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Jo Johnson Speaker

Jo Johnson

speaker location icon UK

Cabinet Minister under three different Prime Ministers

Chairman of TES Global, the owner of the Times Educational Supplement

Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School

Jo Johnson is a politician, author, journalist and former investment banker. He was MP for Orpington from 2010-2019 and held key ministerial offices in each of the last three Conservative Governments under David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson, respectively.

He is Chairman of the TES Group, the owner of the Times Educational Supplement and a leading UK peer-to-peer marketplace for teaching resources, recruitment and software services.

He is also a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and President’s Professorial Fellow at King’s College, London, one of the UK’s leading research universities.

His experience inside and outside of politics gives him a unique perspective to comment on government policy, economics and well as the internal machinations of the British Government. In September 2019, Johnson resigned from the Cabinet citing “unresolvable tension” between his “family loyalty and the national interest”. He campaigned for the Remain side in the Brexit Referendum and is known to be at odds with the Prime Minister and his brother, Boris’, views on the European Union.

His roles in Government have included Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Minister of State for Transport, and Minister of State for the Cabinet Office. He is also amongst the youngest life members of the Privy Council.

In the two years leading to the 2015 General Election, he worked directly for Prime Minister David Cameron as Head of the 10 Downing Street Policy Unit and Chair of the Conservative Policy Board. In this role, he ran the Prime Minister’s team of policy advisers and was responsible, among other duties, for writing the Conservative Party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election.

Prior to his election to Parliament in 2010, Jo spent 13 years at the Financial Times and won a number of awards for his journalism. These came from a variety of organisations, including the Foreign Press Association, the Society of Publishers in Asia and The Indian Express’s Excellence in Journalist Awards.

He worked at the FT in a variety of roles, including as Associate Editor & Editor of The Lex Column, widely known as one of the most influential positions in British financial journalist. He also spent time as the South Asia Bureau Chief and as Paris Correspondent.

Prior to joining the FT He worked as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank, and has also edited and written several books. These include Reconnecting Britain and India: Ideas for an Enhanced Partnership (Academic Foundation 2011, with Dr Rajiv Kumar), and The Man who Tried to Buy the World (Penguin, 2003).


Jo Johnson was a scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, from which received a first class degree in Modern History in 1994. He also has an MBA from INSEAD and a licence spéciale from the Institut d’Etudes Européennes of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he was a Wiener-Anspach Fellow.


The Man Who Tried to Buy the World

Traces the rise and fall of French empire builder and CEO Jean-Marie Messier, citing his acquisitions of such media assets as MCA Records, Universal Studios, and USA Networks; noting his challenges to such companies as AOL Time Warner and Disney; and describing his 2002 demise in the face of overextended debts. 40,000 first printing.

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