Professor Michael Clarke

Distinguished Fellow


Professor Michael Clarke was Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) from 2007 to 2015 when he retired from that role. Until 2001 he was Deputy Vice-Principal and Director for Research Development at King’s College London, where he remains a Visiting Professor of Defence Studies. From 1990 to 2001 he was the founding Director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s. He was appointed Professor in 1995. He is now a Fellow of King’s College London and of the Universities of Aberystwyth and of Exeter, where he is also Associate Director of the Strategic Studies Institute. 

He has previously taught at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and also at the University of New Brunswick and the Open University. He has been a Guest Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, and a Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London.

He has been a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee since 1997, having served previously with the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee 1995-6, and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Bribery in 2009. In 2004 he was appointed as the UK’s member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. In 2009 he was appointed to the Prime Minister’s National Security Forum and in 2010 to the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Advisory Group. He also served on the Strategic Advisory Panel on Defence for UK Trade and Industry and in 2014 was Chairman of the Defence Communications Advisory panel for the Ministry of Defence.

In March 2014 he was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister to chair an Independent Surveillance Review at RUSI which reported in 2015. That report, A Democratic Licence to Operate: The Report of the Independent Surveillance Review, was published as part of the public discussion around the Investigatory Powers Bill, due to be enacted into law by December 2016.

In January 2016 he was appointed a specialist adviser to the Joint National Committee on Security Strategy for the period of the current Parliament.