John Kampfner

Senior Associate Fellow


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

John writes for newspapers such as the FT, Guardian, The Times, New European, Die Zeit and Der Spiegel. A regular commentator on TV and radio, he has made several programmes for BBC Radio 4 and World Service. In 2002, he won the Foreign Press Association award for Journalist of the Year and Film of the Year for a BBC film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Between 2022 and 2023, as Executive Director, he established a new project at Chatham House called UK in the World. Before that, as a Consulting Fellow in 2021, he wrote a series on competitive rivalries in an era of global crisis.

John is currently Chair of Young Königswinter, an organisation which seeks to identify and brings together the next generation of German and British public figures.

He has just completed his seventh book, a history of Berlin, to be published in October 2023. His other books include the best-sellers Why the Germans Do It Better (2020) and Blair’s Wars (2003).

Fluent in German and Russian, he regularly speaks at international conferences. John is currently dividing his time between London, Berlin, and other European capitals.

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