Our people

Philippe Legrain is the founder of OPEN. He is an independent thinker, communicator and political entrepreneur who is a passionate believer in openness.

Three big things define his wide-ranging career: trying to understand how the world works; communicating this to a wider audience; and trying to make the world a better place. Through his work, writing and media appearances, he has been at the heart of many big debates of the past 15 years – globalisation, international migration, the financial crisis, the euro and Brexit – from a variety of vantage points:

  • studying economics and international political economy at the London School of Economics and returning there as visiting fellow at the European Institute (2007-10) and now as a senior visiting fellow since 2014;
  • as a journalist (at The Economist), editor and commentator for a wide range of international media outlets and currently a columnist for Project Syndicate, Foreign Policy and CapX;
  • as a senior policy and media adviser (to World Trade Organisation Director-General Mike Moore) and as independent economic adviser to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and head of the team that provided him with fresh thinking and strategic policy advice (2011-14);
  • as a political campaigner; and
  • as an independent writer, consultant and public speaker.

Philippe is the author of four critically acclaimed books:

  • Open World: The Truth about Globalisation (2002), which defended free trade but warned of the dangers of unfettered finance, was described as “wonderfully lucid and intelligent” by Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times;
  • Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (2007), was shortlisted for the FT Business Book of the Year award;
  • Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis (2010) attracted the attention of President Barroso and persuaded him to hire Philippe;
  • European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right (2014), was described as “essential reading” by the Financial Times and was among its Best Books of 2014.

Philippe was born and lives in London, has a French father and an Estonian mother, and is a British citizen, as well as a citizen of the world. He is a long-suffering Arsenal fan and loves house music and House of Cards.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama is the co-founder of OPEN. He is a prominent analyst and original thinker on international trade, digitalisation, Asia’s global role and the future of Europe, as well as a director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a top think-tank in Brussels.

He has a knack for spotting trends before they become fashionable. For instance, he has been working on digitalisation and trade since 2008, long before the current controversies over data privacy and much else, and was named “one of the 20 most influential people for an open internet” by readers of the Guardian in 2012 for his work on internet censorship. His first report on dumping and Chinese overcapacity came out five years before the current debate over China’s market economy status made the news. He has successfully advocated the opening of several “impossible” trade negotiations for the EU, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US and free-trade agreements with Japan and Australia/New Zealand.

Hosuk often appears in European, Chinese and US news media and is regularly asked to advise governments and international organisations. He previous worked for the Swedish government where he dealt with trade, intellectual property and UN matters. 

Back in the pre-internet analogue age, he paid his way through school by designing adverts for global brands. Having migrated to Sweden from Tokyo in his youth, Hosuk is reconciled to being called a foreigner wherever he goes.

Iana Dreyer is a senior fellow at OPEN. A journalist, commentator, political economist and media entrepreneur, she specialises in all matters related to international trade. She also has a keen interest in broader European affairs and globalisation. She is particularly passionate about defending free movement in Europe and open migration policies.

Iana is the founder and editor of Borderlex.eu, Europe’s top trade-policy news and commentary web platform. Previously, she was a think-tank analyst focused on trade. She lives in London and has also made her mark in Brussels and Paris.

Iana is a proud citizen of the world and has a French, German and Latin American background, with an added twist of inveterate anglophilia.