The Ditchley Foundation based at Ditchley Park near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, aims to promote international understanding and relations, especially Anglo-American relations, through a programme of around twelve annual conferences on matters of international interest. The foundation was established in 1958 by Sir David Wills, descendant of the tobacco importing family, W. D. & H. O. Wills of Bristol.
At each conference, around forty international invitees are drawn from senior levels of politics, business, the armed forces, media, and academia. The current director is James Arroyo OBE, previously director for data at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, charged with adapting the organisation to the digital age.
Discussion at each two-day conference begins with all members present, before participants divide into three sub-groups, each having its own chairman and rapporteur to summarise proceedings. Proceedings end with one more conference-wide session. Discussions are private and non-attributable, under the Chatham House Rule, but a full account is produced by the Director, and posted on the Foundations website.
Sister organisations, American and Canadian Ditchley, help to shape the conference programme as well as select American and Canadian participants.
- The Rt Hon the Lord Hill of Oareford CBE. Current Chairman of Ditchley (2017- ). He also has roles as Senior Advisor, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (2017-); Independent National Director, Times Newspapers; and Board Member, Centre for Policy Studies. He was formerly European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (2014-16); Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (2013-14); Undersecretary of State for Schools (2010-13).
- The Rt Hon George Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, KT, GCMG, PC, Hon FRSE. He is also Deputy-Chairman of TNK-BP. He was NATO Secretary General from 1999-2003 and UK Defence Secretary from 1997-1999, Chairman of The Ditchley Foundation, 2010-2017.
- Sir John Major, the former British Prime Minister, chairman of The Ditchley Foundation 2000-2009.
- Sir John Wheeler-Bennett. British historian; the first chairman, appointed in 1958.
- Sir Reginald Hibbert. Director 1982–1987.
- Sir Philip Adams. Director 1977–1982.
- Sir Michael Quinlan. Director 1992–1999.
- Sir Nigel Broomfield KCMG, Director 1999-2004
- Sir Jeremy Greenstock GCMG, Director 2004 - 2010
- Sir John Holmes GCVO, KBE, CMG, Director 2010 - 2016
The list below includes some current, but many former Governors
- David L. Aaron, former US Deputy National Security Advisor
- Virginia Bottomley, former Secretary of State for Health
- Robin Butler, former Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service
- David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Menzies Campbell, former Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party
- Robert Cooper, Director General, Council of the European Union
- David Hennessy, former Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords
- Douglas Hurd, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Roy MacLaren, former Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
- John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- David Miliband, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Pauline Neville-Jones, former Minister of State for Security
- Malcolm Rifkind, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
- John Sawers, former British diplomat and senior civil servant
- Jack Straw, former Home Secretary
- David Willetts, former Minister of State for Universities and Science
- Shirley Williams, former Secretary of State for Education and Science
- Our Good Conference Guide: Magic mountains for the mind - The Economist - 26 December 1987 - Volume 305