John Kampfner

John Kampfner

Former Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation

John Kampfner is a long-standing author, broadcaster, commentator and cultural entrepreneur.

He established the Creative Industries Federation to much acclaim in November 2014, providing a single voice to all the UK’s creative sector. He led the organisation for four and a half years, putting the sector at the heart of political, economic and social decision-making for the first time in the country’s history. The model is now being emulated around the world.

For nearly eight years he was the founder Chair of Turner Contemporary, one of the UK’s most successful art galleries and perhaps its foremost culture-led regeneration projects.

Among his other positions, he was a member of the Council of King’s College, London, and was Chair of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, a charity which nurtures the next generation of leaders in the charity sectors.

For four years running he has been named one of the 1000 most influential Londoners in the Evening Standard Progress 1000 survey.

He began his journalistic career as a foreign correspondent with the Daily Telegraph, first in East Berlin where he reported on the fall of the Wall and the 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. He is a regular contributor to the opinion pages of British and international publications and on broadcast outlets.

As Editor of the New Statesman from 2005-2008, he took the magazine to 30-year circulation highs. He was the British Society of Magazine Editors Current Affairs Editor of the Year in 2006.

In 2002 he won the Foreign Press Association award for Film of the Year and Journalist of the Year for a two-part BBC film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, called ‘The Ugly War’. His film ‘War Spin’, exposing the propaganda behind the rescue of Jessica Lynch, received considerable publicity in the US and UK.

He has written five books. These include the best-selling Blair’s Wars (2003), now a standard text in schools and elsewhere on the ex-prime minister’s Iraq intervention and other foreign policy; Freedom For Sale (2009), which was short-listed for the Orwell Prize in 2010 and in 2014 The Rich, from Slaves to Superyachts, A 2000-Year History.

Fluent in German and Russian, he is a regular speaker at international conferences and symposia.