John Defterios is CNN Business’ Emerging Markets Editor and Anchor. Based in the network’s Abu Dhabi bureau since 2011, his reporting focuses on business stories from developing economies, with a specialty in trade, geo-politics and energy.
Defterios arrived to the United Arab Emirates in the year of the Arab Spring and covered the economic rebuilding, diversification and challenges across the region. His breaking news story coverage has included the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, oil prices collapsing to the negative territory for the first time, the Ritz Carlton crackdown on corruption, the economic fallout of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the passing of King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.
Defterios has three decades of financial news and current affairs experience covering some of the landmarks events during that period including the Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the World Trade Centre bombings and G8/G20 summits, the L.A. Riots from his postings in London, Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Rome and the United Arab Emirates.
He has built a long-standing reputation for securing exclusive interviews with high-level figures including: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rachid, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Ali Al Naimi & Khalid Al Falih, Energy Ministers of Saudi Arabia, which moved oil markets on several occasions.
Defterios chairs more than a dozen high level events annually including the World Economic Forum, the OPEC Seminar, the IMF and EBRD Roundtables, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Atlantic Council Energy Forum, the UAE’s World Government Summit, US-Saudi Arabia Investment Summit, Islamic Development Bank Annual Meeting, Astana Economic Forum, ADIPEC and Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative.
In parallel with his news coverage, Defterios has anchored multiple feature programmes on behalf of the network including: The Global Energy Challenge, Marketplace Middle East and Along the Silk Road and One Square Meter.
He is a World Economic Forum media leader and member of the Global Agenda Council on the Arab World and serves on the board of the Stern Stewart Institute in Germany, a non-for-profit group promoting leadership and entrepreneurship.
Prior to CNN, Defterios worked for Reuters Television as European Correspondent, U.S. West Coast Correspondent and special series producer in a joint-venture with The Nightly Business Report on PBS-TV.
He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Journalism and Political Economics and was a fellow at the USC’s Institute of Politics and Government in Washington D.C.