Dr Heather Grabbe is Director of the Open Society European Policy Institute, Brussels. She is a political scientist who advocates for the open society to the EU institutions and governments, with a particular interest in the interaction between politics and society. She was ranked 5th in Politico’s 2017 list of “women who shape Brussels” and appears regularly in the media on open society issues – from populism to technology’s impact on voters’ expectations of democracy. She spoke recently to the Belgian Senate in the Superdemocracy series on how post-truth politics affects the openness of societies and quality of democracy. From 2004-2009 she was Senior Advisor to then European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, responsible for EU policy on the Balkans and Turkey. Before joining the Commission, she was Deputy Director of the Centre for European Reform, the London-based think-tank. She did academic research on European politics at the European University Institute (Florence), Chatham House (London), Oxford and Birmingham universities, and teaching at the London School of Economics. Her publications include "The Closing of the European Mind – and How to Re-Open It"; "Can the EU Survive Populism?" (with Stefan Lehne, Carnegie Europe) and "The EU's Transformative Power: Europeanisation through Conditionality in Central and Eastern Europe" (2006, Palgrave).
Heather has extensive media experience, both print and broadcast. She speaks frequently at conferences, large and small. She recently gave a lecture to the Belgian Senate and a TED talk at TEDx Brussels.