Dr Ian Kearns has been appointed as the new Director of the SLF. He will take up the post on June 9th, 2020. Ian has over 25 years of experience working in the public, private and NGO sectors, the last 15 of them in organizational leadership positions. He is a former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), one of Britain's leading progressive public policy think-tanks. During his time at the IPPR, Ian served as Director of IPPR North during its incubation phase in Newcastle, and as Deputy Chair of the IPPR All Party Commission on National Security (working to co-Chairs Lord George Robertson and Lord Paddy Ashdown). He represented IPPR to the media, parliamentarians, an eminent board of trustees and to a wide range of other stakeholders across industry and government.

Prior to this Ian was a Director in the Global Government Industry Practice of Electronic Data Systems (EDS), a $20bn a year IT services firm, where he contributed to EDS thinking on delivery of public value through technology, worked extensively on the concept of smart cities, contributed visionary thinking to EDS public sector bid teams, and played a role in creating an EDS e-government partnership with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

In 2011, Ian co-founded the European Leadership Network with former UK Defence Secretary, Des Browne and Shata Shetty. This is a high-level political, military and diplomatic network of former Prime Ministers, Foreign and Defence Ministers, diplomats and senior military figures drawn from across greater Europe and focused on conflict prevention and crisis management. Ian served as the ELN’s first Director through to July 2016, and is now a member of its Board of Directors.

Ian has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, Newsweek, The New Statesman and many other outlets around the world and has been a frequent commentator on policy issues on the BBC and other major UK and international media outlets. He has served as speech writer and ghost op-ed writer to former Cabinet Ministers, senior politicians and business leaders.  He provides public affairs and public policy advice to tech start-up CEO’s with a public value mission, and recently stood down as CEO of The Oracle Partnership, a company focused on the delivery of agenda setting strategic foresight.

His book, Collapse: Europe after the European Union, (a warning that the EU could collapse with catastrophic consequences if not reformed), was published by Biteback in April 2018. More recently, his publications include: Data Driven Policing and Public Value, AI and the Disruption of World Politics, and Keynes and Kearns: Am I a Liberal?