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Meet the judges for 2023

The longlist, shortlist and winner is chosen by a panel of independent judges, which changes every year

Frederick Studemann

Frederick Studemann is Literary Editor of the Financial Times. He joined the FT in 1996 as Berlin correspondent since then he has held a number of roles across the paper, including Assistant News Editor, UK Correspondent, European News Editor, Comment & Analysis Editor and Assistant Editor. He was a founding member of FT Deutschland where he ran the features and weekend section. The son of restless, itinerant parents, he spent his early years in Cork and Dublin, before moving to London, with later postings in Berlin, the Soviet Union, Greece and Austria.

Arifa Akbar

Arifa Akbar is chief theatre critic at The Guardian. She is the former literary editor of The Independent where she also worked as a news reporter and arts correspondent. She is a trustee at English PEN and the Orwell Foundation. Her first book, Consumed: A Sister’s Story, published in 2021, was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford prize and shortlisted for the Costa Biography Prize, the PEN Ackerley Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Visionary Awards. She is working on her second book, Nocturne: Scenes of Light and Dark.

Andrew Haldane

Andrew Haldane is the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He was formerly Chief Economist at the Bank of England and a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. Among other positions, he is Honorary Professor at the Universities of Nottingham, Manchester and Exeter, Visiting Professor at King’s College, London, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Social Sciences. Andrew is Founder and President of the charity Pro Bono Economics, Vice-Chair of the charity National Numeracy and Chair of the National Numeracy Leadership Council. Andrew was the Permanent Secretary for Levelling Up at the Cabinet Office from September 2021 to March 2022 and chairs the Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council. He has authored around 200 articles and 4 books.

Tanjil Rashid

Tanjil Rashid is a writer and broadcaster. His literary criticism is published by The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times, The Spectator, Prospect, The Washington Post and The TLS. He was previously the BBC's London politics reporter and has worked on documentaries about American politics, ISIS and, most recently, the war in Ukraine.

Ruth Scurr

Ruth Scurr is the author of three biographies: Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution (2006), which won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize, and was listed among the 100 best books of the decade in The Times in 2009; John Aubrey: My Own Life (2015), which was No.1 Christmas Book of the Year in The Telegraph in 2015; and Napoleon: A Life in Gardens and Shadows (2021), which won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award for biography in 2022. Ruth has regularly reviewed fiction and non-fiction in a wide range of newspapers and magazines for almost 30 years. She was a judge of the Man Booker Prize in 2007, and of the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2014. She is a fellow of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, where she is Director of Studies in Social and Political Sciences.

Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf is an award-winning author of several books, including the international bestseller The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World which is published in 27 languages. A New York Times bestseller, it also won fifteen international literary awards, including the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2016 and Costa Biography Award and the LA Times Book Prize 2015, as well as prizes in Germany, Italy, France and China. Her latest book Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self was published under great acclaim in autumn 2022. She's a member of PEN American Center and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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