Tony Blair Institute for Global Change


Jonathan Powell

British Prime Minister's Special Envoy to the Libyan Transition, Founder and CEO of Inter Mediate


Founder and CEO of Inter Mediate, an NGO dedicated to conflict resolution around the world. Former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair from 1995 to 2007.

Jonathan was also appointed as the British Prime Minister's Special Envoy to the Libyan transition in April 2014.

Jonathan Powell was Tony Blair's Chief of Staff in opposition from 1995 to 1997 and then his Chief of Staff in Downing Street from 1997 to 2007. Jonathan was the only senior official to go the whole way through the Blair leadership.

Jonathan was also the British Government's chief negotiator on Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007 and played a key part in leading the peace negotiations to a successful conclusion over that decade, from the triumph of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 though the nine year battle to get its implementation agreed and a lasting settlement in place. He subsequently published "Great Hatred Little Room: Making Peace in Northern Ireland" giving a personal account of those painstaking negotiations and made a television programme – Secret Diplomat – about his experiences.

Before working for Blair, Jonathan was a British diplomat from 1979 to 1994, specialising in negotiations. He was a member of the British team conducting the negotiations on the return of Hong Kong to the Chinese in the early 1980s under Percy Craddock, the Conference on Disarmament in Europe (CDE) arms control talks and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) human rights talks with the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, the Two plus Four talks on German Unification and the G7 in the late 1980s. As the political officer at the British Embassy in Washington he attached himself to the Presidential campaign of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 1991 and stayed with it till Clinton's victory in 1992. He subsequently introduced Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Bill Clinton and his team in 1993 and played a key role in the building of the close relationship between the US President and the new British Prime Minister.

At the end of 2010 Jonathan published "The New Machiavelli, How to Wield Power in the Modern World". His new book "Talking to Terrorists, How to End Armed Conflict" was published in October 2014.

Jonathan is a member of the board of Save The Children International.

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