AUC Welcomes Veerle De Laet as New Executive Director of AUC Press
The American University in Cairo (AUC) has appointed Veerle De Laet as the executive director of AUC Press, the leading English-language publisher in the Middle East.
Before coming to AUC, De Laet served as managing director and publisher at Leuven University Press in Leuven, Belgium.
Prior to joining the world of academic publishing as an acquisitions editor at Leuven University Press then as a managing director and publisher, she was a researcher with an extensive background as a cultural historian. “AUC Press is a great publishing house with a long history, excellent reputation and appealing international setting,” De Laet said, “Joining was a clear next step in my publishing career.”
Her role at AUC Press involves overseeing all operations at the publishing house and advancing the publishing program, distribution, regional and global reach and impact. “Navigating the constantly evolving world of academic publishing is also an essential part of my work. It is not, however, a one-woman show. Publishing always is a joint effort. The ties may come together in my role, but of course, it is thanks to the many departments within the press staffed with qualified experts.”
De Laet hopes to work on expanding collections lists, adding new fields of research, book series and publishing programs, and exploring different formats like digital publishing and open-access publishing. On a more personal level, she is looking forward to reading Middle Eastern authors.
Arriving in Cairo recently, De Laet, a Belgium native, is optimistic about living and working in the heart of Egypt’s capital. “Coming here is a huge adventure,” she said. “This is my first time in Egypt and in the Middle East. I trust that I will find my way here and that it will be a very positive experience.”
De Laet received her BA and Ph.D. in history from the University of Antwerp and her MA in cultural history from KU Leuven University. “As a former researcher who is now advancing the research of others, it is fulfilling to publish new insights and knowledge to a larger audience. I also enjoy the teamwork aspect of academic publishing; it’s something you don’t do on your own, but rather together with a lot of people.” She explained that what she enjoys in academic publishing, especially as a former academic scholar, that the work is also intellectually fulfilling: “content really matters. The mission-driven aspect of the publishing program is very dear to me.”
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