Mary Ann Sieghart leads a portfolio life. She makes programmes for BBC Radio 4 and is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London. She spent 2018-19 as a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where she researched her book, The Authority Gap, on why women are taken less seriously than men.
She is a Trustee of The Scott Trust, owner of The Guardian and The Observer; Trustee and former Chair of the Social Market Foundation, a non-party-political think tank; Non-Executive Director of The Merchants Trust and Pantheon International; and Senior Independent Trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust. Until recently, she was Senior Independent Director of Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust and sat on the Content Board of Ofcom and the Council of Tate Modern.
From 2010 to 2012, she wrote a weekly column in The Independent about politics, economics and social affairs.
From 2008 to 2010, she presented Newshour, the BBC World Service’s flagship news and current affairs programme.
Between 1988 and 2007, Mary Ann was Assistant Editor of The Times. She was a political and social affairs columnist both on the Comment page of the main paper and in the Times 2 section. She also wrote leaders, features, business and travel articles, as well as conducting interviews with leading members of the Establishment.
From 1997 to 1999 she was also Acting Editor of the Monday Times, which involved editing The Times on Sundays when the Editor was out of the office; chairing all the editorial meetings; generating ideas; taking sensitive decisions on taste and libel; and leading a team of section editors.
From 1992 to 1999 she was the paper’s chief political leader-writer, working closely with the Editor to devise The Times’ political strategy and day-to-day stance.
Between 1988 and 1991 she was The Times’ Comment Editor, in charge of columnists such as Bernard Levin and Matthew Parris. In 1989 she was also appointed Arts Editor, and took responsibility for all the arts, books, TV, radio and listings pages.
Mary Ann has extensive TV and radio experience, including presenting Start the Week, Analysis, Profile, One to One, Fallout, The Inquiry, Beyond Westminster, Newshour, Powerhouse, The Brains Trust, The Week in Westminster, Taking Issue, The Big Picture, No Illusions and The World This Week. She has regularly appeared as a guest on Question Time, Any Questions, Today, Newsnight, The World Tonight, Channel 4 News, PM, The Andrew Marr Show, The Politics Show, Woman’s Hour, The Afternoon Shift, Start the Week, The Daily Politics and Straw Poll.
Before joining The Times, Mary Ann was political correspondent of The Economist, City Editor of Today newspaper and a Lex columnist and Eurobond correspondent at the Financial Times.
She has also sat on numerous boards, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the North Fulham New Deal for Communities, New Europe, the No Campaign, the Radcliffe Trust, the Social Studies Faculty of Oxford University, Women in Journalism and the National Council for One-Parent Families.
Mary Ann was shortlisted to be a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford in 1982. In 1984, she won the Laurence Stern Fellowship to spend a summer working on The Washington Post. She was also Young Financial Journalist of the Year and runner-up for Young Journalist of the Year. She has frequently been shortlisted for the David Watt Memorial Prize. She captained The Times’s University Challenge: The Professionals team, which reached the semi-final.
1986 – now
Occasional presenter on BBC Radio 4, including Start the Week, Fallout, Analysis, Profile, Beyond Westminster and One to One. Also a clutch of one-off documentaries
2010 – 2012
Political columnist, The Independent
2008 – 2010
Presenter of Newshour on the BBC World Service
1988 – 2007
Assistant Editor and political columnist, The Times. Also Acting Editor, Comment Editor, Chief Political Leader Writer and Arts Editor.
Chair, The Brains Trust, BBC2
1986 – 1988
Political and Media Correspondent, The Economist
Presenter of The World This Week, Channel 4
City Editor, Today newspaper
1982 – 1986
Lex columnist and Eurobond Correspondent, Financial Times
1980 – 1982
Leader writer, Daily Telegraph, during university vacations
Non-Executive Director of The Scott Trust, owner of The Guardian and The Observer. Chair of the Investment Committee, overseeing the £1bn endowment.
Non-Executive Director of Pantheon International, a FTSE 250, £1.5bn private equity investment trust.
Non-Executive Director of The Merchants Trust, a 130-year-old, £600m FTSE-quoted investment trust.
Chair for ten years, then trustee of the Social Market Foundation, a non-partisan think tank.
Senior Independent Trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust, responsible for selecting Kennedy scholars to attend Harvard and MIT.
Trustee of the Institute of Art and Ideas, which runs one of the world’s largest philosophy festivals, HowTheLightGetsIn.
Member, Advisory Panel of IntoUniversity, a charity that helps disadvantaged children to aspire to, and attend, university.
2014 – 2017
Non-Executive Director of Ofcom Content Board, regulating all TV and radio in the UK
2008 – 2018
Non-Executive Director and then Senior Independent Director of Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust, a 131-year-old FTSE company with a market cap of over £900m.
2008 – 2017
Member of Council, Tate Modern
2011 – 2017
Non-Executive Director of DLN Digital Ltd
2006 – 2016
Trustee of The Radcliffe Trust
1997 – 2002
Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund
2000 – 2006
Chair, North Fulham New Deal for Communities
1999 – 2003
Member of Advisory Board, Social Studies Faculty, University of Oxford
1999 – 2004
Member of Steering Committees, No Campaign and New Europe
1996 – 2008
Vice-President, National Association for Gifted Children
1995 – 1998
Founding Committee member, Women in Journalism
1986 – 1989
Treasurer, National Council for One-Parent Families
Visiting Professor, King’s College London
2020 – 2021
Senior Academic Visitor, Oriel College, Oxford
2019 – 2020
Associate Member, Nuffield College, Oxford
2018 – 2019
Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford