Christine Thompson is a senior public policy and government relations executive. Currently, she leads SABMiller’s UK government affairs programme, with a particular focus on alcohol policy and partnership-building to address alcohol-related harm.
In 2005 Christine was appointed by SABMiller to lead the company’s engagement with the UK government’s Commission for Africa. She has represented the company on senior platforms in Africa, Europe, and the USA - discussing issues ranging from alcohol-related harm, economic growth and investment in Africa, public private sector partnerships, corporate lobbying, consumers and freedom of choice.
Christine has a Masters’ Degree in International Relations from Rhodes University, South Africa. Her experience includes a secondment to the Independent Electoral Commission in Johannesburg during South Africa’s historic 1994 elections, three years as Press and Information Advisor to the Head of the European Commission’s Delegation in Pretoria, and nine years as a public affairs consultant based in Johannesburg and London advising clients requiring specialist knowledge and advice on African issues.
Christine is a judge for the 2014 UNCTAD Women in Business awards. In 2012 she was appointed a Board member of the Starfish Greathearts Foundation, a charity focused on bettering the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Southern Africa.
Christine thinks that Roger Federer is the Greatest Player of all time. When she’s not watching or playing tennis, she is supporting the English cricket and rugby teams, or hacking around the golf course.
"The rules of the game at The Battle of Ideas makes beating about the bush impossible. When you are given 5 minutes to make your point, you either say something essential, or you reveal that you have nothing really to say. This eliminates 'the unbearable lightness' of speculation that haunts public debate."
Albena Azmanova, social philosopher, political commentator and activist