The RVI Board of Trustees announced today that the Executive Director of the Rift Valley Institute, John Ryle, will step down at the end of 2016 after fifteen years as head of the organisation. The trustees have appointed Mark Bradbury—currently RVI Horn of Africa and East Africa Regional Director—as Executive Director from 1 January 2017.
Mark is a social analyst with more than twenty-five years’ experience as a practitioner and researcher in international development and humanitarian aid. He has worked in Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda and Kosovo. He is the author of Becoming Somaliland (James Currey, 2008), and numerous other publications on conflict, development and complex emergencies. Mark will direct the Institute from its office in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is resident.
John Ryle founded RVI in 2001, with Jok Madut Jok and Philip Winter. With John's vision and drive the Institute has become one of the leading knowledge-based NGOs in the region, well known for its courses on Sudan and South Sudan, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes, as well as for the Rift Valley Forum, a public information programme that organises events across the region.
Under John’s leadership, the RVI has rapidly increased its research, education and public information work in Eastern and Central Africa. This includes conserving South Sudan’s National Archive, publishing the Usalama series of reports on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and supporting the establishment of the Hargeysa Cultural Centre in Somaliland.
John is also Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard College, NY, and was a 2015/16 Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. As RVI Founding Fellow and Senior Researcher, he will continue to be associated with the Institute, especially in its work in South Sudan.
The Rift Valley Institute is an independent, non-profit organization, founded in Sudan in 2001, currently working in seven countries in Eastern and Central Africa. The aim of the Institute is to advance useful knowledge of the region and its diverse communities, bringing a better understanding of local realities to bear on social and political action. The RVI works with institutions in the region to develop and implement long-term programmes that combine action-oriented research with education and public information.