Charles Powell

Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute since 2012, and a Professor of Contemporary History at CEU San Pablo University
13 articles published

Charles Powell has been Director of the Elcano Royal Institute since 2012, and a Professor of Contemporary History at CEU San Pablo University since 2001.

Born in 1960 to an English father and a Spanish mother, he read History and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, which also awarded him a Doctorate in History. While at Oxford, he was a lecturer at Corpus Christi College, a J. A. Pye Fellow at University College, and a Junior Research Fellow at St. Antony’s College. He has also been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Portugal and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

From 1997 to 2000, he was deputy director of the European Studies programme of the Ortega y Gasset University Institute, and was later appointed Deputy Director of the José Ortega y Gasset Foundation’s Spanish Centre for International Relations (CERI).  In 2001 he joined the Elcano Royal Institute as Senior Analyst for Europe, and in 2004 he was appointed Deputy Director for Research and Analysis.  In the course of his career, he has supervised eight doctoral theses and taught and lectured in more than 40 countries in Europe, Africa, America and Asia.

Charles Powell is an Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy (2015), a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (2017), a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Romania (2020) and Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

Selected publications: throughout his academic life, he has mainly devoted himself to the study of the political history of contemporary Spain, both domestic and foreign. His numerous publications include the books: El piloto del cambio. El rey, la monarquía y la transición a la democracia (1991), which was awarded the Espejo de España Prize (Planeta); Juan Carlos of Spain, self-made monarch (1995), the first biography of the former Spanish monarch published in English; España en Democracia, 1975-2000 (2001), which received the Así Fue Prize (Plaza & Janes); Adolfo Suárez. El Presidente que se hizo a sí mismo (2004); and El amigo americano. España y Estados Unidos: de la dictadura a la democracia (2011).


  • Presentation of the book “El imperio Zombi. Rusia y el orden mundial”, by Mira Milosevich-Juaristi (2024)
  • Roundtable ‘Jihadism and Terrorism in Spain, 20 Years After 11-M’ (2024)
  • Seminar ‘NATO and European-ROK global cooperation on security’ (2023)
  • 5th Spain-Israel Strategic Dialogue (2023)
  • Spanish Pre-Presidency Conference (2023)
  • Roundtable “The war in Ukraine, year two” (2023)
  • Europe's global role after Ukraine: A conversation with José Manuel Albares and Maroš Šefčovič (2023)
  • Presentation of the report “The image of Germany in Spain” (2023)
  • A conversation with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Spain (2022)
  • Debate "Certainties and doubts regarding the midterm elections in the US" (2022)
  • 9th Elcano Forum on Global Terrorism  “Terrorism-related extremisms in the West: Emerging and persisting challenges” (2022)
  • Presentation of the results of the survey “Spain and France, crossed views on European challenges” (2022)
  • Conversation on “Russia’s war in Ukraine and the future of European integration” (2022)
  • Roundtable "Presidential elections in France: consequences for Europe and the world" (2022)
  • Webinar “Republic of Korea-Spain Cooperation for Supporting Latin America’s Digitalization and Green Economy” (2022)
  • Roundtable "The reception of Ukrainian refugees" (2022)
  • Roundtable "The Ukraine war and the future of NATO’s Strategic Concept" (2022)
  • #EncuentrosElcano with Josep Borrell (2022)
  • Conference ‘The European Union and its neighbours’ (2022)
  • First Elcano Royal Institute - Chatham House Seminar (2022)
  • Conversation with Wolfgang Dold, Ambassador of Germany to Spain “The first 100 days of the new German Government: global challenges and opportunities in the relationship with Spain” (2022)
  • Online conversation “Russia's Rubicon Crossing: War in Ukraine” (2022)
  • Roundtable "Ukraine and the future of the international order" (2022)
  • South Asia in the Era of Geo-Strategic Competition (2021)
  • Virtual roundtable "The EU response to COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the future of the Union” (2020)
  • Virtual roundtable "Coronavirus and the Maghreb: Challenges to stability and reform" (2020)
  • Virtual roundtable ‘Covid-19 and the Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns’ (2020)
  • Seminar “Russia, the West, and the rest: Between influence and interference” (2020)

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