The Top 15 Geopolitical Speakers to Hire for 2024 Events

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12 minutes to read
The Top 15 Geopolitical Speakers to Hire for 2024 Events

The Top 15 Geopolitical Speakers to Hire for 2024 Events

Geopolitics refers to the analysis of geographic influences on power dynamics within international relations. It is the study of how geography affects politics and international relations. 

Why is learning about Geopolitics important?

Understanding geopolitics is imperative when it comes to understanding a myriad of world events, the strategy behind foreign policies and international relations between countries that subsequently affect our daily lives. Whether it has to do with the upcoming 2024 elections in the US and UK, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East or the factors that affect inflation, a better grasp of geopolitics facilitates a deeper understanding of prevalent global issues.

Source: Foreign Policy Research Institute, Britannica, CFA Institute 

How Can We Improve Understanding of Geopolitics?

A fantastic way of increasing understanding of geopolitics is by hiring one of our talented geopolitical keynote speakers! These speakers have forged stellar careers in the field, and are ready to share their geopolitical expertise at corporate conferences of all kinds.

Hire One of These Top 15 Geopolitical Speakers for 2024 Events:

  1. Gideon Rachman
  2. Sir Mark Grant 
  3. David Milliband 
  4. Francis Fukuyama 
  5. Lyse Doucet 
  6. Baroness Catherine Ashton 
  7. William Hague 
  8. Yukon Huang 
  9. John Sitilides 
  10. George Friedman 
  11. Robert Peston 
  12. Stanley McChrystal 
  13. Samantha de Bendern 
  14. Elliott Harris 
  • Derek Leatherdale 

    1. Gideon Rachman 

    Gideon Rachman stands as a formidable figure in the realm of geopolitics, foreign policy, and world politics, earning his place as a distinguished keynote speaker on these subjects. Currently serving as the Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist at the Financial Times, Gideon's expertise spans American foreign policy, the European Union, and globalisation, making him a sought-after authority in the field. His accolades, including the Orwell Foundation Journalism Prize and the European Press Prize Commentator Award, attest to his impactful contributions to journalism.

    Since joining the Financial Times in 2006, Gideon's contributions have extended beyond the written word. He has graced prestigious stages worldwide, delivering compelling keynote speeches to audiences that include the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, and Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Oxford. As a keynote speaker, Gideon Rachman shares his profound knowledge, offering audiences a clear understanding of the complex and ever-changing landscape of world politics, economics, and globalisation.

    Official Speaking Topics for Gideon Rachman include:

    • International Political Tensions and the Threat and Opportunities for Global Business 
    • US-China relations 
    • The Future of Europe 
    • International Relations - Geopolitics - Implications for Business and Society 
    • Can globalisation survive?
    • Conflict, politics and international business

    2. Sir Mark Grant

    Sir Mark Lyall Grant GCMG is a distinguished figure in the realms of national security, foreign affairs, policy-making, and international politics. With a remarkable career spanning over three decades in diplomacy and public service, he stands as a sought-after keynote speaker in these critical domains. Mark's illustrious journey, from serving as the British Ambassador to the United Nations to his current role as a Visiting Professor at King's College, London, has equipped him with unparalleled insights into global affairs.

    Mark's contributions to discussions on threats to multilateralism, the English language's role in diplomacy, the future of Ukraine, Middle East security, and UK foreign policy have solidified his reputation as a respected and influential keynote speaker in the fields of national security, foreign affairs, policy-making, and international politics. As a keynote speaker, Sir Mark covers an array of vital topics, such as global security, the evolving role of China on the world stage, the significance of secret intelligence in shaping international affairs, and the evolving landscape of cyber and terrorist threats. His expertise also extends to the intricacies of the US/UK transatlantic relationship and other pressing global issues.

    Official Speaking Topics for Mark Grant include:

    • Influential World Leaders 
    • International Security & the Rise of China 
    • Are we Heading for a 3rd World War? 
    • Does Russia or China Pose the Greater Threat to the West? 
    • Individual & Collective Security in Today's World 
    • US/UK - Does the Special Relationship Really Exist? 
    • UK Security & Foreign Policy Post Brexit 
    • Making & Executing UK Foreign & Security Policy 
    • Middle East Security in a Turbulent World 
    • Ukraine - What is its Future? 

