New Director for American University In Cairo Press

 The American University in Cairo Press, the leading English-language publisher in the Middle East, has a new Executive Director.  Veerie De Laet has joined from Leuven University Press in Leuven, Belgium, where she served as MD and publisher.

She said: “AUC Press is a great publishing house with a long history, excellent reputation and appealing international setting.  Joining was a clear next step in my publishing career.”

A native of Belgium she told News@AUC that coming to Cairo was “a huge adventure.  This is my first time in Egypt and the Middle East. I trust that I will find my way here and that it will be a very positive experience.”

She has a background as a cultural historian and started her career as a researcher before entering academic publishing, first as an acquisitions editor, then as an MD and publisher.

She says she enjoys the teamwork aspect of academic publishing and describes the work as “intellectually fulfilling. Personally, I couldn’t work in a publishing house in which decisions, for instance, are mainly made on commercial motives or arguments. For me, as a former academic scholar, the content really matters. The mission-driven aspect of the publishing program is very dear to me”.

She wants to expand collections lists, add new fields of research, book series and publishing programs, as well as look at different formats like digital publishing and open access publishing.

On a more personal level she adds: “I am looking forward to reading Middle Eastern authors. I recently bought a collection of short stories by Yusuf Idris. I also saw a book review on AUC Instructor Noor Naga’s If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English. I would love to read it.”