John Kampfner

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John Kampfner, director, Creative Industries Federation London 2014

John Paul Kampfner (born 27 December 1962) is Director of the Creative Industries Federation, the national representative body for arts, culture and the creative industries in the United Kingdom (UK).[1]


John Kampfner is Director of the Creative Industries Federation,[1] which began its work in March 2014.[citation needed]

He is also Chair of the board of Turner Contemporary, one of the UK's most successful cultural institutions. The opening of the gallery in Margate in April 2011 received plaudits around the world, and within two years it received one million visitors.[2] In August 2012 he became a member of the Council of King's College, London.[3]

From 2012 to the start of 2014 he was adviser to Google on freedom of expression.[4] Prior to that he was from 2008 until 2012, Chief Executive of Index on Censorship.[5]

He began his career as a foreign correspondent with The Daily Telegraph,[6] first in East Berlin where he reported on the fall of the Wall and the 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 Financial Times and political commentator for the BBC's Today programme.[3]

As Editor of the New Statesman from 2005–2008, he took the magazine to 30-year circulation highs.[7] He was the British Society of Magazine Editors Current Affairs Editor of the Year in 2006.[8]


As an author Kampfner's works include Inside Yeltsin's Russia: Corruption, Conflict, Capitalism,[9] a biography of former Labour Foreign Secretary Robin Cook,[10] and a study of Tony Blair's interventionist foreign policy Blair's Wars.[11] His book Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money And Lost Our Liberty was published in September 2009 and is an analysis of the seeming abandonment of liberty in the names of democracy and capitalism.[12] The book was shortlisted for the Orwell Book prize in April 2010.[13]

His latest book, The Rich, a 2000-year history, from slaves to super-yachts, will be published by Little Brown in October 2014.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Kampfner was born in Singapore,[15] but his family left when he was very young. He was educated at The Hall School (Hampstead) then Westminster School, a boys' independent school in London and at The Queen's College, Oxford where he received a BA degree in Modern History and Russian.[citation needed]. Kampfner married BBC journalist Lucy Ash in 1992.[16] The couple have two children and live in London.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Our Team". Creative Industries Federation. 
  2. ^ "About > Trustees and staff". Turner Contemporary. 
  3. ^ a b "King's College London – Mr John Kampfner". 1 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Claire Cozens and Colin Blackstock (12 May 2005). "Editor quits New Statesman | Media". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ Stephen Brook, press correspondent (5 August 2008). "Ex-New Statesman editor John Kampfner joins Index on Censorship | Media". The Guardian. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "About". New Statesman. 
  8. ^ John Plunkett (15 November 2006). "British Society of Magazine Editors awards winners | MediaGuardian". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ "Inside Yeltsin's Russia: corruption, conflict, capitalism / John Kampfner.". NLA Trove. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Langdon, Julia (26 September 1998). "The Saturday Profile: Labour's falling star". Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Sands, Philippe (28 September 2003). "Handmaiden at the court of George W Bush". The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Preston, Peter (13 September 2009). "Freedom for Sale by John Kampfner". The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  13. ^ Leach, Anna (15 April 2010). "Orwell prize shortlist announced". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Rich – Little, Brown Book Group". 
  15. ^ Kampfner, John (2009). Freedom for sale. London: Simon & Schuster. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-41652-604-9. 
  16. ^ a b Kampfner, John (23 July 2006). "My week". The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Peter Wilby
Editor of the New Statesman
Succeeded by
Jason Cowley