European Leadership Network

The European Leadership Network (ELN) is an independent, non-partisan, pan-European network of nearly 200 past, present and future European leaders working to provide practical real-world solutions to political and security challenges.

Contact information

European Leadership Network – ELN

Suite 407, Southbank House
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ, UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 3176 2551
Twitter :

Point of contact

Dr Katarzyna Kubiak
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3176 2553

The team

Ilana Bet-El  Ilana Bet-El is a Senior Associate Fellow for the European Leadership Network (ELN).

Ilana Bet-El is a strategic adviser, writer and historian. A former UN official and senior adviser on the Balkans, she has worked extensively with both governments and clients in the private sector on geostrategic and policy issues related to security, defence and energy in the EU, Russia, Turkey and broader Europe, the Middle East and the Trans-Atlantic community. With a background in the media and academe, she has published widely, including a weekly column on EU defence and security. She holds a PhD in history from UCL, and is a member of the WIIS (Women In International Security) Senior Advisory Board in Brussels.

• Security, defence and energy in the EU•  Russia

•  Turkey

•  Middle East

•  Trans-Atlantic community

Shatabhisha Shetty


Shatabhisha Shetty is the Deputy Director and co-founder of the European Leadership Network (ELN). Her research is focused on NPT and nuclear ban treaty issues, UK nuclear policy, arms control and nuclear deterrence. She also follows developments at NATO and in the OSCE and regularly speaks on UK leadership in the NPT.


Elisabeth Braw Elisabeth Braw is a Senior Associate Fellow for the European Leadership Network (ELN), a senior consultant at the London headquarters of Control Risks, the global risk consulting firm, and leads RUSI’s new Modern Deterrence programme.


She was previously a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek, and is also a contributor to The Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and Politico and other publications, focusing on European security. She is especially interested in European armed forces and homeland defence issues.


Elisabeth has also been a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford, and frequently moderates sessions at security conferences. She is a native of Sweden and attended university in Germany, finishing her Magister Artium degree in political science and German literature with a dissertation on nuclear weapons reduction in Europe. She speaks German, Swedish, and English. She is also a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

•  European defence and security

•  European defence cooperation

•  Homeland defence

Andreas Persbo Andreas Persbo is the Research Director at the European Leadership Network. His research responsibilities at the Network covers the full spectrum of European security matters. His specific interests are West-Russia relations, NATO, as well as ways to regulate and control the spread and use of weapons of mass destruction.
Katarzyna Kubiak

Dr Katarzyna Kubiak is a Policy Fellow on nuclear and arms control policy.


Previously, she was a Transatlantic Post-Doc Fellow for International Relations and Security at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), an associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), a research assistant at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH), a field researcher for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) and a fellow in the German Bundestag.


Katarzyna holds a Master of Peace and Security (University of Hamburg) and a Magister in International Economic Relations (University of Lodz). Following her PhD thesis on NATO nuclear extended deterrence (University of Hamburg) her research areas include nuclear arms control and disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation as well as ballistic missile defense.

•  Arms Control

•  Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

•  Missile Defence

Julia Berghofer Julia Berghofer is an ELN Policy Fellow and Project Manager for the Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro-Atlantic Security (YGLN)


Simon Lunn Simon Lunn is a Senior Associate Fellow for the European Leadership Network (ELN).


He served as Secretary General to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly 1997-2007 following 8 years as the Deputy Secretary General where he initiated and implemented the Assembly’s program of partnership and assistance to the parliaments of Central and Eastern Europe.


From 1983-1989, he was Head of Plans and Policy on NATO’s International Staff and was involved in all aspects of NATO defence planning. He was also a member of the High Level Task Force on preparations for the Conventional Forces Europe (CFE) negotiations.


Between 1979-81 he worked at the US Congressional Research Service writing reports for Congress on NATO strategy on the 1979 INF decision. He also participated in the Senate hearings on the ratification of SALT II.


During the 1970s, when he was Director of the North Atlantic Assembly’s Defence Committee he worked extensively on the role of nuclear weapons in NATO strategy.


He has a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Wales and an MA in War Studies from Kings College, London University. He attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst 1960-62 subsequently serving as an officer in the British army.


He is currently a Senior Fellow at DCAF in Geneva and a consultant with NTI in Washington DC.

Adam Thomson Sir Adam Thomson KCMG has been the Director of the European Leadership Network since November 2016.


Before joining the ELN, Adam had a 38 year diplomatic career in the British Diplomatic Service, preceded by short spells at the World Bank and at Harvard. His final diplomatic posting was as the UK Permanent Representative to NATO between 2014 and 2016.


A majority of Adam’s diplomatic career was spent on European security issues, starting with the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction negotiations 1978-80, work at the British Embassy in Moscow 1981-83 and at NATO during the implementation of the dual track decision 1983-86, followed by his role as the Soviet political analyst for the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee during the stirring times of 1989-91, politico-military work at the British Embassy in Washington DC 1991-95, running the UK Foreign Office’s Security Policy Department as the UK negotiated the European Security and Defence Policy 1998-2002, and through a multitude of policy issues in the Security Council and UN General Assembly as British Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative in New York 2002-6.  The other main strand of his diplomatic work was focused on South Asia including work at the British High Commission in New Delhi 1995-8, as FCO Director for South Asia and Afghanistan 2006-9 and as British High Commissioner in Pakistan 2010-13.

Nicholas Williams Nicholas Williams is a Senior Associate Fellow for the European Leadership Network (ELN).


Nicholas Williams OBE was a long serving member of NATO’s International Staff, most recently as Head of Operations for Afghanistan and Iraq. Prior to this Nick served in senior positions in NATO, EU, and British missions in Afghanistan, Bosnia Hercegovina, and Iraq.


Nick began his career in the British Ministry of Defence, with multiple secondments to NATO functions during the Cold War and to the French Ministry of Defence in its aftermath.


•  NATO / EU

•  NATO / Russia

•  NATO defence and security policy

Maximilian Hoell Dr Maximilian Hoell is a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN). He works on issues pertaining to nuclear arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation as well as transatlantic security.  


Katarina Ketysova Katarina Ketysova is a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN), working on issues pertaining to Russia-West relations, new technologies, conflict prevention in the context of hybrid and asymmetric threats, and Arctic security.  


Sahil Shah Sahil Shah works for the European Leadership Network (ELN) as a Policy Fellow, focusing on improving the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regimes. His primary focus is leading the ELN’s Iran Project which strives to protect the Iran nuclear agreement – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and engage on peripheral issues such as ballistic missile controls. As part of this work, Sahil is a regular commentator on Al Jazeera, Sky News, China Global Television Network, and more.