Dear Members and Friends,

The veil of impartiality has now descended over Whitehall and pre-election Purdah rules now apply.  Not surprisingly, but still sadly, we have received a flurry of postponements to events by politicians and senior officials. The team is working tirelessly to backfill any programme gaps as we urge you to keep monitoring developments in the Strategy International programme on the website.

The most notable postponements are Sir Kim Darroch – Washington (10 May); Neil Carmichael MP and, later the same day, Menna Rawlings - Canberra (11 May); Keith Brown MSP (7 June) and David Gauke – HMT (12 June). Our House of Lords reception scheduled for election day is also postponed until later in the year.

Surviving purdah, however, are a number of truly exciting events.  


A roundtable with the two High Commissioners with an interest in Canada, Howard Drake (UK) and Janice Charette (Canada) will be held at Grafton Street on 12 May.  This will naturally include reference to the imminent CETA agreement with the EU and any resultant Brexit challenges and will follow swiftly from our terrific meeting with the Canadian Finance Minister. This session will provide a great opportunity to test the opportunities and challenges for your businesses in all sectors, across Canada. 


Several of our Meet the Ambassador events with FCO leaders from Southern Africa and Central Asia will continue as planned, as will the session with Dieter Helm CBE - Professor of Energy Policy at The University of Oxford, who will discuss the direction of the UK’s Green Agenda (4 May).

Also worthy of mention is our reception for our members' Personal and Executive Assistants. This is a great opportunity for PAs to be updated about our activities and how to ensure their executives get the most out of the organisation. PAs are so often the key people in making sure the events side of what we do works effectively for their employers and we look forward to this (what is usually a lively session (16 June). Please make sure you get your names down in the next couple of weeks.

Next weekend a very intrepid Strategy International team (James, Robyn, Ruari, Sophie, Luisa and Jack) will be raising funds for the Churchill Lines Charitable Fund by undertaking the aptly named “Tough Mudder Challenge”. The opportunity to Sponsor these brave souls remains open by following this link and we do encourage Members support as much possible.  

Finally - a big welcome to our new colleague Melina Tay who joins our events team from IMG Artists.  Melina will be working alongside Talia on our programme delivery and will be delighted to hear from you on


A long weekend awaits – and after a hard week of training, we look forward to seeing all the photos of our Tough Mudders! 


Phil Dowrick

Director – Networks & Innovation