Folger Shakespeare Library names Pakistani lady scholar as director

Folger Shakespeare Library’s Board of Governors announced her appointment as new director of 92-year-old institution

By News Desk
May 25, 2024
Pakistani scholar Dr Farah Karim-Cooper. — LinkedIn/farah-karim-cooper/file

WASHINGTON: A Pakistani lady scholar Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper has been appointed the new director of the prestigious Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.


The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Board of Governors announced her appointment as the new director of the 92-year-old institution following a 10-month international search. Karim-Cooper currently serves on the executive leadership team at Shakespeare’s Globe as the Director of Education (Higher Education & Research).

Dr. Karim-Cooper is a proven leader and respected scholar with 20 years of experience at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Born in Karachi, and grew up in Houston, Texas, Karim-Cooper. Karim-Cooper is widely recognized as a Shakespeare scholar and a public scholar. She is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Kings College London and the author of popular commercial, trade and scholarly publications. Karim-Cooper succeeds Michael Witmore, who has served as director since 2011. Karim-Cooper will begin her new role as the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library on October 7, 2024. “I am thrilled to take up the role of Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. After twenty years at Shakespeare’s Globe developing a scholarly profile while leading research, education, collections and public programming, this role is the natural next step on my lifelong journey with Shakespeare. The Folger is a world-renowned and beloved institution, a significant beacon of knowledge that daily demonstrates the importance of the humanities,” Karim-Cooper said. “I am truly honored to uphold its founding mission while forging new ways to demonstrate how Shakespeare’s work speaks to our moment. Above all, I look forward to working with the Folger’s passionate staff and its remarkable Board of Governors to lead this miraculous institution into its second century.” Karim-Cooper will be the eighth director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and the first person of color to hold the position. After Michael Witmore steps down on June 30, Greg Prickman, the Eric Weinmann Librarian and Director of Collections and Exhibitions, will serve as interim director until Karim-Cooper starts in October.