Michael Bociurkiw – Keynote Speaker

Global Affairs Analyst. Opinion Writer, COVID-19 Expert, and Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council (Washington, DC)

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Specialist Subjects

  • Current affairs
  • Digital media
  • Global politics
  • US relations
  • War crimes
  • Crisis management
  • Covid-19


  • English


Michael Bociurkiw writes today from a lifetime of experience of news-gathering in some of the most dangerous and difficult regions of the last quarter of a century – on the frontline of history. His writing encompasses geopolitics, the humanitarian sector, public relations, developments in technology, and global health challenges, including recently, the Coronavirus outbreak. Bociurkiw is also a regular on CNN, CNNi, BBC World Television, BBC World Service Radio, Bloomberg TV and Al Jazeera, and a contributor to CNN Opinion.

As far back as January 2020, Michael Bociurkiw was one of the first commentators to focus attention on the outbreak of a mysterious virus in China’s Wuhan province – which by April spread to most of the countries and territories of the world, triggering a global public health emergency and causing massive economic dislocation. In a hard-hitting OpEd, Bociurkiw sounded the alarm on the baffling response of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the virus. Viewing developments through a geopolitical lens, he also documented how the world’s authoritarian leaders have selfishly taken advantage of the out-break to tilt the playing field in their favour. Bociurkiw brings insider knowledge to his writing and speaking, having worked on disease outbreaks in countries as diverse as Nigeria, Pakistan and Ukraine for UNICEF. He has documented public health initiatives for WHO in Central and South America, South Asia and the south Pacific.

Bociurkiw’s professional life can be divided into two pillars: journalism and humanitarian aid/public affairs. Working with UNICEF and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, he has been on the frontlines of several emergencies around the world – including the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the crash of MH17, the South Asia earthquake in 2005, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008 and the Afghanistan emergency in 2002. For UNICEF, Michael served in several duties stations as spokesperson – including in Geneva as global spokesperson for the organisation.

As a journalist and opinion writer, his work has been published by some of the finest media outlets in the world – including The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Newsweek, MSNBC, Asia Times, the South China Morning Post and The Globe and Mail. In his years as a correspondent, Michael was one of the few journalists to have been granted several interviews with the founder of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. Over the years, he has secured highly-profile interviews with leaders from Malaysia, the Philip-pines, Indonesia, Thailand, Ukraine, Lithuania and Canada. Michael Bociurkiw has covered many major world events of consequence, including: the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China, the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China, the Tahrir Square uprising in Egypt, the World Cup in South Africa – and more recently the anti-government protests in Hong Kong. During 2019/2020, he wrote about and commented extensively about the crash of a Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia and the shooting down of PS752 in Iran.

Bociurkiw appears regularly on national and international media discussing current events and breaking news, humanitarian and public health emergencies. He is the editor of a book on former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and is at work on a book on smartphone and social media addiction. Michael studied television news and mass communication at Carleton University and Columbia University.

Bociurkiw has spoken and moderated at several high-profile international fora, including at the British House of Commons, the Oxford University Alumni Conference in Vienna, the Frontline Club in London, the Halifax International Security Forum, the World Com-munications Forum in Geneva and Istanbul, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, the Atlantic Council, and the SXSW Festival.

Michael Bociurkiw is a two-time TEDx speaker. He speaks frequently in virtual format to corporate, academic and non-profit audiences – as well as virtually to television audiences around the world.

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