Introducing BFPG’s Advisory Board

The British Foreign Policy Group is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Advisory Board. As the UK’s leading think tank focused on the interface between foreign and domestic policy, we believe that effective foreign policy decision-making requires diverse insights and expertise. Bringing together experts from across business, civil society, government and academia, our advisory board will help guide and support BFPG’s work in the next stage of our development. David Landsman OBE, Senior Advisor at BFPG, will chair the Board.

We are delighted therefore to announce the following individuals will be joining BFPG’s Advisory Board.

Denisa Delic, Director of Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee UK

Denisa Delić is the Director of Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) UK. Denisa has worked on UK foreign policy and conflict and humanitarian issues for almost a decade. Prior to joining the IRC, Denisa was the Head of UK Influencing at Save the Children UK and a parliamentary researcher for a Member of Parliament. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Centre and has published blogs and reports on UK foreign policy and conflict and humanitarian issues.  She holds two Masters Degrees in Global Politics and International Business studies.

Fergus Drake OBE, CEO of Crown Agents

Fergus Drake OBE is Chief Executive of Crown Agents, a not-for-profit international development company, established in 1833. Crown Agents work reaches over 71 million people a year in 86 countries, with expertise in Health and Humanitarian programmes, Procurement Reform, Last Mile Supply Chain, Public Sector Transformation and Training & Professional Development. In particular the response to the global COVID19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine has showcased the organisations ability to inspect, procure, freight and deliver critical lifesaving drugs and equipment to the last mile in fragile states. Prior to Crown Agents, Fergus was Executive Director of Global Programmes at Save the Children UK from 2009 to 2017. He has also worked at the centre of government, including roles with HM Treasury in the UK, Deloitte in their Public Sector practice and was embedded in the Government of Rwanda with Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative. Fergus was awarded an OBE in the 2023 New Year’s Honours List for services to UK/Ukraine relations in the Health sector.

Lovejit Dhaliwal, Journalist

Lovejit Dhaliwal is an award winning journalist who has covered international affairs for over 20 years for the BBC, serving audiences of up to 130 million. Her work includes covering the revolutions in central Asia to the Arab spring, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa to the global pandemic as well as climate change, the Ukraine Russia war and the conflict in Sudan. She has produced documentaries, presented podcasts, lectured at universities, moderated events and has also been invited to speak at events concerning diversity.

Juliet Dryden, CEO and Director of British International Studies Association (BISA)

Juliet Dryden is the CEO and Director of the British International Studies Association (BISA), a membership organisation representing and supporting the scholarly community of academics and students working in International Studies and related disciplines in the UK and abroad. She is responsible for the overall direction and management of the Association, including furthering the research of BISA’s 30 research groups, its publications and increasing and diversifying its membership. Prior to this, Juliet worked for the United Nations (UNRWA, UNOCHA and UNOHCHR) in postings in Gaza, Jerusalem and Amman, specialising in programme and research management and

donor relations. She has also worked for LSE IDEAS, Chatham House, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the West-Asia –North-Africa Institute (WANA) and is a current member of Chatham House’s Governing Council.

Daniel El-Gamry, Senior Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Business and Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP

Daniel El-Gamry is Senior Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Business and Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities, the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP. Since taking up post in September 2022, he has worked on the UK’s accession to the £12 trillion trade bloc the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Global Investment Summit 2023 which attracted £30 billion of new inward investment to the UK and led on business engagement for the Secretary of State. Prior to this role, he worked in the Number 10 Policy Unit run by Dr Munira Mirza where he was responsible for equalities issues and faith engagement, receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. One of his most important achievements in post was coordinating the first-ever cross-government action plan to promote racial equality. He was also a Special Adviser in the former Ministry for Housing Communities & Local Government after working in the Conservative Research Department. 

He was educated primarily, but not exclusively, at the University of London where he obtained a first-class degree in Politics and International Relations. He went on to receive a full scholarship to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics where he studied under the late Professor Christopher Coker. He joined Britain’s preeminent public services think tank, Reform, upon graduation. He has also completed the International Security and Intelligence Programme run by the Cambridge Security Initiative & the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

Andrew Hawkins, Founder and CEO of Whitestone Insight

Andrew is Founder and CEO of Whitestone Insight, a Westminster-based polling and research consultancy he set up in 2022. Andrew studied Philosophy with International Relations at St Andrews University before being called to the Bar. In the 1990s he worked in Brussels and London before heading up the political research unit of a major polling firm, where his clients included John Major’s Conservative Party. One of the UK’s best-known figures in polling, Andrew established his previous business ComRes in 2003 and built it to become one of the UK’s best-known polling firms until its acquisition in 2019. At ComRes Andrew advised many clients on foreign policy-related issues including major projects for the UK and US Governments on domestic responses to military involvement in global conflicts. He has also worked with numerous embassies in the UK, as well as overseas politicians in Africa, Asia, Trans Caucasus and Europe.

