ronwen Maddox is the new Director of the Institute for Government, the leading think tank working to improve government, in making better decisions and implementing them. She will start formally in September 2016, although because of the tumultuous events following Britain’s vote on June 24th to leave the European Union, she has begun commenting from the Institute and steering its programme of work.
For the previous five and a half years, she was editor and chief executive of Prospect Magazine, the UK’s leading current affairs and culture monthly title, which has a rapidly-growing circulation of more than 32,000. She was appointed in November 2010 with a mission to build on Prospect‘s reputation for intellectual rigour and originality. In May she held a high profile interview with Tony Blair, the subject of the cover story of her final issue. Her last editorial is here, and her arguments on the Brexit debate before the vote here.
Some of her main pieces for Prospect include an interview with Jimmy Carter in 2015, an analysis of the failings of all political parties’ manifestoes before the May, 2015 election, and an interview with Henry Kissinger at his home. In September, 2013, she wrote one of the magazine’s best-selling cover stories on the Afghanistan conflict. In another top-selling cover story, “Israel—drifting towards disaster?” in July 2014, she analysed the paralysed state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Previously, in 14 years at the Times, she was the paper’s Chief Foreign Commentator, Foreign Editor, and US Editor and Washington Bureau Chief. After 9/11, she wrote a column on international relations at least four times a week for nine years; her commentary became one of the best-known fixtures in British journalism, known for its crisp style and for not being afraid to reach a judgement on the day’s events, while avoiding ideology. It attracted a vigorous response from readers around the world.
In her writing, Bronwen Maddox has won access to some of the most influential figures in the British government and the Obama Administrations, and in governments across Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. The Kremlin picked her to be the sole British journalist interviewing President Vladimir Putin (PDF found by clicking the image to the right) ahead of a controversial G8 summit. She also interviewed Benazir Bhutto at her home shortly after the attempt on her life on her return to Pakistan in late 2007, and President Pervez Musharraf several times—find a link to one of her interviews with him here.
She was previously at the Financial Times, where she ran the paper’s year-long, award-winning, investigation into the publishing tycoon, Robert Maxwell. Before his death, she mapped the 800 companies making up his corporate empire, establishing that the total amount of debt was insupportable; the work culminated in a 30,000-word series, based on 200 interviews, which won the paper a British Press Award. She was also an editorial writer, specialising in microeconomics, and a specialist correspondent in energy and the environment, travelling widely through Eastern Europe and China.
She is the author of In Defence of America, a book arguing the case for supporting the US after the Iraq war. She is an accomplished public speaker and chair of debates, for many kinds of audiences, including financial and military, and for many kinds of events, from after-dinner talks to seminars. She appears frequently on television and radio in the UK and US, particularly the BBC’s Today programme, Newsnight and Daily Politics.
Previously, she was an investment analyst in the City and on Wall Street, and a Director of Kleinwort Benson Securities, now part of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where she ran its highly-rated team recommending investment in world media stocks and helped raise money for corporate refinancing.
She is a member of the Council of the Ditchley Foundation, the historic conference centre which fosters transatlantic relations, and a Member of the Council (a Trustee) of Chatham House, the foreign affairs think-tank based in London. From 2010 to 2014, she was a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum. She was a judge of the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.
She has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from St John’s College, Oxford. She lives in London with her daughter.