Biography

IMG_0379Barry D. Wood, raised in west Michigan, is a journalist, author and educator. Based in Washington he is the international economics correspondent for RTHK in Hong Kong. He writes the American View column on the global economy as well as a monthly column for thedailyfriend.co.za in South Africa.

Barry’s work has appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Barron’s and The International Economy. Until 2019 he wrote regularly for USA Today and marketwatch.com.

Barry was chief economics correspondent for Voice of America for three decades. He was VOA bureau chief in Prague from 1994 to 1997 reporting on the transition to free markets in post-communist Europe. He has interviewed Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, Vaclav Havel,  Warren Buffett, David Rubenstein and several other global decision makers. He has reported from over 60 countries, covered over 30 economic summits, and has been nine times to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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 armed conflicts 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 emphaszing 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 University where he was instrumental in creating the Urban Education Project, a student-centered program for prospective teachers.

At age 19 in San Francisco Barry joined the MS Parrakoola as a deck hand, spending five months aboard the Swedish freighter that carried cargo between the west coast and Australia. Later he was a waiter aboard Norwegian and Dutch transatlantic liners. In Stockholm he was a trainee in the foreign exchange department of Svenska Handelsbanken.

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