IEA announces Prof Syed Kamall as new Academic and Research Director


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The Institute of Economic Affairs, the UK’s leading free-market think tank, today announces the appointment of a new Academic and Research Director, Professor Syed Kamall.

The IEA’s mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. In 2018, the IEA released nearly fifty pieces of research, appeared in the media over 5,500 occasions, and widened its education outreach programme to 35,000 young people.

Professor Kamall’s hiring will be instrumental in maintaining and enhancing the Institute’s academic reputation in Westminster and beyond. He joins the IEA this Wednesday, 4th September.

Professor Syed Kamall

Syed joins the IEA as Academic and Research Director. He has recently been appointed Professor of Politics and International Relations at St Mary’s University, having formerly worked in IT and as a strategy, public affairs and diversity consultant.

From May 2005 to June 2019, he was a Conservative MEP for London. In the European Parliament, Syed was leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and worked to promote open trade, tech start-ups and better financial regulation, following the last financial crisis.  As the most senior elected British MEP, he acted as an interlocutor between UK and EU negotiators.

In London, Syed regularly met and worked with local community projects tackling poverty and social exclusion. He is currently setting up a microfinance project to offer loans to entrepreneurs from poorer communities. He is also in discussions to set up a local charities network to help inspire and incubate more local community charities.

Commenting on his appointment, Syed Kamall said:

“I am really excited to be joining the IEA, the leading classical liberal think tank in engaging in the battle of ideas.

“We live in a political climate where it is important to remind people that freer markets, individual liberty and freedom have inspired human progress, which has lifted millions out of poverty.

“I look forward to working with the IEA to demonstrate how these principles for freer societies will continue to be relevant in the future and lay the foundations for future innovation and prosperity.”

Commenting on the appointment, Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, said:

“I am delighted that Syed has agreed to join the IEA team. He possesses an exceptional understanding both of public policy and of academia and will be an enormous asset in the Institute’s key task in explaining the benefits of free markets in tackling social and economic problems. I can’t wait for him to get started.”
Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Emma Revell, Communications Manager: 07931 698 246

The IEA’s speakers brochure can be found here. IEA spokespeople are available to speak on a range of economic and social topics, which can be arranged through our Communications team.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties



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