Nik Gowing

Nik Gowing

Director of Think Unthinkable Ltd

Nik is a Distinguished Fellow at the Royal United Service Institute, London. He was a RUSI Trustee 2016-21. Previously he was a member of the RUSI council for ten years.

Since 2014 Nik has been founder and director of the Thinking the Unthinkable (TTU) project. Using interviews with, and access to, the highest levels of business, public service and governments the ongoing and dynamic project reveals candidly why so many leaders at every level face new difficulties adapting to the scale of unthinkables and unpalatables.

Until 2014 Nik was a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London, plus location coverage of many major global stories. He is best remembered for his many hours of live coverage of Princess Diana’s car crash in Paris in August 1997, making the announcement of her death, then the unfolding horrors of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US.

For 18 years he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He collected a BAFTA award for breaching media controls to cover martial law and the crushing of Solidarity in Poland in 1981. He reported for TV much of the drama in Eastern Europe and the rapid crumbling of Soviet power up to the sudden end of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the coup in Moscow in 1991.

Nik has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–2021), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014). The Foreign Office appointed him to the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy where he became vice chair (1996-2005) plus the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012).