Sara Nathan

Category: 1970s /  All Harkness Stories /  Humanities /  Journalism, Broadcast, Films & TV /  Politics & Public Services / 

Sara Nathan (HF1977-79) OBE went straight to Stanford University the term after graduating in History from New Hall, Cambridge, the only woman awarded a fellowship in 1977.  Her first year studying for an MA in History showed her that she was going to be the world’s worst academic historian. In the second year, she studied Broadcast Communication – unavailable in the UK then. This persuaded the BBC to employ her as a News Trainee in 1980. She progressed to roles as a producer in the TV newsroom, output editor for Breakfast and Newsnight, and film-maker for the Money Programme. She helped launch Radio 5Live, becoming the Editor of the morning programme.  Meanwhile, she had crashed a Harkness reunion gathering and met Malcolm Singer (HF 1980-82). They married in 1984, have two grown-up children and nearly a grandson.  In 1995, she was appointed Editor, Channel 4 News: the first woman to edit a network news programme.  In 1998, Sara left daily news and went plural, filling up to six part-time roles at a time including some journalism. She has been on a number of boards including Ofcom, the Judicial Appointments Commission and the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority.  She now chairs tribunals for the Nursing & Midwifery Council, is a Senior Hearings Manager back at the BBC and, most often, a trustee, host and volunteer with Refugees At Home: a charity she co-founded in 2015 to match destitute asylum-seekers and refugees with generous hosts who have spare rooms.