Founder and Innovation Officer

Julia Middleton

Julia is passionate about helping people from all backgrounds to develop as leaders and make an active and tangible contribution to their communities and to wider society.

In the autumn of 1989, Julia founded Common Purpose, which has grown to be one of the biggest leadership development organizations in the world. Julia stepped down from the position of Chief Executive in 2018. She is now the Innovation Officer, driving new initiatives across the world.

Julia was a founder of the Impetus Trust (developing venture philanthropy in the UK), the Media Standards Trust (fostering high standards in the news media) and Alfanar (developing venture philanthropy in the Arab World). Today, she is on the board and chairs the investment committee of Alfanar, is on the International Advisory Council for Fundação Dom Cabral (a non-profit business institution in Brasil), is a Senior Fellow of Babson College and is a Goodwill Ambassador of the Aurora Forum (a global humanitarian initiative run out of Armenia).

Julia was born in London and educated at French Lycées around the world. She worked for the Industrial Society after receiving an economics degree from the London School of Economics. She is married, and has five children and one grandchild.

Julia is the author of two bestselling books: Beyond Authority and Cultural Intelligence. Julia defines Cultural Intelligence (CQ) as "the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures".