Chatham House is pleased to announce a cornerstone contribution of £3.2 million from the Asfari Foundation towards the Institute’s Second Century Initiative, and in particular towards the work of the new Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs.

Ayman Asfari, Chairman of the Asfari Foundation, and Stuart Popham, Chairman of Chatham HouseAyman Asfari, Chairman of the Asfari Foundation, and Stuart Popham, Chairman of Chatham House

The Asfari Foundation’s generous commitment will establish the Asfari Centre within the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs. The aim of the Asfari Centre is to equip Academy Fellows with the skills to foster positive change in their home countries and in their fields of expertise and thus contributing to Chatham House’s and the Foundation’s shared objective of helping to build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.

The contribution will also support the continuation of the Academy Asfari Fellowships and Senior Fellowships, which provide opportunities for emerging civil society leaders from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq  to spend up to 12 months at the Queen Elizabeth II Academy.

Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House said: ‘I am enormously grateful to the Asfari Foundation for such a generous contribution to the Second Century Initiative and for its dedication to the aims and ambitions of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy.  This commitment from the Asfari Foundation will be instrumental to the continued success of the Institute as it approaches its centenary.

Ayman Asfari, Chairman of the Asfari Foundation, said: ‘I am delighted to support Chatham House through the creation of the Asfari Centre within the Queen Elizabeth II Academy. The Centre will contribute to the development of resilient civil societies in countries undergoing radical transformation and will encourage the leaders of tomorrow to support a transition to democratic and pluralistic societies based on civil institutions and the rule of law.’

The Asfari Centre will be at the core of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, which is one of three components of the Institute’s Second Century Initiative. The ambition of the Initiative is to ensure that Chatham House continues to fulfil its role as an independent and trusted voice on international affairs, up to and beyond its centenary in 2020.

The Asfari Foundation is a British charitable organisation that provides education and training to young people from the Arab world and the UK to enable them to become productive and engaged citizens. It supports civil society individuals and organisations to develop resilient and dynamic civil societies in the Foundation’s target countries of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and the UK. The Foundation also provides substantial relief assistance to Syrians affected by the Syrian conflict. Its long term vision is for educated, open and just societies, based on the rule of law, which promote development and progress through knowledge, tolerance and integrity.