Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Chairman
Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP has been the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire since 1997. Owen was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2012 – 2014), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2010 – 2012), Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2007 – 2010), Shadow Minister for Transport (2006 – 2007), Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2003 – 2005), PPS to the Leader of the Opposition (2001 – 2003), and Opposition Whip (2000 – 2001). As a backbencher he sat on the Agriculture, European Scrutiny, and Welsh Affairs Select Committees. He founded UK 2020 in 2014 in order to research and publish optimistic, outward-looking, electorally viable conservative policies as a vital contribution to the Conservative Party. Owen read History at the University of Cambridge, he also attended the National Leathers College, and spent twenty years in the leather industry before entering Parliament.
Matt Ridley, Policy Adviser
Viscount Ridley DL sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative and is a member of Science and Technology select committee. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and honorary president of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle.
With BA and DPhil degrees from Oxford University, Matt Ridley worked for the Economist for nine years as science editor, Washington correspondent and American editor, before becoming a writer and businessman. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 30 languages and won several awards. His TED talk “When Ideas Have Sex” has been viewed more than two million times. He writes a weekly column in The Times, regularly for the Wall Street Journal and formerly weekly columnist for The Daily Telegraph. He won the Hayek Prize in 2011, the Julian Simon award in 2012 and the Free Enterprise Award from the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2014.
Tim Montgomerie, Political Adviser
Tim Montgomerie a columnist, and former comment editor, for The Times; creator of ConservativeHome which he edited from 2005 until 2013; co-founder of the Centre for Social Justice; former chief of staff to Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP; and established the Conservative Christian Fellowship while at the University of Exeter. Tim is based in Washington DC and London, and has been a Senior Fellow for the Legatum Institute.