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TEDxCardiff - Mark Chataway - Risks, benefits and choices May 29, 2011

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Although born within the sound of Bow Bells, Mark Chataway started his professional life as a journalist and radio talk show host in the Deep South of the United States. After Alabama and Georgia, he went on to work as a radio and TV journalist in New York. He may be the only journalist expelled from Libya for genuine professional misconduct (having fabricated large parts of a story about links between Vanessa Redgrave and Colonel Qaddafi). Despite this unpromising start, Mark has remained interested in the Middle East and North Africa since and has even managed to work for several governments in the region without being expelled.

In 1983, at the start of the HIV epidemic, he became communications director of the largest Aids charity in New York and has spent most of his time working in science communications ever since — he remains a trustee of the largest Aids charity in the United States and an ambassador for the National Aids Trust in the UK. He led environmental reputation-building for Botswana for several years and has worked on projects in Africa ever since — at the moment, his company is helping South Africa to build awareness of its emerging leadership in astronomy and astrophysics.

Mark has worked on global health issues including immunisation and family planning for many pharmaceutical companies; for not-for-profits (such as the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health) and; for governments (including India and South Africa).

Having run divisions of WPP and DMB&B (two global marketing companies), Mark and his partner decided to move to the Valleys, his grandmother's original home. He and a group of friends in Africa and South Asia set up Baird's CMC a management consultancy specialising in policy and market research, public affairs and reputation management. Baird's CMC remains headquartered in the Valleys but now has 27 active shareholders around the world. Mark and Chris, his civil partner, also own a small communications consultancy Hyderus Cyf and a new Indian consultancy, Tramor. Mark is a member of ESOMAR (the European market research body), the Chartered Institute of Journalists and the International Public Relations Association.

Mark speaks good French, Portuguese and Welsh along with smatterings of Dutch and Hebrew. He is a member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith and Hyderus is a bilingual company. He lives in Wyllie, near Blackwood, and is active in chapel and several local associations.


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