Born in Sussex, England 1946. Educated Eton and University College, Oxford.
1969-2010. Independent writer and broadcaster, based in Britain, travelling frequently to The United States, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe. Articles published widely, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, International Herald Tribune, The Spectator, Sunday Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, New York Review of Books, Far Eastern Economic Review, Wall Street Journal. Lecturer in United States, Australia and Britain on geo-politics, Southeast Asia, refugees, the media, Al Qaida.
DUBCEK(1970) A New York Times Book of the Year. