Top Geopolitics Speakers

In an increasingly connected world, the wheels of change turn exponentially faster. With recent rises in populism around the world and the demand for competent international diplomacy only going up, it is vital we are as well-informed as possible in trying to tackle some of the incredibly complex problems we face today.

It is essential that companies do not get left behind by major developments on the global stage – but with the ever-changing, fluid nature of international relations how can we seize opportunities and mitigate risk?

How can a company remain a pillar of ethics with these shifting sands beneath them? How can we make positive change and align ourselves with what is right?

The advisory of these top experts in Geopolitics can help to unpick these incredibly complex questions.

With the political landscape being as volatile as it is around the world today, speakers like these are increasingly in demand to help apply their knowledge so that others can make the right decisions.

Whether it’s mitigating risk, capitalising on opportunities or just simply making sense of things, these Top Geopolitics Speakers can provide clarity through their experience and expertise.

Tim Marshall

Tim Marshall

British Journalist, Writer and Broadcaster, best known for his reporting of Foreign News and International Diplomacy

Britain’s best selling author on international affairs, Tim Marshall, is the former Diplomatic Editor and Foreign Correspondent for Sky News. Renowned for his ability to identify the causes underlying world events, he has reported from over thirty countries including 12 wars and conflict zones, and has published six books on international relations.

In 1999, Tim Marshall was one of the few western journalists to remain in Belgrade, reporting on the Kosovo crisis despite the NATO bombing raids. In recent years, he has covered the conflicts in Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. His 2004 coverage of the Iraq war, and his 2007 report on the Mujahadeen won him a finalist position in the Royal Television Society’s News Event category.

Marshall has been shot with bird pellet in Cairo, bruised by the police in Tehran, arrested by Serbian intelligence, detained in Damascus, declared persona non grata in Croatia, hit over the head with a plank of wood in London, bombed by the RAF in Belgrade, and tear-gassed all over the world.

He is esteemed for his unique capacity to contextualise current affairs. He has extensively analysed, for instance, how geography influences the ways states behave and interact with one another.

Marshall also draws from his insights into international relations to predict future affairs and crises, and his work increasingly comments on the intersection of technological advances with political developments.

Marshall leaves audiences with a richer understanding of the regions we live in and the relationships between them. He inspires people with a deeper sense of how we can best adapt to the vicissitudes of social, political, economic and technological developments. 

Farah Pandith is a pioneer in the field of countering violent extremism. A foreign policy strategist, author, and diplomacy entrepreneur, she has served three American presidents.

Appointed America’s first-ever special representative to Muslim Communities in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Farah Pandith travelled to nearly one hundred countries under both Secretaries Clinton and Kerry launching youth-focused initiatives. Meeting with thousands of Muslim youth at the grassroots and designing innovative platforms, initiatives and networks.

Pandith is an adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Head of Strategy at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

She was a member of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council and serves in leadership roles on several non-government boards.

Pandith’s decorated resume also includes serving at the National Security Council, the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development. She was the main architect of the Women in Public Service Project, a first of its kind global movement launched at the US Department of State in 2011 to bring women into the public service sector.

Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith

First ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the United States Department of State
Nenad Pacek

Nenad Pacek

Renowned Global Strategist

Nenad Pacek and his businesses currently advise global and regional directors of over 500 multinational corporations (approximately 90% of clients are multinationals from the Fortune 500 and FT 500 lists). He is the founder and president of Global Success Advisors (global business and economic advisory) and founder and president of the EMEA Business Group (advisory for regional executives running Europe, Middle East and Africa).

He previously co-founded CEEMEA Business Group which also focused on Central Eastern European markets. The advisory focus is on helping executives understand economic/business/political outlooks for virtually all countries around the world, global economic/geopolitical trends and on helping companies build strategies for sustainable growth internationally, and especially in emerging markets.

Nenad Pacek is one of the world’s leading authorities on economic and business issues that concern multinational corporations seeking faster growth internationally. He performs hundreds of speeches per year at various corporate meetings on issues ranging from global, regional and country level economic/business outlooks to best business practices for international growth.

He is well-known for chairing over 100 Economist Government Roundtables with Prime Ministers/Presidents and their cabinets throughout Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Dr Maha Hosain Aziz is a professor focused on global risk and prediction at NYU’s MA International Relations Program, leading the annual global risk prediction project with Wikistrat, the world’s first crowdsourced consultancy.

She serves on the 2023-2024 Global Future Council (GFC) on Complex Risks, previously a member of the 2020-2022 GFC on frontier risk.

Maha Hosain Aziz is a keynote speaker to government, nonprofit and corporate audiences worldwide, speaking everywhere from COP27, the Commonwealth Secretariat and European Parliament to the Bosphorus Forum, Cyfy Africa, Asia Society, Betaworks Studios and the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

Her recent virtual and in-person speaking engagements have focused on explaining what’s next in a post-pandemic world in terms of geopolitical, political, economic and social risks, including the impact of the Ukraine war, tech advances and climate change.

