RUSI Annual Report 2017-2018

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Highlights from the Royal United Services Institute for 2017-2018.

A Message from the Chairman

At RUSI, we are increasingly well placed to achieve our objectives for the coming years. These include expanding research of the highest quality, increasing our membership, building up our Leadership Centre, raising the funds to transform our historic headquarters, and improving further our many events, publications and communications. Our mission is to be a world-class centre of excellence and the principal professional forum for those concerned with national and international defence and security. 


Our mission is to be a world-class centre of excellence and the principal professional forum for those concerned with national and international defence and security.

The Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond

Senior Vice President

In the past year we have advanced towards all these goals, and I wish to thank the outstanding executives, staff and researchers who work under Karin von Hippel’s very effective leadership. All areas of research and activity have made progress. I have seen for myself many of the impressive conferences we have hosted, now encompassing land, sea, air, hybrid and urban warfare. Much of our work has been praised as definitive, and has influenced the approach of policymakers on matters as diverse as the UK’s own defence policies, to efforts to counter violent extremism in the Horn of Africa and nuclear negotiations with North Korea.

The great value of this and much other work has been reflected in an increase in both individual and corporate membership of the Institute. We have also seen a sharp improvement in our financial position, which the Trustees are determined to maintain for the future, providing a firmer financial footing for work that will only become more vital in the years ahead.

I am grateful to my fellow Trustees for their unstinting diligence, service and enthusiasm, and to members of our Advisory Board for sharing their time and wisdom. With their support, RUSI in the coming year will be able to do more than ever, and will be as relevant to global and national challenges as at any time in our long history.

The Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond
Chairman of the Council

A Message from the Director General

The Institute continues to grow, and I am very proud of our achievements over the past year. 

As a charity, RUSI contributes to the public benefit through its research, publications, outreach, media commentary, advisory work, training and events – all intended to make a real difference to the security of Britain and its allies. We strive to ensure that our research is empirically driven and embodies an ethos of impartiality, quality and objectivity, whether it be a study on Russia’s new ground forces, the future accommodation model or in new areas, such as the use of artificial intelligence in policing. RUSI’s small size enables research to be integrated across teams – for example our work on proliferation finance, which is jointly managed by two research directors.


We strive to ensure that our research is empirically driven and embodies an ethos of impartiality, quality and objectivity.

Dr Karin von Hippel

Director-General / Senior Management

Over the past year, we have focused on the critical issues facing the UK and the world. These include the security and defence implications of Brexit, President Donald Trump’s approach to a range of issues, the concerns about nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula, the evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the civil war in Syria and the multi-dimensional threat posed by Russia to NATO. RUSI experts have appeared across all media platforms – on almost a daily basis – to provide their informed views, with over 26,000 media mentions. RUSI experts regularly give evidence in Parliament, meet with government officials from the UK as well as from a range of partner countries, and confer with leaders from the private and third sectors to understand various perspectives and offer advice, when appropriate.

We have been honoured to host leading political and military figures, as they share their views on UK and world events, such as former Secretary for Exiting the European Union David Davis, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and General Mark Carleton-Smith, Chief of the General Staff. Earlier this year, we were delighted to announce the first recipient of the Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History, Lieutenant General (Rtd) Sir John Kiszely, for his outstanding book, Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940. A particular thank you to our Trustee, the 9th Duke of Wellington, for sponsoring the award and for serving as a judge on the panel.

Last year we welcomed four new Trustees, and I am delighted this year to welcome former Shadow Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Douglas Alexander as a new Trustee. As ever, we are extremely grateful for RUSI’s many supporters, including our Chairman and Vice-Chairman, our Trustees and Advisory Board members, our Associate Fellows, our corporate partners, RUSI’s dedicated staff and, last but not least, our members, who have supported RUSI since it was founded in 1831.
We are also committed to transparency at RUSI, and are pleased to share our latest financial statements. Looking ahead, we will soon be launching our capital campaign to raise necessary funds to cover the costs of the development, refurbishment and renovation of 61 Whitehall, a building that was built for RUSI in 1895. You will be hearing more about this in the coming months, but do please get in touch if you are interested in learning more.

Thank you for your support!

Dr Karin von Hippel

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