    3. David Miliband

    David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee since 2013. Overseeing the organisation’s humanitarian relief efforts in more than 40 war-stricken countries worldwide. Formerly a Member of Parliament of the UK Government, he was just 29 years old when he became the Head of Policy for then PM Tony Blair.

    David was previously also the Secretary o State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Environment Secretary. His many positions of power in parliament have provided him an expertise in geopolitics and international relations that few people in the world can claim. Now David is dedicated to providing political, landscape, social responsibility, and international aid to countries that need it. Hire David Miliband when looking for an experienced and insightful speaker.

    4. Francis Fukuyama

    Francis Fukuyama is an Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. His illustrious career as an academic, author political scientist has led to Francis' stature as a keynote speaker in the realm of geopolitics. 

    Francis has been a Professor at the George Mason University School of Public Policy and Johns Hopkins University. Author of books like “Liberalism and Its Discontents”, “The End of History and The Last Man” and “The Origins of Political Order”, Francis served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and was a Founding Board Member of The American Interest. With a glowing career such as Francis’, it is unsurprising that he is a popular choice to hire for geopolitics events.

    5. Lyse Doucet

    Lyse Doucet is the Chief International Correspondent for BBC News and has been nominated for two Emmy awards in her career. Trusted to interview some of the most renowned world leaders, Lyse has been reporting in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan since 1988. She was also one of the most prominent reporters on the Arab Spring for the BBC.

    Recipient of a prestigious Peabody Award for her coverage of the Afghan war and the Radio News Journalist of the Year award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in the UK, Lyse has been integral to the success of BBC’s foreign affairs team. The David Bloom Award Winner Lyse Doucet is a Council Member of the International Council of Human Rights Policy. Make her your first choice to hire for your next geopolitics and international relations event!

    6. Catherine Ashton

    Catherine Ashton served as the first Vice President of the European Commission. Member of the Labour Party for nearly a decade, she was the Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council in former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s first cabinet.

    Known for her supreme negotiation skills, Catherine has played a key role in pivotal matters of international relations such as bringing about an agreement of cordiality between Serbia and Kosovo, and was instrumental in formulating the Geneva Interim Agreement on the Iranian Nuclear Program. Catherine Ashton is one of the best speakers you could hire for your next geopolitical event, as someone who has led an incredible career as the first British woman to be an EU Commissioner.

    Official Speaking Topics for Catherine Ashton include:

    • The European Union 
    • European Politics 
    • Britain's Exit From The EU 
    • Treaty Of Lisbon 
    • Trade In Europe

    7. William Hague

    William Hague, a distinguished figure in politics, foreign affairs, and business, offers a wealth of expertise as a keynote speaker. With a remarkable career that includes leadership roles in the Conservative Party, notably as the youngest leader in two centuries, Hague brings unparalleled insight into political strategy and leadership.

    His tenure as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs underscores his deep understanding of global affairs, making him a sought-after authority on international relations. Furthermore, his business acumen, honed through consulting and an MBA, enhances his credibility as a speaker on corporate strategy and management. William Hague's versatility and comprehensive knowledge make him an exceptional choice for engaging and enlightening audiences.

    Official Testimonial for William Hague:


    "An amazing after dinner speech, it was so entertaining, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive! I was not expecting to be so entertained, really fantastic. I can’t recommend him enough, the speech really made our dinner a huge success." - APBI


    8. Yukon Huang

    Yukon Huang is best known for his role as the Director of the World Bank’s China Program, having also held the same position for Russia and the former Soviet Union Republics. Currently, Yukon serves as the Senior Fellow for the Carnegie Asia Program. An expert in disruptive security, governance, and technological risks, Yukon also comments on major financial advancements and geopolitics.

