The British Council is a United Kingdom-based organisation specializing in international educational and cultural opportunities. It is registered as a charity both in England and Wales, and in Scotland. Founded in 1934 as the British Committee for Relations with Other Countries, and granted a royal charter by King George VI in 1940, the British Council was inspired by Sir Reginald (Rex) Leeper’s recognition of the importance of “cultural propaganda” in promoting British interests. Its “sponsoring department” within the United Kingdom Government is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although it has day-to-day operational independence. Martin Davidson is its chief executive, appointed in April 2007.