Name: John Riddle
Organisation: Independent Media Consultant
Role: I work on short-term consultancies helping development agencies communicate their messages through the media.
I am a resourceful writer and media relations specialist with 21 years of experience in public relations and international government affairs, focusing on international policy, economic development and food and agriculture issues. I have held senior communications positions with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Since retiring from FAO on 31 May 2009, I have been working in the Asia and the Pacific region as an independent writer and media consultant. I recently completed a consultancy for FAO in Apia, Samoa and Bangkok, Thailand, where I researched, wrote and produced a 12-page four-colour brochure on an FAO Food Security Programme in the Pacific. I also helped the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands rebuild their website during my one-month stay in Apia. http://www.faopacific.ws/Publications/Storiesofhope/tabid/4835/language/en-US/Default.aspx Previously I established FAO's first-ever Information and Liaison Office in the United Kingdom in 2007, managing a far-reaching communications and media relations operation for FAO, including cooperative initiatives with UK government and non-governmental organizations. At FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, I designed and managed media campaigns and activities as part of a multifaceted public relations strategy. I have well developed multi-cultural skills and strong reporting and writing abilities. Based at FAO HQ in Rome, Italy for 14 years until May 2007, I managed media coverage for a wide range of products such as Food Outlook, Foodcrops and Shortages and the Africa Report. I assisted correspondents covering Agricultural Trade, Commodities, Health and Nutrition, Food Safety, including global and regional Food Safety and Quality Standards meetings in Marrakech, Amman, Bangkok and Harare, as well as Headquarters meetings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. I organized FAO media activities for World Trade Organization meetings in Cancun and Hong Kong and for the Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, Mexico. For several months over three years I worked in Asia promoting FAO’s groundbreaking work in the battle against the spread of Avian Influenza. I wrote brochures and produced video news releases from the epicentre of the outbreak in Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam. During this time I worked in close cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/focus/2006/1000348/article_1000351en.html I worked for more than a decade as a correspondent and photographer for Time magazine based in Cairo, Egypt and later Athens, Greece covering the Middle East.