David Wilkinson is Director, International Futures, based in London. He oversees planning of global news coverage across CNN platforms, playing a key role in deciding which stories are covered, what resources are dedicated to them and how they are presented to audiences.
Since joining CNN as an intern in Atlanta in 2008, Wilkinson has performed several newsdesk roles and has worked in more than 20 countries. He has travelled extensively with CNN anchor Max Foster on tours with the British royal family to places including Pakistan, Cuba, Angola and New Zealand. In his work with Foster, he has also produced several exclusive interviews, including with Prince Charles (now King Charles) and The Duchess of Cambridge (now The Princess of Wales). He has also covered major international summits, elections, royal weddings and U.S. Presidential visits, as well as leading CNN’s field operations from the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016 and 2017.
Wilkinson supervised the network’s years-long preparation for coverage of the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II, in collaboration with the US-based Special Events team. He guided editorial and managed the deployment of more than 110 staff across twelve locations on the day of the funeral.
In 2022, he conducted CNN’s planning for Russia’s impending invasion of Ukraine, then played a key role in directing breaking news deployments, involving more than 250 staff working from Ukraine, Russia and surrounding countries in the months after the war began. The complicated logistical preparations, safety considerations and casting of editorial staff all shaped CNN’s coverage, for which Wilkinson and colleagues received the prestigious DuPont-Columbia Award in New York.
Wilkinson earned a BSc (hons) in Geography from the University of St Andrews in 2007, before spending a year at Emory University in Atlanta as a recipient of the Bobby Jones Scholarship. He later gained an MA with Distinction in Broadcast Journalism from City University in London.
He is originally from Cumbria in northern England, but now lives with his wife and two daughters in Surrey.