Frequently Asked Questions
What is RUSI?
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge defence and security research. A unique institution, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters.
As a members' based institute, our corporate and individual membership packages offer exclusive access to the UK's premier forum on defence and security. Through our publications and events RUSI members benefit from authoritative analysis, insight and networks.
RUSI is a British institution, but operates with an international perspective. Satellite offices in Doha and Washington DC reinforce our global reach. We have amassed over the years an outstanding reputation for quality and objectivity. Our heritage, location at the heart of Whitehall, together with our range of contacts both inside and outside government, but always strictly independent of it, give RUSI a unique insight and authority.
What is RUSI's mission?
Our mission is to be a world leading independent forum informing, influencing and improving public debate about defence and security matters.
What areas of research does RUSI cover?
All of our research areas are listed on our research pages. The future of British defence, the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and nuclear arms control in the Obama era are currently major topics of research at the Institute.
When and why was RUSI established?
The origins of RUSI can be traced back to 1829 when a small coterie of professionally-minded officers called for a 'strictly scientific and professional' approach to the study of military affairs.
Founded in June 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI's first title was 'the Naval and Military Museum', altered in 1839 to 'the United Service Institution'. In 1860, the Institute received a Royal Charter, becoming 'the Royal United Service Institution'. You can find out more about RUSI's history here.
Is RUSI independent?
RUSI is an independent think tank that operates with no political affiliation. RUSI's mission is to inform, influence and improve public debate about defence and security matters. RUSI does not receive any statutory government funding and is not a government organisation, although some government departments are corporate members of RUSI and may fund specific projects.
How is RUSI financed?
RUSI is a Registered Charity (No. 210639). It relies on membership subscriptions; income from conferences including sponsorship; research contracts; room hire; and donations from foundations and individuals for its income. RUSI receives no core funding from government.
How is RUSI managed?
The governance of RUSI is overseen by its Council and Chairman. The management of RUSI on an operational level is overseen by the Director, Professor Michael Clarke.
Who can become a member of RUSI?
Membership of RUSI is open to all individuals and organisations with an interest in defence and security matters. Our membership packages provide privileged networking opportunities and benefits tailored to meet the needs of both individuals and large organisations.
Can I attend RUSI events?
RUSI organises conferences, members' events, workshops and public lectures. Guest speakers in recent years have included President George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, NATO's Secretary General and the Director-General of the Security Service.
Members events are specifically for RUSI members, but a number of our other events are open to a wider audience - you can search through our events here.