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We are very sorry indeed to announce the death on Friday 18th June of Edward Mortimer, Chair of the 21st Century Trust since 2012. Edward’s leadership of the Trust was invaluable. He brought terrific intellectual range and insight, along with deep integrity and humanitarianism. He was devoted to public reasoning – addressing complex issues in the round, taking diverse viewpoints seriously, listening as well as speaking with unfailing thoughtfulness. And he undertook all this with a ready sense of humour.

Edward was first involved with the Trust in 1991 as a Senior Fellow leading conferences on topics such as religious revivalism, self-determination, and the West and Islam, while he was foreign policy editor for the Financial Times.  He also served at that time on the Trust’s Executive Council. While in New York from 1998 to 2006, first as chief speechwriter for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and then director of communications, Edward kept closely in touch with the Trust as a supporter and adviser. Then, following his return to Europe as senior vice president and chief program officer of Salzburg Global Seminar, he brokered the enduring partnership between our two organizations.

Following his formal retirement from Salzburg Global, Edward became the Trust’s Chair in 2012. He continued to play a leading role in the Trust’s programme, including his delivery of the inaugural Palliser Lecture in 2014, Europe’s Future: 1814, 1914 – Or Something Completely Different? His insight, connections, and enthusiasm inspired the recent virtual events the Trust has been involved in on key themes such as contested histories and the future of democracy in a digital age. Up until the week of his death he was at the forefront of planning events for the autumn and beyond. Those events, and our work in times to come, will bear his imprint.