Tom Clougherty appointed head of the Institute of Economic Affairs

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Clougherty as the new Executive Director and Ralph Harris Fellow.

Clougherty, 38, is currently Research Director and Head of Tax at the centre-right think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies, a position he has held since April 2018. Previously, he was also the Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute from 2009 until 2012 and has held roles at the Reason Foundation and Cato Institute in the United States between 2012 and 2018. Clougherty brings decades of experience in strategic thinking, think tank leadership and policy research as well as a deep commitment to advancing the cause of free markets and individual liberty.

Clougherty replaces outgoing Director General Mark Littlewood, who will become Senior Economics Fellow. Littlewood steps down after a distinguished 14-year tenure as Director General of the IEA, leading a period of remarkable rejuvenation and growth. Clougherty will assume the role in December.

Incoming Executive Director Tom Clougherty said:

“I am delighted to have been chosen as the IEA’s next Executive Director and Ralph Harris Fellow. The IEA has been a source of inspiration and enlightenment throughout my career, so it is a huge privilege to be asked to lead it into a new era. There is no job in the world I would rather do.

“Mark Littlewood is a peerless communicator of free market ideas and has been a brilliant Director General for the past 14 years. It is an honour to follow in his footsteps, as well as those of his predecessors – not least the late Lord Harris of High Cross, without whose extraordinary efforts Britain might look very different today.

“Times have changed since the IEA was founded almost seven decades ago, but its educational and research mission is as vital as ever. There will be big challenges to classical liberal ideas in the years ahead and it is up to us to meet them head-on: by advancing public understanding of economics and by establishing the crucial role of markets in solving the very real problems we face. I can’t wait to get started.”

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Linda Edwards said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Tom Clougherty as the IEA’s new Executive Director and Ralph Harris Fellow. We also extend genuine thanks to our truly outstanding group of applicants. Their passion for free markets and free people shone brightly. Tom’s seventeen years of think tank experience, his unique combination of talents, and his passion for the IEA make him a perfect fit.

“The UK faces fresh challenges. There is a growing doubt in the power of free markets and the benefits of smaller government. But we believe that reduced government interference in people’s lives leads to better results for everyone. With Tom at the helm, the IEA will champion these values more strongly than ever. We’ll work hard to show how free markets and individual choices drive prosperity.

“I would like to thank Mark Littlewood for his outstanding work as Director General these past fourteen years. He has amplified the IEA’s voice, and we’re glad you’re remaining as the IEA’s Senior Economics Fellow. I know Mark will support Tom’s leadership and his efforts to shape a future where the IEA’s principles shine even brighter.”

Director General Mark Littlewood said:

“It’s fantastic news that Tom has agreed to take up the reins at the IEA. He has already had an exceptional career in the think tank movement and combines academic rigour, clarity of thought and a wonderfully erudite manner in putting forward an argument. I can’t wait to see him take the IEA to new heights in informing the public debate. Free marketeers face huge challenges in Britain today – the default position for politicians of all stripes is to use state mechanisms and government programmes to deal with any and all social ills. In Tom, the IEA has found a man who can put the case against this ill-judged approach and fundamentally shift the terms of debate. I am hugely excited to welcome him as my successor and he has my enthusiastic support.”


Notes to Editors

Contact: [email protected] / 07763 365520

About Tom Clougherty

Tom Clougherty is incoming Executive Director and Ralph Harris Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs. He joins the IEA following a multifaceted career spanning both sides of the Atlantic including senior leadership roles at some of the world’s most prestigious free market think tanks. Clougherty is a well-regarded thought leader, having authored an extensive list of publications on topics such as tax reform, international competitiveness, and other economic issues. He has appeared extensively across television, radio and print, including in outlets ranging from Sky News and the BBC through to The Times and The Telegraph.

As Research Director and Head of Tax at the Centre for Policy Studies, he provided strategic leadership and wrote extensively about pro-growth reform. As the Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, he built a high performance and deeply collaborative team. He has also held various roles in the United States, including Managing Editor at the Reason Foundation, where he oversaw the organisation’s research trajectory, and Managing Editor of the Cato Journal, a peer-reviewed academic publication. Clougherty graduated with a law degree from Churchill College, Cambridge.

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.