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Economic Diplomacy Commission

The LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission, a LSE IDEAS initiative, is a forum for informed strategic discussion and evaluation of the future of the UK’s economic diplomacy.

At this important point in Britain’s foreign policy history, this Commission has been set up to help shape Britain's foreign economic policy decisions. The UK government’s professed intent to leave the European Union means that Britain would be setting its own trade policies for the first time since 1973, and would need to explicitly set out the aims of trade and associated foreign investment policies for the first time in four decades. The changed world economy of the 21st century also necessitates an examination of foreign economic policy aims and principles. There is a considerable need and opportunity to thoroughly assess the UK’s economic diplomacy goals.

The LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission aims to interrogate the questions surrounding the policy choices made by the UK government. It will specifically focus on foreign economic policy and how such policies will affect both UK society and economy.

Why do we need the LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission? Why do we need the LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission?

The Commission

The Commission includes a number of the country's leading economists and foreign policy practitioners. Bringing together academics and policymakers is a core strength of LSE IDEAS, and the calibre of Commissioners who have agreed to serve demonstrates the immense interest in this project. 

Work and Report

Through engagement with a wide range of stakeholders,  it is evident that there is a considerable need for such strategic thinking around economic diplomacy issues to inform policymaking in the UK and elsewhere.

The LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission will hear evidence from a wide range of experts, policy-makers and leading business figures around the country to construct a report that will help shape Britain’s foreign economic policies in order to position the country in the 21st century global economy.

The Commission’s hearings and evidence sessions will take place over the next 18 – 24 months. This will allow the Commission to formulate the principles that should underpin Britain’s trade and investment policies as well as define the UK's role in the world. 


Linda Yueh 2

Professor Linda Yueh
Chair of the LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission
Linda Yueh is Visiting Professor at LSE IDEAS and Chair of the LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission. She also serves on the Policy Committee of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. She is Fellow in Economics, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford and Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School. She was Visiting Professor of Economics at Peking University. Professor Yueh is the Editor of the Routledge Series on Economic Growth and Development and the author of numerous books, including China’s Growth: The Making of an Economic Superpower and The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today.


Professor Michael Cox
Michael Cox is Co-Founder and Director of LSE IDEAS. He was appointed to a Chair at LSE in 2002, having previously held positions in the UK at The Queen's University of Belfast and the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth. He helped establish the Cold War Studies Centre at the LSE in 2004 and later co-founded LSE IDEAS in 2008. He has served as Chair of the United States Discussion Group at Chatham House, as Senior Fellow at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, as Visiting Professor at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra, Australia, and as Chair of the European Consortium for Political Research. An established public intellectual who has lectured on world politics on every continent, his most recent books include a new edition of E. H. Carr’s, The Twenty Years’ Crisis (Palgrave, 2016), a 3rd edition of his co-edited best-selling volume US Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 2018), and a collection of his own original essays, The Post-Cold War World (Routledge, 2019). His new definitive introduction to the centennial edition of J. M. Keynes’s 1919 classic, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, was published in 2019.


Professor Christopher Coker
Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations at LSE and Director of LSE IDEAS. His publications include Men at War: what fiction has to tell us about conflict from the Iliad to Catch 22 (Hurst, 2014); The Improbable War: China, the US and the logic of Great Power War (Hurst, 2015); Future War (Polity, 2016). His most recent book is The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity, 2019). He is a former twice-serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.

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Professor Swati Dhingra
Swati Dhingra is an Associate Professor of Economics at LSE, researching globalisation and industrial policy. She is co-author of the recent “Life after Brexit” report published by the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, which looks at the UK’s options outside of the EU. She is also Associate Editor of the Journal of International Economics. Swati was awarded the FIW Young Economist Award and the Chair Jacquemin Award by the European Trade Study Group for her work on firms and globalisation. Swati's work has informed bodies such as the Parliamentary International Trade Committee, CBI, Treasury, Social Enterprise UK, Credit Suisse and Sunderland City Council, and has featured in the media, including outlets such as the BBC, Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, The Economist, The Times and Business Standard.

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Sir Martin Donnelly
Martin Donnelly has wide experience as a senior policy official and negotiator across government in the UK and Europe. He was Permanent Secretary of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2016, leading work on the UK's Industrial Strategy. Following the 2016 referendum he set up the Department of International Trade and left the civil service in 2017.

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Professor Saul Estrin
Saul Estrin is a Professor of Managerial Economics and Strategy and the founding Head of the Department of Management. He was formerly Adecco Professor of Business and Society at London Business School where he was the Director of the CIS Middle Europe Centre and Research Director of the Centre for New and Emerging Markets. At LSE he is affiliated with the Centre for Economic Performance and was the Research Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute. Saul’s research has long focused on the micro economics of comparative economic systems, with early interests in state owned firms, labour-managed firms, planning, and socialist economies. In recent years, he has concentrated on international business strategy issues and entrepreneurship.

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Baroness Falkner of Margravine
Kishwer Falkner entered the House of Lords in 2004, where she is currently Chairman of the EU Sub-Committee on Financial Services, and a Member of the EU Select Committee. Her committee has published reports on Brexit: Financial Services, Brexit and the EU Budget, Brexit: the future of financial regulation and supervision and Brexit: The European Investment Bank.  She led on Foreign Affairs for the Liberal Democrats during the Coalition Government from 2010-2015 and has served on several parliamentary committees including the Constitution Committee, the Joint Committee on Human Rights; the European Union Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and International Development and the Committee on International Organisations.

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Dr Robert Falkner
Robert Falkner is an Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE, with a focus on global environmental politics and international political economy. He serves as the Research Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Academic Director of the TRIUM Global Executive MBA at LSE. He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University and is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House. In 2018 he was appointed Distinguished Fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. His research has been supported by the ESRC, European Commission, MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Stiftung Mercator, among others.

