Demetri Sevastopulo Keynote Speaker

  • US/China Correspondent - Financial Times
  • Washington Bureau Chief, FT - (2015-2021)
  • Foreign Policy Commentator - US - East Asia and China

Biography

Demetri Sevastopulo is the US/China Correspondent for the Financial Times, based in Washington DC.    He covers all aspects of the US-China relationship, ranging from foreign policy, national security and intelligence to trade, economics and business.

After recently completing a successful five-year tour as the longest-serving FT Washington Bureau Chief, Demetri took on this new role that the paper created to take a broad and deep look at every aspect of the world’s most critical bilateral relationship.   He has spent the last two decades as a foreign correspondent writing on US foreign policy and security, with an Asia focus, and American politics. He has covered two US presidential races and interviewed everyone from Donald Rumsfeld and Robert McNamara to Donald Trump.

Demetri is a versatile speaker who can talk about a wide range of foreign policy topics, from the US-China cold war and North Korean nuclear threat, to the outlook for the transatlantic relationship and US-Russia relations under President Joe Biden. He brings the perspective of someone who has travelled widely with US defence secretaries and chairmen of the joint chiefs.    After spending six years writing about US politics and covering Donald Trump from the launch of his first campaign until the end of his presidency, Demetri can provide a revealing picture of how the Trump administration functioned and what it was like covering the Trump White House. Demetri travelled frequently overseas to cover Donald Trump, including the G20 in both Hamburg and Osaka, his visits to the UK and Brussels, and his trips to Japan, South Korea and China in Asia. He also covered both of his summits with Kim Jong Un, in Singapore and Vietnam, and was in Helsinki for the incredible summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Demetri has travelled to 48 of the 50 states and has interviewed everyone from North Dakota soybean farmers and US-Mexico border cattle ranchers, to Indiana factory workers and Cuban-American Trump fans in Miami. This has given him a real insight into the rise of Trump and why Joe Biden’s election does not mean that the US will revert to the politics of pre-Trump America.   Earlier in his Washington career, Demetri spent six years covering the Pentagon and CIA, during both the Bush and Obama administrations. He has reported from dozens of countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Russia, India, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia and China.

Demetri has spent well over a decade living in Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong. In between his two postings in Washington, he was based in Hong Kong for five years. He spent most of this time serving as Asia News Editor, running the FT news operations from Afghanistan to Australia.    Demetri also spent a year as South China correspondent, covering everything from South China Sea disputes to labour unrest. He visited dozens of Chinese factories and saw supply chains in action across the Pearl River Delta, the world’s manufacturing hub.

He also covered the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution, the precursor to the pro-democracy movement that spurred China to impose a tough national security law on the Chinese territory. He also wrote a prize-winning magazine story on the biggest soccer school in the world, in Guangdong.

Demetri began his career as a currency trader at Citibank in Tokyo, and later covered the Japanese economy for Bloomberg. He has an MA in East Asian studies from Harvard University where he taught Japanese and Chinese history to undergraduates. He studied Chinese at Beijing University and Japanese at Sophia University. He speaks fluent Japanese, rusty Mandarin Chinese and basic Cantonese. Despite his Greek name, he was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and graduated from Trinity College.

Speaking Topics Include;

  • US-China relations
  • US-China technology war
  • US foreign policy in Asia
  • US-Japan relations
  • US foreign policy: Trump vs Biden
  • US politics

 

 

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Blogs & Articles

Financial Times

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