Guest Speaker

John Kampfner’s fascinating career began as a foreign correspondent reporting from East Berlin on the fall of the Wall and unification of Germany, and then in Moscow at the time of the collapse of Soviet Communism. He went on to become Chief Political Correspondent at the FT and political commentator for the BBC’s Today programme and Newsnight as well as Editor of the New Statesman.

Writing weekly for the Times and regularly in other newspapers such as The Guardian and New European, he has in addition, made a number of programmes for BBC Radio 4 and World Service, frequently appearing on the BBC, Sky and other media.

John is the recipient of the Foreign Press Association award for Journalist of the Year and Film of the Year for ‘The Ugly War’ a two-part BBC film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He has authored many books including Why the Germans Do It Better; Blair’s Wars; Freedom For Sale and The Rich, from Slaves to Superyachts.

John is a Consulting Fellow at Chatham House and has written the first in a three-part series on competitive rivalries in an era of global crisis. The first report, on the Covid pandemic, was published in June 2021. He is also a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

Establishing the Creative Industries Federation, providing a single voice for the UK’s creative sector, he is also the founder Chair of Turner Contemporary, one of the country’s most successful art galleries. He is now Chair of the House of Illustration. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his services to the arts by Bath Spa University.

Fluent in German and Russian, he regularly speaks at political conferences and cultural festivals around the world.