Rt Hon The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG OM FRS
Baroness Thatcher, who died in April 2013, was the founding Patron of New Direction. British Prime Minister for 11 years from 1979 until 1990—the longest tenure in the 20th century—and the first woman to hold that office. Many regard her as Britain’s greatest peacetime Prime Minister based on two enormous achievements.
First, she re-established Britain’s broken morale and international reputation after decades of failure and humiliation. After the Falklands victory, Britain was once again respected around the world. As the indomitable “Iron Lady”, she forged a partnership with President Reagan that brought about the end of the Soviet Union and its world-wide communist network and set Eastern Europe on the path of freedom.
Second, she overcame systemic problems that had contributed to Britain’s headlong economic decline and restored the country’s dynamism, setting the course for a quarter century of increasing prosperity and success.
She read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford; was elected MP for Finchley in 1959; and became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975.
In December 1990 she was awarded the Order of Merit. In June 1992 she was elevated to the House of Lords, under the style Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, and in April 1995 she became a member of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Lady Thatcher was Chancellor of the University of Buckingham from 1992–98 and Chancellor of the College of William & Mary, Virginia, USA, from 1993–2000. She wrote two volumes of memoirs: The Downing Street Years (1993) and The Path to Power (1995) followed by Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World in 2002.
The Board of Directors
President—Geoffrey Van Orden MBE, MEP (UK)
Member of the European Parliament since 1999 specialising in foreign affairs, defence, terrorism, immigration and energy issues. He is Conservative Spokesman on Defence and Security; former Vice Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and member of its Defence Sub-committee; Transport comittee; and delegations to India; to Turkey; to Iran; and to the NATO Parliamentary Assembley. He is a founder member of the Friends of India, and chairs the Eu-India Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of Sri Lanka. He is a member of the Conservative Friends of Poland; of Turkey and of Israel, and of the Countryside Alliance and of the Bow Group. He was the Parliament's Rapporteur for Bulgaria and has spearheaded action against the Mugabe Regime in Zimbabwe.
Prior to entering politics he was a British Army Brigadier. He has a BA Politics (Sussex); graduated from the Indian Defence Services Staff College; and instructed at the German Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr. He was instrumental in the formation of the new political group in the European Parliament, the European Conservatives & Reformists (ECR) and is a member of its Bureau.
Treasurer/Vice President—Derk Jan Eppink MEP (Belgium/NL)
Derk Jan Eppink studied Law and International Relations in Amsterdam. He started his career working in the European Commission and the European Parliament after which he switched to journalism. Eppink started writing for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, first on Southern Africa, then as correspondent in Poland and Czechoslovakia and finally as political editor in Dutch politics.
In 1994 he changed allegiance and started working for the Flemish newspaper De Standaard as political editor in Belgian politics. In 1998 he published his first book, Strange Neighbours, on the political and cultural differences between the Netherlands and Belgium.
In 1999, Eppink joined the cabinet of Commissioner Bolkestein and thereafter joined the cabinet of Commissioner and Vice-President of the Commission, Siim Kallas. After his Commission period he published his book Life of a European Mandarin, which gives insight on daily life of EU officials.
In 2007, Eppink moved to the US, to New York. For magazines in the Netherlands and Belgium he reported on the American presidential election 2008. In 2009, Eppink was elected to the European Parliament for the Flemish Lijst Dedecker and he joined the European Conservatives and Reformists. In 2010, he published Bonfire of Bureaucracy, in which he describes the autonomous growth of EU officialdom and the danger of EU taxes that will give the EU the means to gorw beyond democratic control.
Vice President—Tomasz Piotr Poręba MEP (Poland)
Mr Poręba is Vice- President of the Polish delegation of the European Conservatives and Reformers. He trained as a historian and political scientist.
His professional career developed in the Prime Minister’s office, and then at the Institute of National Remembrance. He was also an employee of the Office of National Law and Justice, where he was head of department for information and image. In the previous parliamentary term he worked in Brussels where he was the principal adviser to the political group “Union for Europe of Nations” in the EP Foreign Affairs Committee. He also served as the spokesman for the Law and Justice in the European Parliament.
Vice President - Edvard Kožušník MEP (Czech Republic)
Born on 30 January 1971 in Olomouc. After 1989, worked in various positions in the private sector in Russia, Bulgaria and Spain. Since 1997 served as the director of marketing of CzechTrade, a government agency for the support of export. In 2003–2004, he worked as an advisor of the Vice Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Today, he heads a think-tank named eStat.cz – EFFICIENT STATE, promoting “cheap and electronic” public administration, and is the chairman of the Czech-Spanish Committee of the Czech Chamber of Commerce. Before being elected Member of the European Parliament, he worked as director of the Secretariat of the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Přemysl Sobotka.
He spends his free time with his family and playing sports. In the Czech Republic, he is the founder of a new sport, beach tennis. He is married with two children and speaks Spanish, English, German, Russian and Bulgarian. In the European Parliament, he primarily devotes his time to fighting bureaucracy, removing barriers and strengthening the free and open market.