The Royal Institute of International Affairs is pleased to announce a Cornerstone Contribution of £3m by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) towards the Chatham House Second Century Initiative to support the expansion and renovation of the institute’s ground floor.

Following the institute’s purchase of the ground floor of the adjoining building (Ames House) in 2013, this generous grant from SNF will enable Chatham House to occupy this space and undertake a significant renovation project to create the ‘Stavros Niarchos Foundation Floor’ at Chatham House.

This will help the institute meet the growing demand for its research and analysis and take full advantage of its location in central London, given the city’s exceptional international connectivity and status as a global hub.

The SNF Floor will contain state-of-the-art meeting facilities for the institute’s research staff and fellows of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, and will significantly enhance the institute’s convening and communication capacities. To this end, the renovated space will include a ‘simulation room’, the Asfari Centre and a media room, as well as new breakout and meeting areas. The SNF Floor will be directly accessible from the ground floor of 10 St James’s Square, the institute’s main building.

The SNF grant is an important step forward for the institute’s Second Century Initiative which aims to ensure the institute’s long-term financial independence. The initiative has three principal targets:

● to endow a number of Research Fellowships and interdisciplinary Research Centres;

● to secure endowments to support the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs in order to nurture independent thinking on international policy among a new generation from around the world; and

● to secure the necessary physical space and infrastructure here in London to meet the growing demand for and scope of the institute’s work.

Dr Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House said: ‘We are enormously grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for this transformational grant which will significantly enhance Chatham House’s capacity to serve as a trusted and creative space for addressing the most important challenges in international affairs.’

Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of SNF’s board of directors, said: ‘We are delighted to support the growth of Chatham House, one of Europe’s leading independent, non partisan policy institutes, at a time when the risks to global prosperity and stability are expanding. Chatham House’s reputation for providing world-leading analysis needs to remain as strong as ever and I am confident that this grant will help the institute take its research and convening activities in new interactive and interdisciplinary directions.

Editor's notes: 

Chatham House launched its Second Century Initiative in November 2014 as part of its preparations for its centenary in 2020. The Initiative aims to help secure the institute’s financial base and independence by strengthening its capacity to innovate in an increasingly competitive field of thought leadership and policy ideas. Renovation work on the ground floor of Ames House is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health, medicine and sports, and social welfare. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that exhibit strong leadership and sound management and are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large. The Foundation also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.