New chair of Chatham House Council is appointed

Chatham House is pleased to announce Sir Simon Fraser GCMG has been appointed the new chair of Chatham House Council.

News release Published 25 June 2024 1 minute READ

Press Office

Sir Simon brings extensive diplomatic, business and policy experience to the institute in this new role. He served as permanent under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and head of the UK Diplomatic Service from 2010 to 2015.

Headshot of Sir Simon Fraser

Sir Simon Fraser

Other previous posts include permanent secretary at the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; director general for Europe in the FCO; chief of staff to the European Trade Commissioner; political counsellor at the British embassy in Paris; and head of policy planning in the FCO.

Sir Simon has been a member of the Chatham House Panel of Senior Advisors since 2022 and was deputy chair of Chatham House from 2016 to 2022. He is a founder and managing partner of the business advisory firm Flint Global.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald will step down in September at the end of his three-year term, having provided strong Council leadership and overseen the appointment of Bronwen Maddox as Director and Chief Executive.

Sir Simon said: 

I am delighted to have this opportunity to chair the Chatham House Council at a time when the work of the institute, offering solutions to complex global problems, is ever more important and challenging. I would like to thank Nigel for his very significant contribution over the past three years.

Sir Nigel said: 

‘It has been an honour to support the leadership at Chatham House over the past three years, with Bronwen Maddox’s arrival and changes in the executive team and Council. The institute will greatly benefit from Simon’s extensive experience, and I am confident that the impact of Chatham House’s work will continue to grow under his guidance.

Bronwen Maddox said: 

‘I am grateful to Nigel, who has been a source of strength for Chatham House and me personally. He has helped the institute to develop and build on its partnerships, focus our mission and encourage us to have a more confident voice in these uncertain, turbulent times. I very much look forward to working with Simon in his new role and a new chapter for the institute.

Sir Simon takes up his post officially following the Annual General Meeting on 10 September.

The post of chair is elected by members of Council whose members are drawn from and elected by its members or are co-opted by the Council. A competitive selection process was undertaken to identify Sir Nigel’s successor, with the Council voting unanimously on 18 June to confirm Sir Simon’s appointment.