I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece but of the world. Socrates

Business & Career

A young entrepreneur, in 1968 Pida established a London based art business and galleries, Crystal Palace Gallery and  the Chelsea Gallery in the King's Road, representing artists and organising exhibitions in many different environments, including Southwark Cathedral and Stadt Museums in Germany.  Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to develop other business ventures including interior design, high value property development, fragrance creation, and leisure market products (gold medalist).  

To allow her time to diversify her business interests, she turned the Chelsea Gallery, in the King's Road, into the world’s first original film poster gallery in 1975. This initiative attracted global interest, notably from the film world.

She created and developed a range of fragrances during 1975. In early 1976 the global fragrance company, Faberge Inc., introduced a line of fragranced products using her registered trademarks. Pida successfully applied for an interlocutory injunction and Faberge were forced to withdraw its entire product line and publicly apologise to Pida Ripley in all professional journals for the illegal use of her trademarks. She then leased her proven intellectual property to Avon Inc.

Pida created the perfume ‘Boudicca’ to promote the first UN International Women's Year (IWY). IWY was a UN initiative in 1975 which led to the launch of the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975 to 1985. This was followed by further "UN Decades for Women" and international conferences.


The Boudicca perfume was sold at the UN and in the USA and UK. The first bottle of Boudicca perfume was received by Margaret Thatcher, newly appointed Leader of the Conservative Party.

In 1987 Pida established a garden product business, securing UK distribution rights for innovative new products. 

In 1988 she was awarded the Gold Medal for the best new gardening product at Europe's largest Garden Leisure Exhibition (GLEE) in Birmingham. Thereafter she successfully developed several high value property projects in central London.  

Career Appointments

First Director of Development, Chatham House

In 1989 she was appointed the first Director of Development (and the first woman at director level) of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), long regarded as one of the world’s premier policy institutes on international affairs.

Working closely with the then Director, Sir James Eberle (former Supreme Commander of NATO and a former Commander-in-chief of the British fleet) she created, at extremely short notice, the institute’s 70th Anniversary fundraising campaign, raising over £1,000,000 in the first nine months. 

Coordinating the funding applications of seven research departments, increasing corporate and individual membership, Pida also successfully devised the institute’s first Chatham House Fellowship Program, a Post-Soviet Business Forum and several other initiatives creating a foundation which has continued to support the expansion of the think tank.

Pida Ripley at Chatham House

The first Chatham House Fellow, Osako Gas,Hideo
Taki & family at Chatham House with Pida Ripley

In 1993 she was appointed the Executive Director of a high tech audio-visual trade association, organising Industry Forum meetings and developing business relations and profiling.

Subsequently she was appointed the Executive Director of a high tech trade association of global and national companies with a focus on AV and business communication (1993-5), negotiating a package that allowed her to maintain her voluntary leadership in developing the growth of WomenAid, the humanitarian and development agency she had founded in 1987. 

In 1999 she was appointed the Executive Director of a health promotion organisation implementing major health training programmes in the Russian Federation. Funded by DFID, the organisation arranged medical specialists exchange programmes and convened major conferences on health issues including child mental health, midwifery, and HIV/STDs. (1999/2000).

Honours and awards

1975 United Nations International Women’s Year (IWY) Recognition Award.   She received a UN IWY award organised by WFUNA at the UN in New York for her activities promoting UN International Women’s Year, IWY.

1986 Senior MacArthur Fellowship, Washington.  Awarded by the MacArthur Foundation. University of Maryland.

1999 9th Annual European Women of Achievement Awards, Finalist ‘Humanitarian’ category. 09.07.99
Nominated in recognition of her voluntary work with WomenAid International in the former Yugoslavia and the Caucasus.  ”The Finalists are all ‘can do’ women, not only are they all inspired to succeed, but they are also inspirational to others in all their different fields of endeavour…we applaud the wonderful women who are helping to power Europe into the 21st Century.”

2011 UN Centenary Year International Women’s Day, Excellence Awards UAE.Dubai.
Citation: Pida Ripley, WomenAid International, for her excellent contribution & commitment towards Community Service. Her dedication and hard work will be an inspiration to the younger generation.

Pida has been a guest & keynote speaker on diverse subjects, authored multiple articles, book reviews, press advisory notes and releases etc and has participated in numerous radio/TV interviews in UK and abroad.