Blog PS21 Update

PS21 Announces Governing Board

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Board represents global diversity and ambition for a new generation of policy leadership

The Project for the Study of the 21st Century (PS21) is delighted to announce its governing board.

Since commencing operations at the end of January 2015, PS21 has brought together a diverse range of people to explore the key issues of the 21st century. In fewer than five months, PS21 has convened more than 20 events in London, Washington DC and New York City. It has published research featured in The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Reuters and elsewhere.

PS21 is run on a daily basis by executive director and founder Peter Apps, currently on paid sabbatical from Thomson Reuters where he was global defence correspondent.

“PS21’s first few months have been more successful than any of us dared hope,” said Apps. “I’m excited to have such a dynamic board – young, diverse and remarkably widely experienced. With their leadership and guidance, we’re looking forward to taking PS21 to the next level.”

“We have no headquarters. We have no endowment. But we have achieved a huge amount in five months for remarkably little money. We have great ambition, growing global reach  and an unparalleled global network of individuals with experience confronting daily policy challenges. And while we’re a touch unconventional, that is precisely what this century will require.”

Board Members

Tom Beazley
– Former British Army officer and now consultant for Deloitte; PS21 Company Secretary

Jennifer Brindisi
– Political consultant and London Executive Director of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

Jonn Elledge
– Editor, CityMetric; Journalist, New Statesman

Katherine Maher
– Chief Communications Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

Sidney Olinyk
– Former Chief of Staff, Mideast Policy, Office of the US Secretary of Defense

Metsa Rahimi
– Regional Head of Intelligence within Corporate Security & Business Continuity, Deutsche Bank

Ari Ratner
– Founder and CEO of strategic communications firm Inside Revolution; Former Political Appointee, US Department of State

Strategic Advisor to the Board:

Monique Villa
– CEO Thomson Reuters Foundation

“It is a pleasure and a privilege to join PS21 as a member of the board. Under Peter’s leadership, the think tank has become a uniquely inclusive and incisive authority on current affairs. I look forward to working with the whole team to expand our network and consolidate our position as the leading place for people of all backgrounds to inform and influence the 21st century.” – Jennifer Brindisi.

“PS21 is adding something unique to the policy and intellectual landscape: a truly global think tank built for the digital age. We offer a platform for a diverse group of leading thinkers to study and address the most important challenges of the 21st century.  It is an honor to join the Board.” – Ari Ratner.

“PS21 provides a unique global network and platform for young leaders, allowing them to connect and share ideas.  Peter has recruited an impressive group of policy leaders from around the world in a very short time, which speaks to the need and excitement for the organization.  I’m honored to join the Board and help guide PS21 through its initial stages of growth.” – Sidney Olinyk

PS21 is also delighted to announce the following four new global fellows bringing the total number of fellows and  international advisers to more than 60:

Nigel Inkster: Former Deputy Chief, Secret Intelligence Service (MI6); Head of transnational threats and political risk, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Chris Mackmurdo: Director, Contest Global; former Head of Counter-Terrorism and National Security Analysis, Foreign Office

Frances Hudson: Global Thematic Strategist, Standard Life Investments

Bernie de Haldevang: Head of FINPRO International, Aspen Insurance

Structure and Funding

PS21 is a UK-registered company currently awaiting registration with the UK Charity Commission. £10,000 initial seed funding was provided by the Peter Michael Apps Personal Injury Trust. Of this, in the region of £3000 has been spent this year. Two thirds of this has gone on insurance, the rest primarily on events and refreshments.

With this, it has run more than 20 events primarily in Washington and London. Previous and upcoming speakers include Harvard geopolitics expert Joseph Nye, ex-British Director Special Forces Lieutenant-General Sir Graeme Lamb, former senior US, British and other officials as well as activists, journalists and academics. In May, it held its first discussion in New York in conjunction with New York University’s Just Security project.

In March, its research on the rising death toll from global conflict in 2014 was widely covered by worldwide media.

As a low budget, low footprint, high impact organisation, PS21 leverages expertise, networks and venues. Non-national, non-ideological and non-partisan, it is committed to probing the issues of our century, delivering content people read and discussions they remember. PS21 describes itself as “sometimes idiosyncratic, occasionally iconoclastic, and ever so slightly feral”.

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