalker, said:
“I am delighted to have been elected as President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). I follow in the footsteps of many inspiring Presidents before me and am honoured to be selected to lead such a prestigious organisation. The role of geography is increasingly important in today’s changing and complex world and is critical to solving the next generation of challenges. I very much look forward to my term of office as President.”

Professor Joe Smith, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Director, said:
“I am delighted about the appointment of Baroness Chalker and look forward to the next three years and the work we will do together to build on the Society’s success and prominence. Her experience, public presence and passion for geography mean that she will be a distinguished and effective figurehead for the Society.”

Nicholas Crane becomes Immediate Past President and as such will continue to be involved with the Society and its work as a member of its Council.


Notes to editors:

1. For further media enquiries, please contact the RGS-IBG’s Press Officer, Giulia Macgarr, at or 020 7591 3019
2. The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and geography input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer’.