Royal Historical Society appoints Adam Hughes as first Chief Executive Officer

22 October 2021

The Royal Historical Society is very pleased to announce that Adam Hughes has been appointed its first Chief Executive Officer, formally taking up the role earlier this month. He joins the RHS with more than a decade of experience in the learned society sector, most recently as Director of Operations at the Biochemical Society and Portland Press.

Adam’s appointment follows a review of the operation and structure of the Royal Historical Society by HBRL consulting, commissioned by the Trustees in 2020. HBRL recommended the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer with the experience to support the Society’s President, Council, Fellows and Members, and to provide operational leadership in establishing and implementing the Society’s future strategy.

Adam Hughes, CEO of the Royal Historical Society, writes:

I am delighted to be joining the Royal Historical Society at such an exciting time. The exceptional reputation and prestige of the RHS within the arts and humanities sector places it in a strong position to continue to support, represent and serve its community. I look forward to working with the Trustees, committee members, and diligent colleagues in building on the Society’s strengths and forging a robust and sustainable future.

Professor Emma Griffin, President of the Royal Historical Society and Professor of Modern British History at the University of East Anglia, writes:

I am so pleased to welcome Adam Hughes to the Royal Historical Society. The Society was thrilled to receive a significant response to our CEO recruitment campaign, and even within the context of several highly qualified applicants, Adam stood out for his leadership skills and understanding of the traditions and values of the RHS as a learned society. I am very much looking forward to working with Adam to strengthen our capacity to offer support and leadership to our community of professional historians.

In his new role as Chief Executive, Adam takes responsibility for the overall direction of the Society’s professional office, working closely with the President, Trustees, Academic Director and central office team. Adam’s experience and skills will see him lead on key areas of the Society and its development, including governance, membership, external relations, fundraising, financial planning and management, and strategy.


About the Royal Historical Society

Founded in 1868, the Royal Historical Society (RHS) is a successful learned society, membership organisation and charity with a 150 year history. Today, the RHS is the UK’s foremost society working for historians and history.

In 2021 nearly 4500 historians belong and contribute to the Society — as fellows and members active in the UK and worldwide. This makes the RHS the UK’s largest membership organisation for historians of all kinds, and from all walks of life — held in high regard by historians internationally, and a partner to many similar organisations overseas. These national and international connections are led by the historians who make up the RHS Council (Trustees), and the small central team based at University College London, which is the home of the Society. More about the Society.


For further enquiries about the appointment of Adam Hughes as the Society’s first Chief Executive Office, or about the work of the Society, please contact: