A former BBC broadcaster presenting Panorama and the Money Programme and Chairman and Fellow of the Royal Television Society, Alan Watson today is Chairman of CTN Communications and Chairman of Havas Media UK. For 10 years he was European Chairman of Burson Marsteller. He advises many major UK and international companies on their communications strategies. For five years he was Head of Media at the European Commission.
In addition to his executive posts, Alan Watson is now non-executive Chairman of two companies: Nexus, the Commonwealth publisher, and Raisin Social, the wine importer.
Alan holds a range of visiting and honorary posts and doctorates at universities in Britain and abroad, and most recently, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Birmingham University. In all he has received doctorates in the USA, Russia, Japan, Chile, Romania, Albania and the UK.
At Cambridge, he is an honorary fellow of Jesus College and a patron of the Churchill Archives at Churchill College. In 2005 he was appointed Chairman of The Cambridge Foundation, and in 2010 he was elected High Steward of Cambridge University for life.
A former President of the Liberal Party, he is an active member of the House of Lords, where he has served for 8 years on the House of Lords Select Committee on the E.U. Alan is Vice President of the English Speaking Union, and a recipient of the Churchill Medal. He also holds the Knight’s Grand Cross of Germany’s Order of Merit, and the Commander’s Grand Cross of Romania’s Order of Merit.
Alan’s books include ‘The Germans: Who are they now?’ ‘Jamestown: The Voyage of English’ and most recently ‘The Queen and the USA’. His new book on Winston Churchill will be published in 2015
Lord Watson and Albania
Lord Watson is a committed internationalist and a strong supporter of the Atlantic Alliance, the European Union and the Commonwealth. His belief in the importance of international understanding has been the guiding principle in his involvement with Albania. The highlights of this involvement are as follows:
- The inauguration of ESU Albania on 8th September 2009 and preliminary work in establishing the ESU in Albania
- Initiating and then chairing the meeting of the ESU International Council in Tirana in 22nd October 2010.
- Frequent visits to Tirana over the last decade, first as Chairman of the ESU and currently as the Union’s worldwide Vice president, to promote Albanian- UK cultural exchange especially through public speaking and international debating competitions
- Advice and advocacy of the earl learning of English in Albanian schools, enhancing the career opportunities and competitiveness of young Albanians
- Consistent and public support for the Albanian-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry of which he is Patron.
- Promotion of UK inward investment into Albania both as Patron of the Chamber and as a member of the House of Lords.
- Support for and advocacy of Albanian full membership of the EU. Over many years he has argued for this in London, Brussels and Tirana.
Active sponsorship and organisational commitment in staging the Mother Teresa Exhibition in Westminster Abbey in November 2012 at the request of the Mother Teresa Cultural Foundation of Romania. He personally donated funds for the exhibition and secured substantial sponsorship from BP for the reception in Westminster Abbey’s Undercroft. On this occasion, he again gave his public support for Albanian EU membership. He gained the active backing of the Dean of Westminster, who agreed to a celebratory service in recognition of UK-Albanian friendship.