Our People

Dr Madsen Pirie, President

Dr Madsen Pirie is President of the Adam Smith Institute, and was one of three Scots graduates working in the US who founded the Institute in 1977. Before that, Madsen worked for the House of Representatives in Washington DC, and was Distinguished Visiting Professor Philosophy at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

At the Institute, Madsen was part of the influential team which pioneered privatization and the extension of market choices and incentives. His work in helping to develop the Citizen’s Charter led to his appointment to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Panel from 1991-95.

A graduate of the universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Cambridge, Madsen has authored several books including The Book of the Fallacy, Micropolitics, Privatization, How to Win Every Argument, 101 Great Philosophers, Blueprint for a Revolution, and Freedom 101. He also writes children’s science fiction, and with his colleague Dr Eamonn Butler he has co- authored a series of books on IQ, including The Sherlock Holmes IQ Book.

The Institute itself remains at the forefront of a worldwide movement towards competitive free markets and free trade. Madsen’s personal website is http://madsen-pirie.com/.

Dr Eamonn Butler, Director

Dr Eamonn Butler is Director of the Adam Smith Institute, rated one of the world’s leading policy think-tanks. He has degrees in economics, philosophy and psychology, gaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews in 1978.

During the 1970s he worked on pensions and welfare issues for the US House of Representatives, and taught philosophy in Hillsdale College, Michigan, before returning to the UK to help found the Adam Smith Institute.

Eamonn is author of books on the pioneering economists Milton Friedman, F A Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Adam Smith, and co-author of Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls and books on intelligence testing.

He contributes to the leading UK print and broadcast media on current issues, and his recent popular publications The Best Book on the Market, The Rotten State of Britain and The Alternative Manifesto have attracted considerable attention.

He has also contributed articles to national magazines and newspapers on subjects ranging from health policy, economic management, taxation and public spending, transport, pensions, and welfare.

Sam Bowman, Executive Director

Sam Bowman is Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, responsible for managing the Institute’s team on a daily basis, working on the ASI’s overall strategy, acting as a media spokesman for the Institute and writing and researching in his spare time.

He is interested in the political economy of “Bleeding Heart Libertarianism”, a school of thought that tries to use free market policies to improve the welfare of the poor. His key policy areas are immigration and planning, which he sees as the two major areas where states hurt the poor globally and in the UK respectively. He is also interested in market monetarism and the epistemic challenges facing social democracy.

In 2014 he wrote “Quids In: How sterlingization and free banking could help Scotland flourish” which argued that an independent Scotland could use free banking to maximise its financial stability, which was featured by nearly every major news outlet in the UK, including NewsnightBBC NewsThe GuardianThe Scotsman, The Times, The Financial Times and The Telegraph.

He has written for The TelegraphThe Financial TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe GuardianThe SpectatorCity AMConservativeHomeThe International Business Times and CapX and has appeared on Sky News,NewsnightBBC NewsBloomberg TVCNBCScotland Tonight and The Today Programme, as well as many others.

He tweets as @s8mb. He likes cooking and pop music, and reviews restaurants at Straight Up London.

Ben Southwood, Head of Research

Ben is Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, overseeing the ASI’s research papers and strategy. His intellectual interests include monetary regimes, nature vs. nurture in individual differences, sport economics, prediction markets, and quantitative approaches to social phenomena in general.

At the ASI, he wrote a 2014 paper on the effect of foreign footballers on the English side, a 2016 paper on safe standing in football stadia, and his review of scholarly research on the economic burden of corporation tax was published in 2013. He has also had a book review published in the academic journal Intelligence and wrote the entry on business cycles in the forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Social Theory. He writes regularly on the ASI blog.

He has written for City A.M.Conservative HomeThe Guardian, TheSpectatorCapXHuffington PostThe Yorkshire PostBBC OnlineThe IBTimesand appeared on BBC News, the Today ProgrammeSunday Politics ScotlandBBC Scotland 2015BBC World NewsScotland TonightSky News,BBC Look NorthCNBCBloomberg TV, and many other radio stations and TV programmes.

In his personal life he is obsessed with music and restaurants.

He tweets as @bswud.

Philip Salter, Director, The Entrepreneurs Network

Philip Salter is Director of The Entrepreneurs Network. He started his career as Programmes Director at the Adam Smith Institute, running the Institute’s events, student activities and researching and representing the Institute on education policy in the media. After three years with the Adam Smith Institute he moved into journalism, becoming Business Features Editor of City A.M., after which he was Editor across EMEA for one of world’s largest insurance brokers. While at City A.M. Philip wrote a weekly column on entrepreneurship and interviewed some of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs. He now writes a regular column for Forbes.

He tweets as @Philip_Salter and @TenThinkTank.

Annabel Denham, Programmes Director, The Entrepreneurs Network

Annabel Denham is Head of Projects at the Adam Smith Institute and Programmes Director at The Entrepreneurs Network. Annabel began her career as a researcher for Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP, and was later appointed coordinator of his brainchild: The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade Out of Poverty. After two years working in Parliament she moved into journalism, becoming Entrepreneurs Editor and a Business Features Writer at City A.M. While there, Annabel wrote a weekly interview with some of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs. She still writes regularly for the paper, and now has a column in the Huffington Post.

She tweets as @AnnabelDenham1.

Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications

Flora Laven-Morris is Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute. Following on from a politics degree at Queen Mary University of London, Flora began her career in the world of consumer PR where she worked for three years across a number of accounts including American Express, Barclays, Airbnb, O2 and Sony.

While there, Flora worked on a wide range of campaigns for her clients including the launch of the new Queen's effigy for The Royal Mint, the American Express Shop Small campaign, Airbnb's Floating House, and the re-recording of chic classic 'Le Freak' with Nile Rodgers on behalf of O2.

She tweets as @FloraLaven.

Sam Dumitriu, Head of Projects

Sam Dumitriu is Head of Projects at the Adam Smith Institute. He is responsible for planning the Institute's events programme, managing donor relations, and handling special projects. 

He is interested in the case against capital taxation, and is currently researching a paper making the case for a revenue-neutral move from taxing capital to taxing consumption.

Sam graduated from the University of Manchester in 2015 with a Masters Degree in Philosophy. Before coming to the Adam Smith Institute he worked for WAG TV and the liberal conservative think tank Bright Blue.

He tweets @Sam_Dumitriu