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Michael Barron

Political risk consultant

I am an international public policy and government relations expert with more than 20 years experience. My career started in television, moved through political risk consultancy to working in the international government relations team of a FTSE 100 company for 12 years. Here, I created and implemented strategic approaches to public policy and government relations issues, led advocacy campaigns and managed stakeholder engagement in pursuit of business objectives often in politically complex and high risk situations. While much of my career has focussed on the Middle East and more recently South East Asia, I have experience in a wide range of countries including the US, Australia, Cyprus and Ethiopia as well as working across diverse cultures and organisations. I have also developed particular expertise in the public policy issues around tax transparency and related governance challenges. I am currently an independent government relations consultant with a portfolio of 18 clients. I have written blogs on subjects as diverse as the film industry in Abu Dhabi to secret contacts between the Gulf states and Israel.
Gaza Has Energy But No

Gaza Has Energy But No Power

The lack of agreement means that everyone loses. Insufficient energy has contributed to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Israel continues to face the threats from an unstable situation and criticism for its policy towards Gaza, the PNA does not have the revenue stream and BG was left with a stranded asset.
19/07/2017 11:40 BST
A Marathon Runner's Guide To Middle Eastern Politics, Part

A Marathon Runner's Guide To Middle Eastern Politics, Part One

This year marks the 20th anniversary of running my first marathon*. It was the London Marathon in April 1997. Over the same period of time, longer in fact, I have also been an observer and analyst of Middle Eastern politics. Reflecting on two obsessions that have been important in my professional and personal life, what have I learnt from marathon running that can be applied to my analysis and observation of Middle Eastern politics?
27/01/2017 10:57 GMT
Diamonds Show Flaws In Civil Society Approach To The

Diamonds Show Flaws In Civil Society Approach To The Gulf

For both governments and NGOs in the Gulf, engagement and mutual respect is the path to success. Governments have to face up to some hard truths but the reputation gains are worth the pain. For NGOs, reports and campaigns only go so far, talking to governments who are the only ones who can enact change, is more likely to lead to success.
19/10/2016 13:00 BST
Nine Middle East Countries At Risk Of EU Sanctions Over Tax

Nine Middle East Countries At Risk Of EU Sanctions Over Tax Governance

High profile cases involving companies such as Google and Apple show that it is spreading to all sectors of the economy. Middle Eastern governments and companies are not insulated from this trend. They will find themselves under more scrutiny regarding governance around their tax affairs.
19/09/2016 11:45 BST
Chilcot Report Highlights US-British Threat to Middle Eastern

Chilcot Report Highlights US-British Threat to Middle Eastern Leaders

The Chilcot report has laid bare the US-British plot to remove Saddam. This is the second time (that we know of) where the US and the UK have conspired to remove a Middle Eastern leader. "The world is safer" claimed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in justifying the removal of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. More than a decade after the event and following the seven year wait for the Chilcot report, it is too early to say whether this is the case.
11/07/2016 12:45 BST
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Mediterranean Migrant

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Mediterranean Migrant Crisis

The influx of Saudi and other Gulf aid has played a central role in supporting the Egyptian economy, preventing the country's collapse and avoiding an even greater human tragedy than that currently unfolding. Saudi's financial support to Egypt is an example of where Saudi's interest - a stable Egypt - coincided with the wider international community's interest.
05/07/2016 13:22 BST