Fleur de Villiers

Chair of the IISS Trustees

Fleur de Villiers is a former journalist and public affairs expert. She began her career with the Argus Group of newspapers in South Africa before becoming Political Editor and travelling correspondent on the Sunday Times (Johannesburg). For many years she was Editorial Consultant and Leader Writer on Southern African issues for The Times (London).

A former Visiting Fellow at the IISS, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, she has been a public affairs consultant for several international corporations, including the De Beers Group and the Anglo American Corporation and in 1998 was instrumental in bringing about the first partnership between the World Health Organisation and the corporate sector in the WHO polio eradication programme.

She has prepared submissions to the United States Congress and briefings for the United Kingdom and Southern African governments on subjects ranging from arts funding to capacity building, minerals legislation and environmental issues in Africa. In 2011 she was awarded a CMG in recognition of her services to democratic transition, reconciliation and governance in South Africa Further awards include the English Academy of Southern Africa’s Pringle Prize for theatre criticism, the National Press Award for Enterprising Journalism, a US Leader Grant and the Nieman Fellowship.  She is a Global Ambassador for the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and serves on the Council of the Chelsea Society and is a lay member of the London Diocesan Synod.

Fleur is the author of Professional Secrecy in South Africa (OUP, 1982); Bridge or Barricade? (Jonathan Ball, 1983); and Apartheid – Capitalism or Socialism (Institute of Economic Affairs, London 1986).

As chair of the IISS Trustees, she is responsible for nominating new members, setting the agenda and guiding discussions at the quarterly Board meetings and ensuring, with the cooperation of the Director General, the implementation of Trustee decisions and oversight.

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