Linda Edwards – Chairman of the IEA Board of Trustees

Stepping into the role of Chairman at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), I am keenly aware of the significance of this institution. Since its inception in 1955, the IEA has profoundly influenced the United Kingdom’s economic trajectory by promoting the inherent value of free market principles to successive generations.

Our founders, Sir Antony Fisher and Oliver Smedley, established the IEA amidst Keynesian economic dominance, advocating for a liberal economic worldview at a time when it was not fashionable. Their ethos of reduced state intervention and faith in free markets underpin the IEA’s continued mission. The IEA engages in original economic research, introduces classical liberal economics to students, collaborates with free market think tanks across the globe, and contributes to the public discourse on economic policies.

In the 1980s, the IEA’s championing of deregulation, privatisation, and tax cuts fuelled the UK’s shift from economic decline to rapid growth. As we face the current economic landscape, characterised by low growth and high inflation, the role of the IEA is as crucial as ever. We remain committed to enlightening the public on the benefits of competitive markets, lower taxes, cutting red tape, and minimal state control, principles fundamental to a resilient economy and a free society.

As Chairman, I will strive to enable the invaluable work of the dedicated IEA staff. My predecessor, Neil Record, leaves an inspiring legacy of strategic leadership, scholarly contributions, and expansion of the Institute’s impact. He led the IEA to make significant contributions in the marketplace of ideas, and we are grateful. The IEA looks forward to maintaining our strong ties with Neil as a supporter and a scholar. I am also privileged to work alongside a group of committed trustees, a blend of respected academics and accomplished business figures, each contributing their expertise to our shared goals.

Together, we will continue to advocate for the transformative power of free market principles in our ongoing quest for prosperity and economic liberty. I am excited about the future and the positive impact that the IEA will continue to make in the years and decades to come. I hope you will continue to support us by engaging with the scholarship the IEA produces, attending events we host, following our academics and spokespeople on media, and donating to fund the cost of our operations. I look forward to seeing you soon at an IEA event.

Linda was elected Chairman of the IEA Board of Trustees in July 2023, after serving on the Board since June 2019 and the Board of Advisors since 2016. Linda undertook her undergraduate studies in economics at Trinity University in Texas, followed by a Juris Doctor at The University of Texas School of Law. She subsequently practised mergers and acquisitions at Latham & Watkins, the world’s second-biggest law firm. Linda went on to live in London, Dubai, Paris, and Hong Kong. Since 2018, she has been a Board Member of the Atlas Network, the international classical liberal networking and training organisation started by IEA founder Antony Fisher. She is also a Board member of the Reason Foundation and previously served on the Board of Visitors to the School of General Studies at Columbia University.

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