The Council on Geostrategy is guided by an Advisory Council, comprised of eminent persons dedicated to making the United Kingdom, as well as other free and open nations, more united, stronger and greener. Each member has acquired considerable expertise and experience in foreign affairs and international security. Members provide their advice on a voluntary basis and their role may not always indicate agreement with every position taken by the organisation.
Lord RisbyChair of the Advisory Council
Lord Risby was MP for Bury St Edmunds from 1992 to 1997 and for West Suffolk to 2010. Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Northern Ireland Office, he was subsequently Shadow Minister for DCMS, Foreign Affairs and the Treasury. He was then created a life Peer in 2010. He is the Co-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ukraine and is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Algeria and Lebanon.
Andrew Bowie MPMember of the Advisory Council
Andrew Bowie is Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for International Trade. Upon leaving school, he joined the Royal Navy in which he served as an officer for three years. From 2018 to 2019, he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Theresa May. He was appointed Vice Chair of the Conservative Party in August 2019. He was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for International Trade in October 2022.
The Hon George Brandis KCMember of the Advisory Council
The Hon George Brandis KC is Professor at the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra. Professor Brandis was educated at the University of Queensland and Magdalen College Oxford, and is a barrister by profession. He served for 18 years in the Australian Senate. He was a Minister in the Governments of John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull. His portfolios included Attorney-General and Vice President of the Executive Council under Prime Ministers Abbott and Turnbull, and Leader of the Government in the Senate. From 2018-2022 he was Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
The Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MPMember of the Advisory Council
The Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood is Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East. He currently serves as Chair of the Defence Select Committee in the House of Commons. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from July 2016 to 2017, and served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel at the Ministry of Defence from 2017 to 2019. He is an active Army Reservist.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon KCBMember of the Advisory Council
The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Defence from 2014 to 2017. A member of the Conservative Party, Sir Michael served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sevenoaks from 1997 to 2019, having previously served as the MP for Darlington from 1983 to 1992. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2012 and Minister of State for Business and Enterprise from 2012 to 2014. Sir Michael also served as Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2013 to 2014 and Minister of State for Portsmouth in 2014, before being appointed Defence Secretary under both David Cameron and Theresa May.
Richard Foord MPMember of the Advisory Council
Richard Foord is Member of Parliament for the Tiverton and Honiton constituency. He served in the British Army as an education officer between 2000-2010, including on postings to Kosovo, Iraq and at the Defence Academy of the UK. He then worked in universities (Exeter and Oxford) on international partnerships, focusing more recently on the security of sensitive research at UK universities.
James Gray MPMember of the Advisory Council
James Gray is Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire. He sat on the Defence Select Committee and chaired its Sub-Committee on Defence in the Arctic. In 2017, he was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions, Advisor to the Commissioner for South Georgia, Patron of Operation Christmas Box, a Veteran Member of the Honourable Artillery Company, and a member of the Royal British Legion. Mr Gray is also a Member of Mr Speaker’s Panel of Chairmen, a Commander of the Order of St John, a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
The Rt. Hon. Lord HainMember of the Advisory Council
The Rt. Hon. Lord Hain is a member of the House of Lords. Lord Hain was Member of Parliament for Neath from 1991-2015. He was then created a life peer in 2015. He currently serves on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee. He was appointed Secretary of State for Wales from 2002-2008 and from 2009-2010 and as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2007-2008. He was a Minister of State for Europe from 2001-2002, a Minister of State for Energy and Competitiveness in Europe in 2001, and a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1999-2000. Lord Hain was the Leader of the House of Commons from 2003-2005.
Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBEMember of the Advisory Council
Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE is Chairman of Coltraco Ultrasonics, a high-exporting advanced manufacturer, Chairman of the British Exporters Association, Director-General of the Durham Institute of Research, Development & Invention, Director of the Centre of Underwater Acoustic Analysis, Professor-in-Practice at Durham University Business School, Visiting Fellow of the Royal Navy Strategic Studies Centre and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology. A former Greenjacket Officer, he was a member of the Government’s COVID19 Economic Recovery Taskforce and advises a number of Government departments.
Prof. Andrew LambertMember of the Advisory Council
Prof. Andrew Lambert is Laughton Professor of Naval History at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London, where he directs the Laughton Naval Unit. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He received the 2014 Anderson Medal for his book The Challenge: Britain against America in the Naval War of 1812. His latest book is Seapower States: Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the Conflict that Made the Modern World, which won the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Book Prize in Military History.