    Author of books like “Cracking the China Conundrum”, “Reshaping Economic Geography in East Asia”, and “East Asia Vision”, Yukon has spent his career researching China’s economy and its global impact. He is often featured in media publications like the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, and Bloomberg. Yukon Huang is an authority on matters related to geopolitics and internationals. Hire him today!

    Official Speaking Topics for Yukon Huang include:

    • Finance & Futurism 
    • Chinese Economics 
    • International Banking 
    • The World Bank

    9. John Sitilides

    John Sitilides is an esteemed geopolitical risk management, government affairs, and international relations keynote speaker with a wealth of experience and expertise. As the Principal at Trilogy Advisors LLC, he delves into the intricate world of geopolitical and global economic decisions, helping organizations and individuals navigate the associated risks during tumultuous times in the global arena.

    His career journey includes managing Communication & Legislative Affairs for Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, serving as the Federal Affairs Manager at AKT Development Corporation, and holding the position of CEO & Executive Director at Western Policy Center. John's impressive contributions extend to his role as Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center, where he oversaw policy, research, and forecast analysis on geopolitical and security issues. For those seeking to enhance their understanding of geopolitics and government affairs, John Sitilides is an invaluable resource. Hire John Sitilides today and benefit from his wealth of knowledge and expertise.

    10. George Friedman

    Goerge Friedman is the Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Futures – a subscriber-supported publication, providing unbiased analysis of global events. George has created a niche for himself as a leading geopolitical forecaster, whose skills are undoubtedly second to none. His most recent book, "The Storm Before the Calm, " talks about the forthcoming crisis in the 2020s.

    Using his unparalleled expertise in matters such as geography, demography, politics, and military capabilities George is able to accurately predict major world events. Bestselling author of “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe”, George served as the Founder and Chairman of Stratfor, for nearly 20 years. Highly accomplished, George believes it is necessary for all citizens of any country to know about the world. George Friedman is a formidable speaker and leader in geopolitics who would blow away your audience.

    Official Testimonial for George Friedman:


    "The summit was a great success and George was provocative and thought-provocative in his speech, which is what we wanted. Thank you very much for making him available to us." - Telkom


    11. Robert Peston

    Robert Peston stands as an exceptional figure in the realms of geopolitics, business, and finance, making him a sought-after keynote speaker for a wide range of events. With an illustrious career in the media, including pivotal roles as political editor, economic editor, and business editor for BBC News, Robert has garnered a reputation for his insightful coverage, especially during the late 2000s financial crisis, where he famously dissected the Northern Rock Crisis.

    Robert's accolades, including being voted the highest-rated finance and business journalist, attest to his expertise in the field. His decade-long tenure as the Business Editor at the BBC showcased his deep understanding of financial matters, earning him awards like the Harold Wincott Senior Financial Journalist of the Year and Wincott Young Financial Journalist of the Year. His ability to engage and captivate audiences has earned him numerous awards, including Specialist Journalist of the Year, Television Journalist of the Year, and the prestigious Scoop of the Year for his work on the Northern Rock Crisis. His reputation as an engaging and commanding presence makes him the ideal choice for any event seeking an authoritative and captivating speaker. Robert Peston is a name synonymous with expertise, making him the perfect choice for those in search of an exceptional host or speaker.

    12. Stanley McChrystal

    Stanley McChrystal, a seasoned leader with extensive military experience, boasts profound expertise in geopolitics. As a former Commander of the US Army in 1997 and subsequently as CEO & Chairman of the McChrystal Group in 2011, he has showcased exceptional leadership skills. Stanley's insights into global affairs are further underscored by his literary contributions, notably the New York Times Bestseller "Team of Teams" in 2015, which delves into the complexities of organisational dynamics.

    His understanding of geopolitics is honed through pivotal roles such as Intelligence Officer with the UN Command and his involvement in critical missions, including the capture of Saddam Hussein. Stanley's prominence as a keynote speaker at events like AFIRE in 2024 solidifies his status as a distinguished authority in the field, offering invaluable perspectives on navigating the intricacies of today's geopolitical landscape.

