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Lionel Barber

speaker location icon London, UK

Editor of the Financial Times (2005-2020)

Commentator on US Foreign Policy and Global Macro-Trends in Global Economic Climate

Expert on the Future of Journalism in the "Upheaval of Technological Change

Lionel Barber was the Editor of the Financial Times from 2005-2020. Under his editorship, the paper won three ‘Newspaper of the Year’ awards, transformed the newsroom into a world class digital-first operation, and solidified its legacy as one of the world’s leading business news organisations, renowned for its integrity and accuracy.  His memoirs ‘The Powerful and the Damned: Private Diaries in Turbulent Times’ were published in early November.

Barber began his career in 1978 as a reporter for the Scotsman. Three years later, he joined the Sunday Times and in 1985 he joined the Financial Times as a business reporter. He advanced to Washington correspondent in 1986 before being appointed Brussels bureau chief in 1992. He continued to progress as news editor, lead of the continental European edition and US managing editor.

During his tenure, the Financial Times surpassed the milestone of one million paying readers, over 75% digital subscribers, and won numerous awards including the British Journalism Awards, Gerald Loeb, Overseas Press Club, Society of American Business Editors and Writers and Society of Publishers in Asia for its world-class journalism globally.

Barber is an experienced broadcaster and commentator who has co-written several books, including a history of Reuters news agency, “The Price of Truth”, and has lectured on foreign policy, transatlantic relations and Europe. He has received numerous prestigious awards including the Laurence Stern Fellowship at the Washington Post (1985), a Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship (1991), a visiting scholarship at the University of California at Berkeley (1992) and a visiting fellowship at the Robert Schuman Center at the European University Institute in Florence (1996).

In 2009, Barber was awarded the St George’s Society medal of honour for his commendable contribution to journalism in the transatlantic community. In 2011, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees at The Tate and serves as Chair.  He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. And in 2016, he was made a Chevalier in the French Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur for his journalism.

Our Comment

"As the FT’s editor, Lionel has interviewed many of the world’s leaders, including Barack Obama, David Cameron and Wen Jiabao. As well as his US expertise, Lionel is an excellent commentator on the goings-on in Europe."

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