Maha Hosain Aziz

Maha Hosain Aziz

NYU Professor, World Economic Forum Expert, Bestselling Author, Award-Winning Cartoonist Focused on Global Risk & Future Trends
Paul Mason

Paul Mason

Award Winning British Journalist, Broadcaster and Author

Paul Mason is a journalist, writer and film-maker. He appears regularly on UK TV and radio, as a commentator on politics, economics and geopolitics – including LBC’s CrossTalk, BBC Question Time, BBC Politics and BBC Broadcasting House.

He was formerly the economics editor of BBC Newsnight and Channel 4 News, where he won numerous awards, including RTS Specialist Reporter of the Year and the Wincott Award.

Mason was on the front line of covering the global financial crisis from 2007 onwards – but his work as a reporter ranged beyond economics: he reported from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the Taksim Square uprising in Turkey, the Gaza War of 2014 and from the floor of the Congress of the Communist Party of China when Xi Jin Ping was inaugurated. His four-part documentary series #ThisIsACoup covered the Greek crisis of 2015 from inside the corridors of power, and on the streets.

Mason has fronted and participated in numerous conferences and policy initiatives: he helped present North West England’s session at Cop26 in Glasgow, alongside mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham. He is a regular speaker at Fabian society conferences on the subject of security and defence. He has done consultancy work for the Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey MP on issues concerning Ukraine and defence industrial policy.

In February 2022, on the eve of the Ukraine war Mason travelled to Kyiv with trade union leaders and members of the Welsh Senedd to meet both government officials and defence personnel, and has since remained publicly engaged in advocacy of Western support for Ukraine, both here and across Europe.

Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy advisor, world traveller, and best-selling author. He is Founder & CEO of Climate Alpha, an AI-powered analytics platform that forecasts asset values to future-proof global real estate, and Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Khanna was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.”

Khanna has been an adviser to the US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends program. During 2007, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senior geopolitical adviser to United States Special Operations Forces

A widely cited global intellectual, Dr. Khanna provides regular commentaries for international media. His 2008 cover essay for the New York Times Magazine titled “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony,” is one of the most globally debated and influential essays since the end of the Cold War.

Khanna lectures frequently at international conferences and gives tailored briefings to government leaders and corporate executives on global trends and scenarios, systemic risks and technological disruptions, and market entry strategies and economic master planning. He has provided expertise to over 30 governments and is an incredibly valuable asset in complex geopolitical decision-making.

Dr Parag Khanna

Dr Parag Khanna

Founder & CEO of Climate Alpha, Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap
David Miliband

David Miliband

CEO and President, International Rescue Committee

David Miliband is currently the President and Chief Executive of International Rescue Committee (IRC), the New York-based non-profit humanitarian organisation. IRC employs 16,000 people around the world and works in 40 countries where lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster.

From 2007-10 David Miliband served as the UK’s Foreign Secretary, the youngest person to hold that post in 30 years, where he was responsible for a global network of diplomats in more than 160 countries. He established a distinctive voice for an internationalist Britain, from the war in Afghanistan to the Iranian nuclear programme to engagement with the world’s emerging powers.

As Minister for Schools from 2002-04, he was regarded as a leader of reform. As Secretary of State for the Environment, he pioneered the world’s first legally binding emissions reductions bill. As Minister for Communities, he championed the renaissance of Britain’s great cities.

David Miliband set up “Movement for Change”, which trained 10,000 community organisers in the UK to make changes in their own communities. He was also Vice Chairman of Sunderland Football Club until 2013. He has taught at MIT and Stanford University, debating important geopolitical issues. Along with Jose Maria Figueres of Costa Rica, Miliband was Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt has an extensive background spanning politics, international relations and business. In 2017 she was named as one of the world’s greatest leaders by Fortune magazine.

As Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011-2015, Helle steered Denmark through a difficult financial crisis while reducing child poverty and increasing spending on education. She also served as leader of the country’s Social Democrat party for a decade, and was the first woman to hold both positions.

Following her term as PM, Helle was the Chief Executive of Save the Children, overseeing the work of 17,000 staff in 120 countries to reach around 50 million children every year in some of the most difficult and challenging contexts. She was deeply engaged in highlighting the humanitarian crises in Yemen and Syria, and the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt remains deeply engaged in these geopolitical issues as a member of several foreign policy think tanks, including the US Council on Foreign Relations, the European Council for Foreign Relations, the International Crisis Group and the Atlantic Council International Advisory Board. Helle is also a member of the Berggruen 21st Century Council.

In 2017, Helle was a co-chair of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, and is on the board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Today Helle uses her deep political and international expertise to advise a range of businesses and not-for-profit groups.

