John Barker has over 30 years of experience working on advocacy and human rights issues, with extensive experience in media freedom and freedom of expression. As COO, he is responsible for MLDI's operations.
John is a founder of Free Expression Associates and prior to joining MLDI, he was the Africa Director and then Senior Operations Director at ARTICLE 19 (2000-2010). Before this, he managed and developed the broadcasting policy and legislation work of the Media Institute of Southern Africa’s regional office in Windhoek, Namibia (1994-2000). He returned to the UK in 2004, after 14 years of living and working in Africa.
John has developed and delivered numerous advocacy actions including the adoption and promotion of the African Charter on Broadcasting, the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa and the drafting and consultation process for the media policy framework for Southern Sudan.
John holds a postgraduate diploma in journalism and media studies for Rhodes University in South Africa and has wide-ranging expertise in media pluralism and diversity. John is also a trustee of Progressio, an international development charity.