UCL News


Spotlight on... Anthony Orkin

1 December 2022

This week we meet Anthony Orkin, Antisemitism Programme Manager at UCL. Here, Anthony chats to us about living in Australia and South Africa, and shares his top recommendation for an autobiography to pick up this winter...

Anthony Orkin

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the Antisemitism Programme Manager at UCL. The new role involves leading on and coordinating a range of activities, including training to improve understanding and awareness of antisemitism at UCL. It is part of the Office of the President & Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion).

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I started on 1 November. My previous role for five and a half years was Operations Manager at the UK charity, Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

When I lived in Australia, I served as Senior Adviser to a politician and minister who later became Prime Minister.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

I am going on a “listening tour” around UCL talking to the key stakeholders about their experiences on campus, particularly Jewish students and staff.

As part of this, I would like to hold drop-in sessions to hear from Jewish staff. If you are a Jewish staff member and would like to talk about your experiences here, I hope that you can drop by for a chat. Please contact me for further details.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

  • Album: Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.
  • Film: Fiddler on the Roof.
  • Novel: Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Elon Musk, Larry David and Ron Burgundy would make for a colourful evening.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen to yourself – others may give you advice that is often well meaning and coming from a good place, but they are not you.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I have a passion for art deco architecture. I was thrilled to discover that Senate House is connected to UCL.

What is your favourite place?

I was born in South Africa, so going on safari. Waking up to the roar of lions and the trumpet of elephants is hard to beat.