Sumayya Ahmed appointed Executive Director of Black Metropolis Research Consortium

Sumayya Ahmed will be joining the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) and the University of Chicago Library as Executive Director of the BMRC on January 16. In this role, Ahmed will provide strategic leadership and operational management for the BMRC’s activities.

Photo of Sumayya Ahmed
Sumayya Ahmed

Ahmed comes to the BMRC from Simmons University in Boston, where she worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science. As an archives educator and scholar, she taught graduate courses in Archival Studies for students pursuing the MLIS degree at Simmons and, prior to that, at University College London’s global campus in Doha, Qatar. Originally from Chicago, Ahmed earned her PhD in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a BA in African American Studies and Sociology from Wesleyan University.

A member of the Society of American Archivists, Ahmed serves on the board of the Archival Education and Research Initiative and the Center for Maghrib Studies at Arizona State University. She is the co-editor of the Routledge Studies in Archives Series and has published on archives in North Africa as well as race and equity within the library, archives, and museum sector.

“The Black Metropolis Research Consortium is rooted in archival and community collections and built on the promise of partnership and sharing,” said Torsten Reimer, University Librarian and Dean of the University Library. “Sumayya's academic background, her dedication to archival studies, and her ability to listen and engage thoughtfully stood out during a competitive search process.”

The BMRC is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions with a mission to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics with a special focus on Chicago. The BMRC also advocates for the preservation, enhancement, growth, and use of these materials, and the diversity of the information professionals who care for them. The University of Chicago acts as the BMRC’s host institution, and our Library is its home. Ahmed will report both to the Chair of the BMRC Board (Steven Adams, Northwestern University) and the Dean of the University Library, who co-chaired the search committee.