European Leadership Network

ELN (United Kingdom)

The European Leadership Network (ELN) works to advance the idea of a cooperative and cohesive Europe and to develop collaborative European capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence and security policy challenges of our time. 

It does this through its active network of former and emerging European political, military, and diplomatic leaders, through its high-quality research, publications and events, and through its institutional partnerships across Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Contact information

European Leadership Network - ELN

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

Tel: +44 (0)20 3176 2551

The team

Alice Billon-Galland - Policy Fellow


Alice Billon-Galland works as Policy Fellow on European Defence at the European Leadership Network.

Before joining the ELN, Alice completed a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at University College London (UCL), focusing on European affairs and defence policy. Prior to this, she studied at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and held a Visiting Scholar position at Northwestern University (United States). Alice sits on the Executive Board of Women in International Security UK. She is also a member of the Young Professionals’ National Association of the French Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence (ANAJ IHEDN).


  • European Defence (EU-NATO)
  • French Foreign and Defence Policy
  • European Union Security and Defence Policy

Thomas Frear - Research Fellow


Thomas Frear is a Research Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN).

 Thomas’ work focuses on confidence and security building measures in the Euro-Atlantic Area, as well as European and Russian security more broadly. Thomas is the ELN coordinator for the Track 2 Diplomatic initiative the Task Force on Cooperation in Greater Europe, and is an active member of the Younger Generation Leaders Network, where he sits on the governing troika and co-chairs the security working group. Thomas also maintains a speciality in the politics of unrecognised states.

 Prior to the ELN Thomas has held posts at the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies and within the British Parliament. Thomas holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Kent and a Master’s Degree in International Relations in Eurasia from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

Thomas’ work has been covered by the media around the world and he is regularly asked to comment on issues of European and Russian security.


  • Russian Foreign and Security Policy
  • European Foreign and Security Policy
  • Unrecognised States

Axel Hellman - Policy Fellow


 Axel Hellman is a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN).

Prior to joining the ELN, Axel worked in management consulting in Stockholm, Sweden, and as an external adviser to Oxford Analytica and a London-based political risk start-up. He has previously held positions at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the Hudson Institute, and at Freedom House.

Axel completed a Master’s Degree at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and holds a B.A. in International Relations from King’s College London’s Department of War Studies. He has also studied at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and MGIMO-University in Moscow.


  • Economic statecraft
  • U.S. foreign policy
  • Russia-West relations

Lukasz Kulesa - Research Director


Lukasz Kulesa is Research Director at the European Leadership Network.

Previously, he worked as the Head of the Non-proliferation and Arms Control Project at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), focusing on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation crises (North Korea, Iran), perspectives for nuclear disarmament, Russian security policy, nuclear and conventional deterrence, the role of missile defence, and the future of arms control systems. He remains involved with PISM as research associate.

In 2010-2012 he was working as Deputy Director of the Strategic Analyses Department at the National Security Bureau, a body providing aid and support to the President of the Republic of Poland in executing security and defence tasks. 



  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
  • Arms control and Deterrence
  • NATO / Russia
  • Iran

Simon Lunn - Senior Associate Fellow


Simon Lunn is a Senior Associate Fellow for the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (ELN). He was Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly 1997-2007 following 8 years as the Deputy Secretary General when he initiated and implemented the Assembly’s program of partnership and assistance to the parliaments of Central and Eastern Europe. As Head of Plans and Policy on NATO’s International Staff 1983-89 he was involved in all aspects of NATO defence planning and 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 and participated in the Senate hearings on the ratification of SALT II. During the 1970’s as 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.


  • International foreign and security policy
  • NATO defence and security policy; the role of nuclear weapons in NATO strategy; NATO theatre nuclear forces
  • NATO enlargement
  • European Union – NATO relations
  • Arms control and nuclear weapons non-proliferation

Denitsa Raynova - Policy Fellow and Project Manager


Denitsa Raynova works as a Policy Fellow and Project Manager at the European Leadership Network (ELN).

Denitsa’s current research focuses on European security and defence with particular attention on NATO-EU collaboration. She also writes on NATO-Russia military-to-military relations, confidence and security building measures in the Euro-Atlantic area and nuclear security. 

Denitsa facilitates the work of the British cross-party parliamentary group, the Top Level Group for UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and liaises with members of the network.

Prior to this, Denitsa has worked as a Research Assistant for Security Watch UK in preparation for the Securing Asia 2012 Summit. Her resume includes an internship at NATO Headquarters Allied Command Izmir Turkey during Operation Unified Protector in Libya as well as an internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Bulgaria.


  • Non-proliferation and disarmament
  • Russia-West relations
  • European Foreign and Security Policy (EU-NATO cooperation)

Shatabhisha Shetty - Deputy Director
Tel: +44 (0)20 3176 2555


Shatabhisha Shetty is the Deputy Director and co-founder of the European Leadership Network.

Prior to establishing the European Leadership Network in 2010, Shata worked at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), in the Nuclear Analysis Program. She has also held posts in the London headquarters of the British Council, the European Commission in Brussels and has worked for Members of Parliament in both Westminster and in Scotland. Shata has a Masters in International Public Policy from University College London and her current research interests include NATO, European defence and security issues, British nuclear policy and arms control.

Outside of her professional commitments Shata co-founded and co-chaired the UK Branch of Women in International Security (WIIS), a forum dedicated to advance the leadership and professional development of women in international peace and security.



  • Non-proliferation and disarmament
  • Nuclear arms control
  • Nuclear weapons policy in the UK

Adam Thompson - Director


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.


  • Deterrence and arms control
  • West-Russia relations
  • Nuclear issues
  • European defence
  • EU-NATO relations