Helle Thorning-Schidt

Helle Thorning-Schidt

Former Danish Prime Minister and Former CEO of Save the Children
Dr. Pippa Malmgren

Dr. Pippa Malmgren

Former US Presidential Advisor, Former Advisor to the UK Cabinet, Best-Selling, Award-Winning Author, Tech Entrepreneur

Dr Pippa Malmgren is the co-founder of Datifly, a firm that advises on the use of drones by industry and previously co-founded a firm which won the Cog X Award for Autonomy and the 2020 National Technology Award for the Most Innovative Enterprise Product. She serves as the Chairman of the Drone/UAV Subcommittee on manufacturing standards at The British Standards Institute.

She served President George W. Bush in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and on The National Economic Council. She was responsible for financial market issues and handled Enron and Sarbanes Oxley. She served on the President’s Working Group on Corporate Governance and The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. After 9/11 she was also responsible for assessing Terrorism Risks to the Economy and technology as a source of geopolitical competitiveness.

Before joining the White House, Pippa Malmgren ran the Bankers Trust Asset Management business in Asia and was then appointed as the Global Chief Currency Strategist. She was then named the Deputy Head of Global Strategy at UBS.

In 2023 Pippa was a part of Tony Blair’s AI Wargaming event. She is a Learning Advisory Partner to The Young President’s Organisation on AI, Geopolitics and Tech and she has participated in many AI/geopolitics podcasts/conferences including with RUSi, the world’s leading defence think tank.

Sir Alex Younger is the Former Chief (“C”) of the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6. He served in this role for six years, from 2014-2020 and in 2019 became the longest-serving MI6 Chief in 50 years.

Sir Alex Younger joined MI6 in 1991. He was posted to Europe and the Middle East, and Afghanistan. He spent most of his career as an operational case officer. In 2009, Sir Alex Younger became the head of counter-terrorism, during which he was involved in security for the London Olympics 2012.

Younger became the UK’s Spy Chief, a position known as “C” in 2014. During this period he focussed on the transformation of his service, aimed at making technology more of an advantage to MI6 than it was to their adversaries.

He also maintained a network of intelligence chiefs worldwide, covering the spectrum from allies to adversaries. He advised the Prime Minister on intelligence and security matters, including as a member of the National Security Council.

Sir Alex Younger

Sir Alex Younger

Former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, longest-serving MI6 Chief in 50 years, expert on international security, cybersecurity, geopolitics
Samantha de Bendern

Samantha de Bendern

Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, with deep knowledge on Ukraine, Russia, NATO, and the EU

Samantha de Bendern is an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House specialised in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and a political commentator on the French Television news channel LCI. She has worked for NATO HQ as the Political Officer for NATO – Ukraine relations and in NATO’s Public Diplomacy Department as Information Officer for partner countries in the Former Soviet Union.

In the early 1990’s Samantha was the Political Advisor to the first EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation and in 2014 she was part of a British Government funded project to help the Ukrainian Security and Defence Council combat disinformation.

As a confident and accomplished public speaker, Samantha de Bendern has talked about NATO to Russian military personnel in military academies in Moscow and provincial Russia, was the first NATO civilian officer to undertake information outreach projects with the Serbian military following the Kosovo war, and has significant experience talking about Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to government and business audiences in her three main working languages, English, French and Russian.

Apart from Russia and Eurasia, Samantha is well versed in EU affairs, disinformation and combating financial crime. She is a Senior Advisor at the Conflict Studies Research Center (former Defence Academy) and part of the Associate Network of LOW Europe, a Brussels based strategic communications consultancy.

Michel Barnier became known internationally as France’s man for Europe. The former French foreign minister and high-profile specialist on Europe lead the Brexit negotiations as the European Union’s chief negotiator.

In 1978, he entered the French National Assembly as the youngest deputy for the neo-Gaullist RPR. In the years that followed, Michel Barnier held various positions, including Minister of the Environment, Minister of Europe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. Barnier also made a name for himself in European politics.

In 1999, Michel Barnier became a member of the European Commission and took over the portfolio for regional policy and institutional reforms. He then became a special advisor to EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso and was elected to the European Parliament in 2007. He was Commissioner for Internal Market and Services and so held a key portfolio during the European financial and economic crisis, which included responsibilities for the supervision of financial service providers and the removal of market barriers.

As from 2014, he was also Vice-President of the Commission. After his mandate ended, Barnier was appointed Special Advisor to the EU Commission on European Defence and Security Policy by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Barnier performed this task on an honorary basis before becoming the EU Commission’s chief negotiator for Brexit in July 2016, leading one of the biggest negotiations in the history of the EU until March 2021. “Monsieur Brexit” impressed with his patience and the fact that he never despaired of the complicated task.

Michel Barnier

Michel Barnier

European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (2019-2021), French Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-2005)

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