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LSE IDEAS is LSE's foreign policy think tank.

LSE IDEAS brings together young and old, theorists and practitioners, business and government, and people from every continent and background. IDEAS is where ideas grow.

Sir Robert Cooper, former UK & EU diplomat

Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.

IDEAS hosts interdisciplinary research projects, produces working papers and reports, holds public and off-the-record events, and delivers cutting-edge executive training programmes for government, business and third-sector organisations.

Our values

These are the principles that make us who we are and that everyone at LSE IDEAS aims to uphold in all our work. 

  • We exist to connect academic knowledge with the people who use it.
  • We foster a diversity of views and perspectives.
  • We judge the success of our work by its impact.
  • We create public engagement with empirically informed policy research.
  • We work with people from every academic and professional discipline.
  • We always try to work in new ways to create and share knowledge.
  • We work internationally, through partnerships with universities and organisations.
  • Our style is clear, concise, and compelling.
  • We value integrity and pride ourselves on teamwork.
  • Our credibility is built on our track record of achievement. 


LSE IDEAS is the foreign policy think tank of the London School of Economics and Political Science. To mark the ten-year anniversary in 2018, 'A Short History of IDEAS' aims to take stock and assess the work and activities of IDEAS since its founding in 2008.

Read 'A Short History of IDEAS'


The work of IDEAS is overseen by both an Academic Management Committee and an Advisory Board.

Academic Management Committee

The Academic Management Committee is comprised of academic staff from LSE who monitor our operations and research.

Academic Management Committee Members

Chair: Professor Chris Alden is Director of LSE IDEAS.

Dr Rohan Mukherjee is Deputy Director of LSE IDEAS.

Dr Emilia Knight is Centre Manager of LSE IDEAS.

Professor Piers Ludlow is a Reader at the Department of International History at LSE.

Professor Jeffrey Chwieroth is Head of the Department of International Relations at LSE.

Advisory Board 

The Advisory Board provides an external perspective. Members are senior practitioners from the diplomatic world who provide independent oversight and guidance on IDEAS’ strategy. 

Advisory Board Members

Chair: Sir Richard Mottram is an expert on national security issues, including defence policy, strategy and planning. From 1992-2007 he was one of Britain’s top civil servants: he headed several departments, including the Ministry of Defence, and was responsible for security and intelligence matters in the Cabinet Office, and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. He is also a Visiting Professor in LSE’s Department of Government.

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.

Dr John Hughes is a graduate of LSE. He 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. He now directs the policy makers on LSE IDEAS Executive Masters in International Strategy and Diplomacy.

Dame Judith MacGregor served in the Diplomatic Service from 1976-2017. Her postings included the former Yugoslavia, Prague and Paris. She also served as Director for Security Policy 2000- 2002, Ambassador to Slovakia, 2004-7, Director for Migration 2007-9, Ambassador to Mexico 2009-13 and ended her Diplomatic career as High Commissioner in South Africa 2013-17. Since then, she has taken up Board appointments with the UK/Mexican mining company, Fresnillo plc, the British Tourist Authority and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is Chair of the Strategic Advisory Group to the Global Challenges Research Fund and Vice Chair of Southampton University.

Mr Michael Maclay is Executive Chairman, Montrose Associates. Mr Maclay is a former diplomat, journalist and television producer, later Foreign Office political adviser and special adviser/chief spokesman at Office of High Representative, Bosnia. Mr Maclay is Advisory Board Chairman on the British American Project and Steering Group Chairman, Franco-German-UK Club of Three. He is a former Chairman, Citizenship Foundation (2001-2014).

Guy Monson who is Chief Market Strategist and Senior Partner of Sarasin & Partners LLP, has over 35 years of investment experience having joined the company in 1984. In 1988, he became manager of Sarasin’s flagship GlobalSar (now Multi Asset) 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.

Guy writes regularly in the international financial press and appears on Bloomberg and other financial channels. He is also a member of the London School of Economics IDEAS Advisory Board and a Foundation Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University

Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid is a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS. His work is focused on Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) regional politics and economy. As chairman of CARI Asean Research and Advocacy and of Asean Business Advisory Council Malaysia, he has been at the forefront of thought and practical business leadership for more effective regional integration. He was the founding chairman of the Malaysian Securities Commission and, over the past 50 years, has served in both the public and private sectors, and worked in academia, as a journalist, in banking, as regulator and corporate leader.

