2017 Moderators

Michele Miranda

Kapila Gohel

Conference Manager, TFWA

With a natural curiosity and passion for compelling content, Michele has been working with TFWA as Conference Manager since 2015. Prior to this, Michele spent several years with the think tanks East West Institute and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in charge of organizing high-level diplomatic events around the world. From Washington DC to Moscow, Brussels to Beijing, Michele completed impossible missions of getting heads of foreign ministries and multinational corporations talking about how to make the world a safer place. She has contributed to the New York Times and also worked as a foreign affairs columnist for the International Tribune, an Asian-American newspaper published in the United States.

Michele is a proud New Yorker who is passionate about photography, dancing and travelling. She is aiming to visit every country in the world and is halfway there.

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John Rimmer

John Rimmer

Conference, Research and Corporate Affairs Director, TFWA

John Rimmer has worked in the duty free and travel retail industry since 2000, when he joined trade journal Duty-Free News International as a reporter. Within three years he had been appointed editor of sister publication Travel Retailer International, before becoming editor of DFNI a year later. In 2006 he relocated to Paris, where he joined retailer Aelia as Deputy Director of Business Development, helping the company to develop its presence at airports beyond France. 

Four years later he returned to the UK to become Executive Director – Business Development at leading trade publisher The Moodie Report. In October 2012 John returned to Paris to join Tax Free World Association as Conference, Research and External Affairs Director, tasked with strengthening the Association’s services to its members across the world. 

John has taken part in the moderation of several industry conferences, including the Global Travel Retail Summit, The Trinity Forum, TFWA Asia Pacific Conference and TFWA China’s Century Conference.

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Stephen Sackur

Stephen Sackur is presenter of HARDtalk, the current affairs flagship on BBC World and News 24. He also presents for Today and the World at One.

Before this, as Europe Correspondent, his remit included reporting day to day political news from European institutions and NATO, as well as breaking news across the continent. He has fronted documentaries on Hurricane Katrina and the fiftieth anniversary of the Suez Crisis.

Stephen joined the BBC Brussels bureau from the United States, where he served as Washington Correspondent. He covered the scandal surrounding Clinton’s impeachment trial, as well as the Presidential elections. Sackur’s extensive reporting on the impact of September 11 gained particular praise for its analytical portrayal of that event. His insight into the US, its politics and society earned him widespread acclaim, and led to numerous opinion pieces for the American press.

Before moving to Washington, Sackur served as the Middle East Correspondent in Cairo and Jerusalem. He reported on the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the emergence of the Palestinian Authority. He also broke the story of the mass killing on the Basra road out of Kuwait, marking the end of the first Gulf War.

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