Whit Mason

Associate Fellow


Whit Mason is CEO of Mason Change Communications (MCC), which fosters open national political orders and pluralism in pursuit of long-term stability.

He began his career as a journalist, in 1991 founding a newspaper in Novosibirsk, editing a paper in Vladivostok, working in Hong Kong as a staffwriter for Asiaweek magazine, and reporting for CBS News on wars in Croatia and Bosnia and from the Korean Peninsula. Based in Istanbul as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, he investigated political culture and religion in Turkey, Iran and the Balkans. He was based in Pristina as an International Crisis Group analyst, then became communications strategist and speechwriter for the UN’s Kosovo mission, and with Iain King, CBE, co-authored Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo. He later became strategist for the Coalition’s biggest Iraqi change communications operation. After heading the UN’s southern Afghanistan justice coordination office, he published The Rule of Law in Afghanistan: Missing in Inaction (Cambridge University Press). He headed Internews Azerbaijan, managed the research and ‘lessons learned’ programme of the Australian Civil-Military Centre, and was Communications and Outreach Director for USAID Pakistan.

He created MCC in 2014 when he was asked by HMG to help the government of Ukraine to communicate a credible post-revolution vision. Current projects include countering violent extremism in Indonesia, promoting peaceful development in Pakistan, advising governments in the Balkans on policies to support open, stable societies, and developing new approaches to deterrence for the UK Ministry of Defence.

He studied the history of ideas at the University of Washington, religion and international affairs at Boston University, international relations at Cambridge and law at the University of New South Wales. As non-resident fellow of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, he co-wrote Zealous Democrats: Islamists and democracy in Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia. He serves on the Liberal Democrats’ Britain in the World Policy Group and is a member of HMG’s Civilian Deployment Group.

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