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 now runs the charity Inter Mediate which works on armed conflicts around the world. He is the author of Great Hatred, Little Room: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and Talking to Terrorists: Why Negotiating is the only way to Peace.

Danny Quah was a Professor in the Department of Economics at LSE for several years. In his later years at the School, he was also Director of the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, before being appointed as the Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School in 2018.

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, and Easternization which was launched at LSE in 2017. 

Hugh Sandeman was an international banker for 30 years based in New York, Tokyo, London, and Frankfurt, and for the past decade has focused on India. He was previously Tokyo correspondent, international business editor and New York correspondent of The Economist.

Dr Liane Saunders is a serving diplomat and a practitioner lecturer on the LSE IDEAS Executive Masters in Diplomacy and International Strategy. Over the last decade she has held senior strategy and coordination roles in foreign policy and national security in the Cabinet Office and FCO/FCDO, most recently as Strategy Director and Strategic Programmes Coordinator at the FCO. Dr Saunders coordinated the UK National Security Advisor’s Lessons Learning process across Government following the publication of Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq inquiry.

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.

Lutfey Siddiqi is Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE IDEAS, a co-investigator at LSE Inclusion Initiative and an advisory board member at LSE Systemic Risk Centre. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore (Risk Management Institute) and advisory board member of the Centre for Governance (CGIO) at NUS business school. He was previously Global Head of Emerging Markets for Foreign Exchange, Rates & Credit at UBS Investment Bank and prior to that, a Managing Director at Barclays Bank in charge of a business-line across Asia Pacific.

Cato Stonex graduated from LSE, of which he is now a governor. In 1986, he joined the European government bond trading department at Morgan Grenfell and in 1989 J. Rothschild Investment Management. With Nils Taube and John Hodson he formed THS Partners in 1997. He is now a partner and Fund manager at Partners Investment Company LLP.

Dr Leslie Vinjamuri is Head of the US and the Americas Programme, and Dean of the Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House. She was Director of the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice and a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in International Relations at SOAS, University of London. Leslie was 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.

Professor Linda Yueh CBE was Visiting Professor at LSE IDEAS and Chair of the LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission. She also serves on the Advisory Board of LSE IDEAS and 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 an Adviser to the UK Board of Trade and a member of the Independent Review Panel on Ring-fencing and Proprietary Trading of the UK Government. 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.

Peter Watkins CB CBE is a Senior Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He is an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), Visiting Professor at King’s College London, a Member of the Council of Cranfield University, and a Non-Executive Member of the Board of the UK Space Agency. He was previously Director General Security Policy (2014-17) and Director General Strategy & International (2017-18) in the Ministry of Defence. Earlier appointments at the Ministry of Defence included: Director General of the Defence Academy, Director of Operational Policy, Director of the Typhoon programme, Command Secretary (i.e. Finance Director) of RAF Strike Command (now Air Command), and Private Secretary to the Defence Secretary. He has also served as a Counsellor in the British Embassy in Germany. Peter was awarded a CB in 2019 and a CBE in 2004 and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institute of Directors.

Contact us

9th floor, Pankhurst House (PAN) (formerly Tower 1)
Clement's Inn
London, WC2A 2AZ

Tel: (+44) 020 7849 4918
Email :



LSE IDEAS is located in Pankhurst House (formerly Tower 1) on the LSE campus.

By Underground: The nearest tube stations to IDEAS are Temple (Circle and District lines) or Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines).

From Temple: Walk north up Arundel Street and cross the road in front of St Clement Danes church. Enter through the gate at the bottom of Clement’s Inn, to the left of the Royal Courts of Justice, and proceed to Pankhurst House reception.

From Holborn: Walk south on Kingsway to Aldwych and turn right. Enter through the gate at the bottom of Clement’s Inn on your left, to the left of the Royal Courts of Justice, and proceed to Pankhurst House reception.

By Bus: The nearest bus stop to IDEAS is The Royal Courts of Justice serving routes 1, 58, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 243, 341, 521, & X68. Walk up Clement’s Inn to find Pankhurst House.


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LSE IDEAS, Floor 9, Pankhurst House, 1 Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ

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