THE LORD WATSON OF RICHMOND, CBE
Alan Watson is Chairman of CTN Communications and for over 10 years was European Chairman of Burson Marsteller. He advises many major UK and international companies on their communication strategies. He is also Non Executive Chairman of the Wine Importer, Raisin Social, and of the official Commonwealth publisher, Nexus and since 2008 has also been non-executive chairman of Havas Media UK. His business career began with four years as CEO of the advertising agency, Charles Barker City.
In broadcasting Alan became a BBC General Trainee after Cambridge, and later a regular presenter with "The Money Programme" on BBC2 and "Panorama" on BBC1. He also reported on LWTV, Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, and wrote and presented award winning documentaries over many years. He is a Fellow and former Chairman of the Royal Television Society. From 1976 to 1980 he was responsible for Media at the European Commission.
Chairman of the English Speaking Union for six years, he is now International Chairman Emeritus. In 2005 he was awarded The Churchill Medal. He is Chairman of the Council of Commonwealth Societies and a member of the Executive Committee of the Pilgrims. He is Co Chair of the Jamestown 1607-2007 British Committee. Additionally he is a member of the Prince of Wales Business Leaders' Forum.
Internationally, he has served on the Executive Board of UNICEF (UK) and as a member of the European Parliament's High Level Group on Romania. In 2004 he was awarded the Commander's Grand Cross of the Romanian Order of Merit.
Alan holds a range of visiting and honorary posts at Universities in Britain and abroad. For six years Chairman of Governors at Westminster College Oxford, today he is a Visiting Fellow at Oriel College Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge. He chairs the Cambridge University Chemistry Advisory Board and is a Life Patron of The Churchill Archives held at Churchill College Cambridge. In 2005 he was appointed Chairman of The Cambridge Foundation. He has been awarded honorary doctorates and professorships in a number of Universities in the UK and abroad. He is President of The British Accreditation Council. In 2010 he was elected High Steward of Cambridge for life.
His publications include "Europe at Risk", "The Germans: who are they now?", "Thatcher and Kohl: Old Rivalries Revisited" and "Jamestown: The Voyage of English".
A former President of the Liberal Party, he was appointed CBE in 1985 and created a Life Peer in 1999. He is a Member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union.
In 1995 he received the German Order of Merit for his "significant and enduring contribution" to understanding between Germany and Britain. In 2001 he was promoted to the Grand Cross of the Order and in 2007 the Knights Grand Cross. He is British Chairman of the Königswinter Anglo- German Conference and President of the British German Association.
He is a Patron of The Richmond Society, The Richmond Museum, and The Richmond in Europe Association, Chairman of the Father Thames Trust and Chairman of the Arcadia Advisory Board.
Lord Watson is married and has two sons. He was educated at Diocesan College Preparatory School Cape Town, Kingswood School Bath and Jesus College Cambridge. He lives in Richmond and Somerset.