Shada Islam

Director Europe & Geopolitics, Friends of Europe,

Shada Islam is Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, a renowned and influential independent think tank based in Brussels. Ms Islam has spent most of her professional life researching, writing and speaking about the European Union’s relations with Asia. She has built up a reputation in both Asia and Europe as a leading commentator, analyst and writer as well as a fresh and original thought leader on EU-Asia relations.

As a correspondent for over 20 years for Asia’s leading news weekly “The Far Eastern Economic Review”, Ms Islam has acquired an in-depth knowledge and unique insights into the policies and priorities of governments, business and civil society actors in both Asia and Europe. As such, her opinions and advice are much sought-after by Asian and European governments, including the European Union institutions and the European External Action Service as well as business, civil society and academia. She is a regular speaker at international conferences and is a frequent lecturer at academic symposia in both Asia and Europe.

Ms Islam set up Friends of Europe’s very successful Asia Programme in 2011, rapidly making it into one of Europe’s most influential knowledge platforms on EU-Asia relations. Earlier, after working as a senior journalist and commentator, Ms Islam joined the European Policy Centre think tank in Brussels in 2007 where she was also responsible for EU-Asia relations. She has a Masters Degree in Journalism and Social Communication from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

Ms Islam has contributed to many international publications on EU-Asian relations, including:

  • Thomas Christiansen, Emil Kirchner, and Philomena B. Murray (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of EU-Asia Relations, Eastbourne, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Louis Brennan and Philomena Murray (eds.), Drivers of Integration and Regionalism in Europe and Asia”, London and New York, Routledge, 2015.
  • The Age of Connectivity – ASEM and Beyond (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung)
  • Beatrice Gorawantschy, Megha Sarmah, and Patrick Rueppel, “The Age of Connectivity: ASEM and Beyond”, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2016.
  • Bart Gaens (ed.), “The Future of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM): Looking Ahead into ASEM’s Third Decade”, ASEM InfoBoard, Report, 2015.

She tweets as @shada_islam

Featured work


Bruegel Annual Meetings 2019

Bruegel's 2019 Annual Meetings will be held on 4-5 September and feature the launch of Bruegel's Memos to the New European Commission.