About the Academy


The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs was formally launched by the patron of Chatham House, Her Majesty The Queen, on 18 November 2014. It offers potential leaders from around the world the opportunity to get involved and contribute to the work which Chatham House does.

Academy fellows are drawn from government and the broader policy community, the private sector, media and civil society. During their time at the Academy, fellows deepen their understanding of critical issues, learn new skills, develop their networks, and propose new ideas and solutions to complex policy challenges and opportunities. The Academy welcomes approximately 10-15 fellows per year from across the world.


Academy fellowships provide emerging leaders at the mid-point of their careers with the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, publish, speak at events, expand their personal networks, and further develop an understanding of critical issues in international affairs, which will enable them to contribute to positive change in their home countries and broader region.

Fellows join a diverse cohort of professionals from a variety of sectors including academia, NGOs, business, government or the media who are looking for the next step or transition in their career. 

During their fellowship, the Academy enables fellows to develop themselves in four key areas:

This is done through three elements that make up each Academy fellowship:

A fellow’s research project is a tool by which they can develop their thinking and understanding of a policy challenge and how it might be overcome or addressed.  It is also a means to gain insights into the process by which research is undertaken by a leading policy institute.

You can refer to our Fellowships page for more details.


Dr Leslie Vinjamuri is Dean of the Academy

Leslie also directs the Chatham House US and the Americas Programme.

She was previously Director of the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice at SOAS and prior to this, on the faculty of the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.  She has held residential fellowships at Harvard University and the LSE. She worked in the Asia Bureau of USAID and the Foreign Affairs Division at Congressional Research Service. From 2015-2018, she was a member of the Council of Chatham House.

Andrew Swan is assistant head of the Academy.

Andrew has previously worked on the Isle of Man for the offshore division of HBOS plc and subsequently the Isle of Man Parliament (Tynwald). From 2008-12 Andrew was responsible for establishing and managing the Brussels advocacy office for the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, a Dutch NGO representing indigenous communities and de facto states around the world. He completed an MBA from the Vlerick Business School (Belgium) in 2013.

Alis Martin is the Academy coordinator.

Alis also serves as executive assistant to the research director for Area Studies and International Law, and acting programme manager to the International Law Programme. From 2002 to 2008, as programme manager Alis worked across Chatham House’s Americas, Asia, Europe, International Economics, International Law, and International Security research programmes. Prior to joining Chatham House in 1998, Alis managed the United Nations Peace Forces communications office in Zagreb. She received her BA in Economics and Business from the University of Zagreb.

Rachel Taylor is the Academy coordinator.

Rachel was previously a researcher for think tank, Common Vision, and has worked in student communications at the University of London. In 2015-16, Rachel completed a Master’s degree in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict at Trinity College Dublin and holds a BA in Politics and Psychology from the University of Liverpool.

If you are interested in our fellowships or our Leadership Programme, or if you would like information on providing funding for or partnering with the Academy, please contact Andrew Swan.

For general enquiries

The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs
The Royal Institute of International Affairs
Chatham House
10 St James’s Square
London SW1Y 4LE