writer, broadcaster, portfolio woman

About Mary Ann

Mary Ann Sieghart now leads a portfolio life. She writes for national newspapers and is an occasional presenter on BBC Radio 4. She is Senior Partner of re.fresch, a boutique consultancy firm, and Chair of the Social Market Foundation, a non-party-political think tank. She is a Non-Executive Director of The Merchants Trust, Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust and DLN Digital. Until recently, she sat on the Content Board of Ofcom, and on 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, Profile, One to One, 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, 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.