Honouring the man

The John Smith Trust was founded in 1996 as a living memorial to Rt Hon John Smith QC MP, one of the outstanding political leaders of his generation. John Smith was deeply committed to building fairer, more sustainable and inclusive societies and had a strong interest in the former Soviet Union.

The John Smith Trust is a powerful – and fitting – legacy for John Smith. It harnesses and strengthens the ambition, passion, skills and knowledge of young leaders from the region and equips them to make a positive contribution to their societies.

Some of our Wider Europe 2018 Fellows at Downing Street

Our programmes

We run two fellowship programmes each year for candidates from countries across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The programmes are unique and life-changing opportunities, offering exceptional individuals the chance to explore issues around: governance and justice, climate and sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion.

This is done through an intensive four-week programme in the UK, including institutional visits, meetings with high-level experts, discussions, debates and workshops. The programme gives participants the chance to explore their leadership styles and develop key personal and professional skills.

Some of the participants of the JST Alumni Networking event in Bishkek .

Our network

The John Smith Trust connects committed leaders of change who are passionate about working together to make a real difference to their countries and communities. Those who successfully complete the UK fellowship programme become part of the vibrant and growing network of more than 500 John Smith Fellows across the region who continue to connect, collaborate and share ideas with each other.

We organise regular face-to-face regional networking events on specific themes and also facilitate contact between Fellows through our online networking platform.

The John Smith Fellowship is for life.