Biography

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Barry D. Wood, raised in west Michigan, is a journalist, author and educator. He is the international economics correspondent for RTHK in Hong Kong, based in Washington. He also  writes for theglobalist.com and biznews.com in South Africa.

His work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Financial Times, Barron’s, The International Economy, and other leading publications.

During three-decades at Voice of America, Barry was chief economics correspondent and in the 1990s bureau chief in Prague reporting on the transition to free markets in post-communist Europe. He has interviewed Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, Vaclav Havel, and Warren Buffett, as well as other global decision makers. He has reported from 30 G7, G8 and G20 economic summits and has been nine times to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His book, Exploring New Europe, a journey through post-communist Europe, examines how ordinary people are coping with momentous change.

His journalism began at the Financial Mail,  the respected business weekly in Johannesburg. He then joined NBC News as its southern Africa radio correspondent, reporting on independence in Mozambique and Angola and the bush wars in Zimbabwe and Namibia.  He was in Soweto on the first day of the 1976 uprising. He joined VOA in Washington in 1977.

Barry obtained BA and MA degrees in economics from Western Michigan University with short-term study at Oxford and in Yugoslavia. He thanks Oxford tutorials for stressing the importance of clear, concise expression.

An activist against the Vietnam war, he taught economics at Northern Michigan University and social science at Western Michigan from 1968 to 1972. Seeking a broader palette, he moved to New York and then Connecticut before sailing with his wife in 1974 to South Africa to write about the scourge of apartheid.

At age 19 in San Francisco Barry was a deck hand aboard a Swedish freighter for a five-month voyage to Australia and back . Later he worked aboard Norwegian and Dutch transatlantic liners. In Stockholm he spent six weeks as a trainee in the foreign exchange department of Svenska Handelsbanken.

Barry has taught in the Washington, DC public schools and in 2011 and 2012 was a guest lecturer at Kingswood College, a boarding school in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.