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Nik
Gowing

Trustee

Nik has been a RUSI trustee since early 2016. He was previously on the RUSI council for ten years.

In 2016 Nik co-authored interim findings of the “Thinking the Unthinkable” study. The project is ongoing and dynamic. It is now based on several hundred confidential interviews with the highest levels of business, public service and governments, plus the new generation of millennials. The study is in partnership with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. It reveals candidly the factors that explain why so many leaders face new difficulties identifying what looms in the disruptions of the “new normal” that have emerged since late 2013. The interim findings are scary. They go a long way to explaining the shock to many from Brexit and then the election of US President Donald J.Trump. 

Until 2014 Nik had been a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London , plus location coverage of many major global stories.

For 18 years he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014), the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including vice chair (1996-2005), and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012 ). In 1994 he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center in the J. F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  He is a board member for the Hay Festival.

Nik has extensive reporting experience over three decades in diplomacy, defence and international security. He also has a much sought-after analytical expertise on the failures to manage information in the new transparent environments of conflicts, crises, emergencies and times of tension. His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University is “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans”. It predicts and identifies the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space.  It can be downloaded free online after registration. The work follows an earlier study undertaken at the Kennedy School, Harvard.

In 2014 Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. He was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics (2014-16).

He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University in 2012 and Bristol University in 2015 for both his ongoing cutting edge analyses and distinguished career in international journalism.