Ruby Osman, Policy Advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Ruby Osman is a policy advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where she leads the institute’s China work supporting senior leaders in developing effective China strategies. Her work focuses on how China’s shifting domestic dynamics will impact how China engages globally, including with the UK. Ruby has appeared on the BBC, Reuters and LBC, as well as writing for TIME, Newsweek and the South China Morning Post on China’s foreign and domestic policy. She also sits on the Institute of Directors’ China committee and previously co-founded the Oxford Silk Road Society think-tank.

Matthew Otubu BEM, Strategic Communications Lead for Africa at the Government Communication Service 

Matthew Otubu is the Strategic Communications Lead for Africa in the international branch of the Government Communication Service at the Cabinet Office. He collaborates with partner and allied governments overseas to sustainably build the capacity and resilience they need to achieve their policy objectives and deliver for their people through better communications planning and delivery. His experience includes implementing aspects of the UK Government Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy in both bilateral and multilateral arenas. Previously, as Head of International Campaigns, he led the UK’s priority multilateral election bid for 2022: successfully securing a UK seat on the council of an important United Nations agency, for the first time in 20 years. In addition, Matthew is the Founder and Convener of Black Politicos, a new network to support and spotlight black professionals working in public policy and public affairs across the UK. He also serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees for Mission 44 – the charitable foundation launched by Sir Lewis Hamilton to transform the lives of young people from underserved communities through education, employment and empowerment. He also serves at Mission 44 as Chair of the Nominations Committee and as Interim Co-Chair of the Impact Committee.

Colin Smith, Vice President for Delivery at Integrity

Colin Smith is Vice President for Delivery at Integrity, an international development consultancy and service provider based in London.  He oversees the delivery of Integrity’s UK portfolio of projects, working with the UK government, World Bank, and others. Colin has over 25 years’ experience of international affairs in the UK’s diplomatic service, with postings to Istanbul, Brussels, Ottawa, New York, and Sofia. His career has focussed on national security issues, in particular addressing hybrid threats, as well as stabilisation in fragile and post-conflict environments. He has been seconded to both the European Commission (EC) and European External Action Service (EEAS), as well as to the Canadian Foreign Ministry.

David Thompson, Director UK and External Relations at the British Council

David Thompson is the British Council’s Director UK and External Relations, championing the organisation’s commitments to each of the Four Nations and coordinating its interactions with the UK Government. David joined the British Council in 2020 from the Russell Group where he worked closely with Vice-Chancellors and senior representatives of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities on fees, funding and finance policy. Prior to this, he worked in various roles in Parliament and in the Civil Service between 2012 and 2018. In addition to his role at the British Council, David is a Director at the Great Britain-China Centre.

Cat Tully, Founder and CEO of the School of International Future (SOIF)

Cat Zuzarte Tully leads the School of International Futures (SOIF), a not-for-profit international collective of practitioners based in the UK who use futures thinking to inspire change at the local, national and global levels. SOIF has worked with organisations like the UN, Omidyar, NATO, the Royal Society and national governments to make the world fairer for current and future generations.  SOIF also supports a growing network of Next Generation Foresight Practitioners. Previously, Cat served as Strategy Project Director at the UK Foreign Office and as Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. She is a non-resident fellow at the US Government Accountability Office’s Center for Strategic Foresight and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Chilean Council of Foresight and Strategy.

David Landsman OBE, Senior Advisor at BFPG, will chair the Board.

We are grateful to each of these individuals for lending their guidance and expertise in support of BFPG’s mission and looking forward to working with them. As we welcome in the new Board, we will be saying goodbye to our Co-Presidents Baroness Gisela Stuart and Sir Simon Fraser GCMG. We are immensely grateful for their support and guidance over the last few years and wish them all the best.

The British Foreign Policy Group