Professor Michael Clarke, the present director general of RUSI, announced back in May that he would be standing down from his post this year. The chairman of the Institute, the Rt Hon William Hague, is now pleased to announce that Professor Clarke’s replacement has been confirmed.
The new director general of Whitehall-based RUSI will be Dr Karin von Hippel, presently Chief of Staff to General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. Dr von Hippel has worked in the US State Department for nearly six years, prior to which she served at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and also at King’s College, London. Dr von Hippel has also worked for both the United Nations and the European Union.
Welcoming the appointment, William Hague said that, after a very thorough and highly competitive selection process, he’s delighted to welcome Dr von Hippel to her new role at RUSI.
“Karin has all the qualifications necessary to take RUSI through the next stage of its development and secure its place among the best research-led Think Tanks in the world,” enthused Hague. “The Institute is very fortunate to have secured someone with her range of skills and depth of experience to serve as its next director general.”
Hague added: “I would like to thank Michael Clarke for his tremendous leadership of RUSI over the last eight years. Under his stewardship, the organisation has established itself as one of the country’s pre-eminent Think Tanks across a broad spectrum of security challenges. Michael leaves excellent foundations upon which myself and the new director general can build.”
Of her new role, Dr Karin von Hippel said: “I’m honoured to have been selected to lead such a prestigious institution and to build on Professor Clarke’s many accomplishments. RUSI has an incredibly deep level of expertise in defence and international security issues. I’m looking forward to working with the entire RUSI team to promote practical and innovative solutions to complex security challenges, as well as enhance the impact of RUSI scholarship and initiatives on an international basis.”
Professor Michael Clarke commented: “It was a tough decision in the spring to decide to stand down from the best job in London. It’s one that I’ve loved doing for the past eight years. However, it’s important to renew the impetus and the approach to achieving RUSI’s long term goals and the organisation is in very good hands with Karin. The next stage of the Institute’s development will be both exciting and decisive, and I know that Karin will drive the organisation forward with flair, ably supported by all of her hard-won experience.”
As stated, Karin von Hippel is Chief of Staff to General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL at the US Department of State. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Operations in the Bureau for Conflict and Stabilisation Operations and led the transition planning process for the creation of CSO.
Dr von Hippel was also a senior advisor in the State Department’s Office of the Co-ordinator for Counter-Terrorism.
Before coming to State, she spent five years as co-director of the CSIS Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project. She was also a senior research fellow at the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College London, and spent several years working for the United Nations and the European Union in Somalia and Kosovo. She has advised the UN on peacekeeping, peace-building and its humanitarian system, USAID on the development potential of Somali remittances and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the role of development co-operation in discovering the root causes of terrorism.
Dr von Hippel has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Fragile States and has direct experience in over two dozen conflict zones. Her numerous publications cover the full conflict spectrum and include Democracy by Force (Cambridge, 2000), which was shortlisted for the RUSI Westminster Medal in Military History.
Dr von Hippel received her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics, her MSt from Oxford University and her BA from Yale University.
Dr Karin von Hippel will take over as director general at RUSI from 1 December 2015.