Sir Robin Niblett DPhil

Distinguished Fellow, Europe Programme


Sir Robin is a distinguished fellow at Chatham House after spending 15 years as its director and chief executive until 2022.

He is also a distinguished fellow of the Asia Society Policy Institute and senior adviser to the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. He is also principal of Ledwell Advisory, a risk advisory company.

Robin is recognized as a leading expert on the relations between Europe, the US, and Asia and their implications for risk management by governments and private institutions.

Under his leadership, Chatham House tripled in size to a full-time staff of more than 200 plus 150 associate fellows, working on all aspects of international affairs from geopolitics to the energy transition, and technology competition.

From 2001-06, Robin was executive vice president at CSIS, the largest foreign policy think tank in Washington D.C. During his time there, he also served as director of the CSIS Europe programme and its Initiative for a Renewed Transatlantic Partnership.

Robin is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Geopolitics and has served as chair and member of other WEF Councils since 2012.

He is a member of the FCDO’s Expert Group and was a special adviser to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (2015-17). He was chairman of the experts group for the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales and chair of the British Academy’s steering committee for its Languages for Security Project (2013). From January 2010–May 2020, he was a non-executive director of Fidelity European Values Investment Trust.

Robin is the author of numerous reports on British, European and US foreign policy and his commentary and analysis have appeared in the world’s leading journals and newspapers such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Times, and The Guardian. 

He is a regular commentator on Bloomberg and CNN International and a speaker at major international conferences. He has testified to committees of the UK House of Commons, US Senate, and House of Representatives, and regularly briefs the senior executives and boards of global companies, financial institutions, and private foundations.

Robin was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 Birthday Honours for services to international relations and British foreign policy, and CMG in the 2015 New Year’s Honours.

He received his BA in Modern Languages and MPhil and DPhil in International Relations from New College, Oxford.

His publications include Global Britain in a divided world (Chatham House, 2022); Global Britain, Global broker: a blueprint for the UK’s future international role (Chatham House, 2021); Britain, the EU and the Sovereignty Myth (Chatham House 2016) and America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership (Chatham House/Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

Past experience

2007-22 Director and Chief Executive, Chatham House
2001-06 Executive Vice President, CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Washington
2004-06 Director, Europe Program and Initiative for a Renewed Transatlantic Partnership, CSIS, Washington
1997-2001 Director, then Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, CSIS, Washington
1992-97 CSIS, Representative, European Representative, CSIS, London
1988-92 Research Associate, Political-Military Studies Program, CSIS, Washington