    13. Samantha de Bendern

    Samantha de Bendern is a distinguished figure in political risk, geopolitics, and finance, renowned for her insights into Russia, Ukraine, and the EU. With a background spanning Ernst & Young, NATO, and the European Commission, she now serves as a Senior Consultant at the Conflict Studies Research Centre. Samantha's entrepreneurial endeavours include founding Samantha Grace consultancy, amplifying her influence as a commentator for LCI and contributor to major publications.

    As a keynote speaker, she distils over a decade of experience into captivating presentations, educating audiences globally on navigating complex geopolitical landscapes. Samantha's expertise, honed through roles in security and international relations, makes her an invaluable asset for organisations seeking strategic guidance in understanding and mitigating political risks.

    Official Speaking Topics for Samantha de Bendern include:

    • Brexit 
    • Russia 
    • Belarus 
    • Ukraine 
    • European Union

    14. Elliott Harris

    Elliott Harris, the former Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist at the United Nations Department of Social Affairs, is a distinguished expert in geopolitics, economics, and international relations. With over three decades of experience in international economics, Elliott's career includes serving as a macroeconomist at the International Monetary Fund, where he played a key role in development policies and negotiations in several countries. His contributions within the UN system began with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where he rose to the position of Assistant Secretary-General.

    Elliott is known for his passionate advocacy and innovative thinking, particularly in measuring the value of nature in economic progress. His extensive knowledge in economic growth, strategy, and stability allows him to provide invaluable guidance to organisations aligning their goals with global progress. As a keynote speaker, Elliott Harris offers unparalleled expertise in addressing the world's most pressing challenges. Don't miss the opportunity to engage with one of today's most revered economists.

    Official Testimonial for Elliott Harris:

    • Climate Change and Sustainability: How Nature and Business Can Profit Together 
    • Growth, Globalization, and Geopolitics: How Effective Can National Economic Policy Be? 
    • Beyond GDP: A New Paradigm for Governments and Private Enterprise

    15. Derek Leatherdale

    Derek Leatherdale has a knack for preparing businesses to cope with the inevitable geopolitical tensions that arise in the world. As the Founder and Managing Director of GRI Strategies, he helps companies manage geopolitical risk. Derek was previously the Global Head of Geopolitical Risk at HSBC Bank and has also held several positions of national security for the British Government.

    Associate Director at Risk Coalition Derek co-authored ‘The Extra G – ESG Squared’ which serves as a practical guide on effecting ESG to geopolitical risk. Currently the Lead Faculty of the Geopolitical Risk Governance Programme at the DCRO Institute, there are few as accomplished as Derek. Derek Leatherdale will make an excellent speaker at your next geopolitics-related event.

    Hire One of These Top 15 Geopolitical Speakers Today!

    If you are interested in hiring one of our expert geopolitical speakers, get in touch with us today! You may complete our online contact form or call one of our dedicated booking agents on 0207 0787 876 and we would be happy to assist you!

Jack Hayes Official Author Picture

After graduating from his role as a celebrity sales executive to sales manager, Jack Hayes was appointed as a Director of The Motivational Speakers Agency in 2012, becoming a founding member of the European Association of Speakers Bureaux (EASB) in 2013. In his seven years as a company director, Jack has led projects for clients that include Vodafone, Credit Suisse, The Economic Times’ Global Business Summit, British Airways, the Abu Dhabi Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF), HSBC, Lad Bible and the NHS, in addition to media collaborations with the likes of Metro, The Leicester Mercury, Sky Sports and ITV. Jack has also used his influence to convince the world’s top speakers to choose The Motivational Speakers Agency. He has built relationships with the minds behind global success stories including Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard; former Google MD Dan Cobley and global adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. With all the speaking opportunities that Jack has facilitated, there is one that stands out above all others as his proudest. When he began as a sales executive, there was one man Jack wanted to book as a speaker more than any other - Apple’s innovative Creative Director, Ken Segall. In 2019, Ken Segall is due to speak at our very own networking event, at London’s iconic skyscraper, Searcys at the Gherkin, proving just how committed Jack is to reaching his lofty aspirations.

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