Maj. Gen. (rtd.) Mitch Mitchell CB MBEMember of the Advisory Council
Maj. Gen. (rtd.) Mitch Mitchell CB MBE served for 36 years in the British Army. In 2016, he became the Head of the Technology School at the United Kingdom Defence Academy before becoming – the same year – the Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre. In this role, he helped provide strategic thought and analysis to the Ministry of Defence’s boardroom decision makers and inform them on policy, strategy and capability investment. During this period he developed the Ministry of Defence’s first ‘Integrated Operating Concept’, a strategic response to new forms of state and non-state competition, principally from Russia and China.
The Lord MountevansMember of the Advisory Council
Jeffrey Evans, 4th Baron Mountevans, has spent a lifetime in maritime. He has been a career shipbroker with the leading international firm of Clarksons Platou, has chaired two national maritime trade associations and has held a number of senior maritime industry positions. He was elected to sit in the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer in July 2015. He served as the 688th Lord Mayor of London in 2015-16. Lord Mountevans has an MA in Economics from Pembroke College, Cambridge. He holds Honorary Doctorates in Maritime Science and Maritime Business.
The Rt. Hon. Baroness Neville-Jones DCMGMember of the Advisory Council
The Rt. Hon. Baroness Neville Jones DCMG is a member of the House of Lords. She has a long career in national security and is presently a member of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in the Houses of Parliament. She was Prime Minister David Cameron’s National Security Adviser in Opposition becoming Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism and a member of National Security Council for two years from 2010-2011. Prior to her parliamentary career, Baroness Neville Jones worked in foreign affairs having been a member of the British Diplomatic Service from 1963 to 1991.
Earl of Oxford and Asquith OBEMember of the Advisory Council
Earl of Oxford and Asquith OBE is a member of the House of Lords. He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1979 as a career diplomat and served until 1997. As well as postings in London at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Cabinet Office, he served as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Moscow from 1983-1985, and Counsellor at the British Embassy in Kyiv from 1992-1997. The Earl of Oxford and Asquith was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for ‘diplomatic services’ in 1992.
Royston Smith MPMember of the Advisory Council
Royston Smith is Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen. He served in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer. A former Leader of Southampton City Council, he was also a long standing councillor for Harefield Ward – where he was born – from 2000 until 2016 when he stood down after becoming Southampton Itchen’s Member of Parliament. He has been a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee since September 2017.
The Rt. Hon. John Spellar MPMember of the Advisory Council
The Rt. Hon. John Spellar is Member of Parliament for Warley. Since 2020, he has been the vice chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, having previously been a member from 2017-2019 and 2015-2017. He was the Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010-2015. Before that, he was appointed as the Minister for Northern Ireland from 2003-2005 and the Minister for Armed Forces from 1999-2001.
The Rt. Hon. Baroness SymonsMember of the Advisory Council
The Rt. Hon. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean is a member of the House of Lords. She was created a Labour life peer in 1996. Her most recent ministerial experience came as the Minister of State for the Middle East from 2003-2005. Previously, she was Minister for Trade and Investment from 2001-2003 and was Deputy Leader of the House of Lords from 2001-2005. Baroness Symons was previously the Chair of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, a Senior Network Member at the European Leadership Network, and a member of the British-American Project.
Lord TurnbergMember of the Advisory Council
Lord Turnberg is a member of the House of Lords, a British medical professional, and an author. He was made a life peer in 2000 after a distinguished career as an academic in the medical field. This included positions as the Dean of the University of Manchester medical school in 1983 and as President of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1992. He is President of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Britain-Israel and as a member of Labour Friends of Israel.
Baroness VermaMember of the Advisory Council
Baroness Verma is a member of the House of Lords. She is the former Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas and chairs the UN Women’s National Committee. Baroness Verma also served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Energy and Climate change from 2012 to 2015 and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, from 2015 to 2016.
The Rt. Hon. Sir John Whittingdale MP OBEMember of the Advisory Council
Sir John Whittingdale is the Conservative MP for Maldon, elected in 1992. He is currently Leader of the UK Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. He previously served as Minister of State for Media and Data in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 14 February 2020 to September 2021 and as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from May 2015 until 14 July 2016. He was made a Knight Bachelor in October 2022.