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Professor Stephen Machin
Stephen Machin is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. Previously he has been Professor of Economics at UCL and Visiting Professor at Harvard University and MIT. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, has been President of the European Association of Labour Economists, is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and was an independent member of the UK Low Pay Commission from 2007-13. His current research interests include inequality, education, and crime, and the interactions between them.

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Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court GCB
Nick Macpherson was Permanent Secretary of the Treasury for over ten years, leading the Treasury through the financial and wider economic crisis which began in 2007.‎ Nick joined the Treasury in 1985, after training as an economist at Oxford University and University College, London, and working at the Confederation of British Industry and Peat Marwick consulting. He was Principal Private Secretary to Ken Clarke and Gordon Brown in the mid 1990s, and went on to head the public spending and tax sides of the Treasury. Nick is Chairman of Hoare's Bank, a Director of the Scottish American Investment Trust and British Land and a Visiting Professor at King's College, London. He sits as a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords.

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Guy Monson
Guy Monson, CIO and Senior Partner of Sarasin & Partners LLP, who has over 30 years of investment experience, joined the company in 1984. In 1988, he became manager of Sarasin’s flagship GlobalSar family of balanced investment funds, winning awards for investment performance and risk profile. He has pioneered the use of thematic investment in the management of global equity portfolios and today leads the firm’s global investment and markets strategy for a wide range of charitable, endowment and private clients.  He co-manages Sarasin’s Global Higher Dividend and Global Equity Opportunities Funds. Guy writes regularly in the international financial press and appears on Bloomberg and other financial channels. Among other responsibilities, he is a Trustee of the Invictus Games Foundation, and the Chatsworth House Trust.  He is also a member of the London School of Economics Ideas Board.

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Sir Richard Mottram GCB
Richard Mottram is Chair of the Advisory Board of LSE IDEAS and a Visiting Professor in the LSE’s Department of Government. He was formerly a civil servant, and for much of his career worked on international security policy and defence strategy. From 1992-2007 he held a number of permanent secretary posts, including of the Ministry of Defence and in the Cabinet Office as permanent secretary for intelligence, security, and resilience and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Since 2007 he has had a number of roles in the public, private and third sectors.

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Lord Powell of Bayswater KCMG
Charles Powell was Private Secretary and Adviser on foreign affairs and defence to Lady Thatcher, and held the same position in the early part of John Major’s time as Prime Minister. Prior, Powell was a diplomat serving in the US, Germany, and at the UK Representation to the EU. Since leaving the civil service in 1992, he has been an international businessman and board member of several major international companies including Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy, the Jardine Matheson Group, Caterpillar and the Northern Trust Corporation, and on the Advisory Boards of Rolls-Royce, Barrick Gold and Chubb. Since 2000 he has been a cross-bench member of the House of Lords and of Parliament’s Joint National Security Strategy Committee. Among other roles, he is Chairman of the Trustees of the Saïd Business School at Oxford University, Chairman of the British Museum Trust, and a Trustee of the Aspen Institute. He is Honorary Fellow of Somerville College Oxford, of King’s College London and of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

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Gideon Rachman
Gideon Rachman is Chief Foreign Affairs columnist for the Financial Times (FT). He writes regularly about the European Union, US foreign policy and geopolitical rivalries in Asia, among other subjects. He won the Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2016 and was also named as Commentator of the Year in the European Press Prize awards in the same year. His book “Easternisation – War and Peace in the Asian Century” was published in August 2016. A previous book “Zero-Sum World” was published by in 2011 and has been translated into eight languages. Before joining the FT in 2006, he worked for The Economist for 15 years in a range of jobs, including as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Bangkok, and Washington.

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Susan Scholefield CMG
Susan Scholefield worked for some 30 years in the British Civil Service, with senior roles in the Cabinet Office, Northern Ireland Office, Communities Department and Ministry of Defence. She was awarded the CMG in 1999 for her work on Bosnia. After the civil service, she became Secretary and Chief Legal Officer at LSE. She now has a portfolio career of non-executive director and voluntary roles, is a member of the Advisory Board of LSE IDEAS, the Royal United Services Institute, and the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Visiting Professor at Surrey University.


Dr Leslie Vinjamuri
Leslie Vinjamuri is Head of the US & the Americas Programme and Dean of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs. She is a Reader (Associate Professor) in International Relations at SOAS. From 2010-2018 she founded and was Co-Director then Director of the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice at SOAS. Dr Vinjamuri writes and speaks about America’s role in the world, international security, intervention, and geopolitics. She is an editor of Human Rights Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and has published numerous articles in leading journals. Dr Vinjamuri is a Marshall Commissioner and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is on the Board of the Institute for Integrated Transitions. From 2015-2018, she was a member of the Council (a "trustee") of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. 

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Professor Dame Helen Wallace DBE CMG FBA
Helen Wallace is a political scientist whose research has focused on the politics of European integration. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Sussex. She has held appointments at LSE, European University Institute, Florence Sussex European Institute, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and the College of Europe. She was Director of the ESRC "One Europe or Several?" Programme. She became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000, was Chair of the Political Studies Section and then its Foreign Secretary (2011 to 2015). She became a Dame in January 2011.

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Dr Stephen Woolcock
Stephen Woolcock has taught international political economy, trade and economic diplomacy at LSE since 1999. Before joining LSE, he worked on trade and EU policy at Chatham House and for the private sector. In 1999, he established the International Trade Policy Unit at LSE to bridge the gap between academic and policy work. His ongoing research has been on the regulation of integrating markets, especially in the context of preferential and multilateral trade and investment agreements. He has served as a consultant to the European Parliament, European Commission, OECD, Commonwealth Secretariat, the UK and other governments.