Member of Council
Alistair Burnett


Alistair Burnett is a journalist and analyst of international affairs. He is director of news for Sightsavers, the NGO that works around the world to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote equality for people with visual impairments and other disabilities. Before this, he worked for the BBC for 26 years until 2015, where he was editor of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4 for 10 years, ensuring there was a place on national news for daily coverage of global affairs. He was also editor of Newshour on BBC World Service in the early 2000s.

After getting his MA in history from Edinburgh University, Alistair worked abroad teaching English in Italy and then China. It was there, witnessing the stirrings of the pro-democracy movement that culminated in the Beijing massacre, that he decided what he wanted to be a journalist, so he returned to the UK and joined BBC World Service in the late 1980s.

He has a particular interest in international relations and the shifting power relations in the world that are challenging the traditional American and European dominance of global affairs.