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Guto Harri

Guto Harri

speaker location icon London, UK

Former Director of External Affairs for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Former Director of Communications for NewsUK

18 year career as a BBC journalist, including Chief Political Correspondent (2002-05)

Guto Harri is the former Spokesman and Director of External Affairs for Boris Johnson in his time as Mayor of London. He has also held roles as the Director of Communications at News UK , and as the Managing Director of External Communications for Liberty Global.

In his role with Boris Johnson, his remit was to advise the Mayor – whom he first met at Oxford University – on communications and to direct media strategy. Guto is widely acknowledged as nurturing and promoting the ‘Boris brand’, moulding the media and the public’s perception of the Mayor, which went global in the lead-up to and during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

When joining NewsUK he was taking on a position that was then known as the ‘hardest job in PR’. Having joined during the company’s most tumultuous periods with News International in daily headlines for the wrong reasons, he is widely regarded as playing a key role in shaping and turning around its reputation.

Prior to this Guto had an 18-year career as a BBC journalist, with assignments included covering the collapse of communism in East Germany, the bloody coup which overthrew Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu, and reporting from inside Iraq during the first Gulf War.

In 2002, Guto was promoted to Chief Political Correspondent for the BBC’s 24 hour news channel and travelled the world with Tony Blair in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. During this time he also presented the channel’s weekly interview programme, One To One, as well as The World at One, PM programme, and the Today programme business slot for BBC Radio 4. In 2005, he became BBC’s North American Business Correspondent based in New York until 2007. In that role, Guto travelled to about 30 states and interviewed a number of senior figures in the world of business and economics, including Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Richard Branson, Sir Howard Springer, Robert Rubin and Bill Ford.

After leaving the BBC at the end of 2007, Guto Harri joined London public relations agency, Fleishman-Hillard as a Senior Policy Advisor; among others he advised for the Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Our Comment

"Having interviewed and worked for some of the most influential names in business, economics and politics from around the world, Guto Harri has a remarkable stash of anecdotes and stories, and has established himself as an insightful and dynamic speaker."

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