Philippe Sands QC joins Hay Festival board

Hay Festival has today announced the appointment of Philippe Sands QC, lawyer, campaigner and award-winning writer, to its board of Directors.

Sands is one of the UK’s most prominent human rights barristers, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2003. He is a Professor of Law at University College London. His most recent book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity was awarded the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize and the 2017 Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (France), and inspired the 2015 BBC documentary My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did, and the recent BBC podcast series, The Ratline.

He was appointed President of English PEN in January 2018 and has served as Vice President of Hay Festival while appearing in numerous festival sessions around the world, including memorable conversations with Jimmy Carter, Vanessa Redgrave, John le Carré, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Jane Birkin and Eric Hobsbawm.

Caroline Michel, Chair of Hay Festival, said: "For 32 years Hay has lit a beacon for enlightenment. In a volatile world of anger and corrupted language, the festival champions empathy and curiosity. Stories and truths are told, ideas are shared, and everyone is encouraged to imagine the world from other perspectives and with renewed and audacious hope. We’re delighted to welcome Philippe Sands to the board as we look to a vibrant festival future here and around the world.

Philippe Sands said: "At a time of serious global challenges, when writers and ideas are under threat, I am delighted and honoured to be able to contribute to the fabulous, path-breaking, vital Hay Festival in this new way."

Earlybird tickets to Hay Festival Wales, including Philippe Sands in conversation with bestselling novelist Leïla Slimani, are on sale now. You can explore Philippe Sands' previous events on Hay Player here.