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Advisory Board

The Advisory Board provides independent oversight and guidance on IDEAS’ strategy from senior practitioners.

Advisory Board Chair


Sir David Manning has wide-ranging experience of foreign affairs. He has served as British ambassador to Israel, NATO and the United States. From 2001-2003 he was Foreign Affairs Adviser to Prime Minister Blair. Sir David is currently a non-executive director of several company boards and the new chair of the Advisory Board of LSE IDEAS.  


Advisory Board Members


Gordon Barrass is Visiting Professor at LSE IDEAS, where he specialises on strategy, assessments and perceptions. After more than 20 years in the British Diplomatic Service he served as Chief of the Assessments Staff in the Cabinet Office. He then spent nearly a decade helping PwC expand its business in China’s rapidly growing financial services sector.


Sir Colin Budd served in HM Diplomatic Service from 1967-2005. He was Assistant Private Secretary to the Minister Without Portfolio from 1968-69, and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary from 1984-87; Chef de Cabinet to the Vice President of the European Commission from 1993-95; Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and Head of the Overseas and Defence Committee of the Cabinet Office from 1996-97; Deputy Under Secretary of State (Europe and Economic) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1997-2001; and HM Ambassador to the Netherlands from 2001-5.

John Hughes

John Hughes was a British career diplomat for 35 years serving mainly in the Americas, together with secondments to the Cabinet Office, BAE Systems, and Shell. His final postings were as Ambassador to Venezuela and then to Argentina. In retirement he has been Chair of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, Chair of Canning House, a Robin Humphreys Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, London University, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE. 

Guy Monson

Guy Monson is Chief Investment Officer and  a managing partner of Sarasin & Partners. He has played a major role in developing Bank Sarasin’s London based subsidiary, Sarasin Investment Management Ltd (SIML) since 1988. Monson founded and is a senior fund manager on the EquiSar Global Thematic funds and is also a senior fund manager on the GlobalSar family of balanced funds. He also manages a range of institutional global thematic equity and global balanced mandates in various regulatory jurisdictions.


Sir Richard Mottram is an expert on defence, security, strategy and planning. He was one of Britain’s top civil servants, heading several departments, including the Ministry of Defence, and Security and Intelligence in the Cabinet Office. His current roles include Chairman of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.


Jonathan Powell was Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007. As a British diplomat Jonathan Powell was closely involved in negotiations with the Chinese over Hong Kong and German unification. As Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Blair he played a key role in reaching an agreement with the IRA on a political settlement in Northern Ireland. He is currently Managing Director at Morgan Stanley.


Danny Quah is the Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Previously he was Director of the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre.

Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman is the chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times, where he authors a weekly column on foreign affairs and feature articles. Before joining the Financial Times in 2006, he was a senior editor and correspondent for The Economist and BBC World Service presenter. He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Brussels, and Bangkok, and is the author of Zero-Sum World.


Susan Scholefield  held a distinguished career in the Civil Service. Roles in the Balkans Secretariat, ­­Northern Ireland Office and in the Cabinet Office as head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat were followed by a series of top level positions in the MOD culminating in her most recent role as Director General, Human Resources and Corporate Services. In 1999 she was awarded a CMG in the New Year’s Honours for her work on Bosnia.

Cato Stonex

Cato Stonex graduated from the LSE, of which he is now a governor. In 1986, he joined the European government bond trading department at Morgan Grenfell. In 1989 he joined J. Rothschild Investment Management and began his association with Nils Taube and John Hodson. Together they formed THS Partners in 1997.

Leslie Vinjamuri

Leslie Vinjamuri is Director of the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice and a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in International Relations at SOAS, University of London. Leslie is also Chair of the International Relations Speaker Series at SOAS. Her research areas include transatlantic relations, US foreign policy, the politics of international intervention, human rights and justice, and UN Security Council Diplomacy.


Lord Wallace of Saltaire an Emeritus Professor in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and has a long distinguished record in British politics. He was made a peer in 1995 and became the Liberal Democrat spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Defence. 


View the Academic Management Committee. 

Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy