Speaker BIO

Paul Bell is a former chief executive of the London geo-political consultancy, Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres, and of the public relations division of Chime PLC. He specialises in operations in fragile and conflict-affected states, focusing on political development, counterterrorism, radicalisation and extremism, and reducing violence in political and post-conflict environments.  

Mr Bell has consulted in more than 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. His clients have included the US State Department, US Central Command and US Special Operations Command, British ministries including Defence, the Home Office and FCDO, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, the Nigerian National Defence College, and the Governments of Botswana, Iraq and Yemen. He has also provided strategic advice to political and business leaders in Georgia, Germany, Latvia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Yemen.  

In 2004-2011 he worked in Iraq, leading and building the Information Operations Task Force, the US Army’s leading information and psychological operations unit. which supported two elections and a referendum, developed campaigns to discourage support for illegal armed groups, and inflicted a major propaganda defeat on the Al-Qaeda insurgency in Anbar province. From 2016-18 he served as chief communications strategist for an EU-funded programme delivering CVE programmes in Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. He has also worked on election campaigns in Georgia, Latvia, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.  

Currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia, he is Country Director for Agenda, a US strategic consultancy which supports NATO communications in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Mr Bell has delivered crisis management for a leading bank, served as chief strategist for a US program aimed at countering malign foreign influence, served as chief communications adviser to a new opposition party, and led communications training for political parties in the run-up to elections. In Kyiv in February 2022, he oversaw the development and production of a campaign to promote recruitment to the Ukrainian territorial defence forces.  

Paul Bell is a Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People.