Jonathan Birdwell

Global Head, Economist Impact’s Policy and Insights team

Jonathan is Interim Global Head of Economist Impact’s Policy and Insights team, and Regional Head of the Policy & Insights team in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Jonathan leads Economist Impact’s team of researchers, economists and subject matter experts to  generate evidence-based insights for governments, international institutions, corporations, foundations, and NGOs around the world.

Jonathan has over fifteen years of experience leading research and advising governments, international organisations and civil society on a wide range of topics. Prior to joining The Economist Group, Jonathan was Deputy Director at ISD Global where he led the Institute’s research, policy, education and cities teams. Jonathan led the set up and build out of ISD’s Digital Analytics Unit, ISD’s Middle East office, as well as the Strong Cities Network, a global network of over 140 cities that focused on capacity building for city-led approaches to tackling extremism and misinformation. On the topic of misinformation and disinformation, Jonathan edited and co-authored reports analysing the scale and nature of misinformation tactics in the context of elections in the US, Sweden, Germany and the European Union.

Prior to ISD, Jonathan was Head of Programme at the London-based think tank Demos where he led work on extremism, populism, social cohesion, political engagement and education. Jonathan’s research and commentary has appeared in The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The New Statesman, and The Observer. He has appeared on PBS Newshour, BBC Breakfast, BBC Newsnight, BBC Today Programme, and Sky News.

Jonathan holds an MSc with distinction in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Political Science from Tulane University.


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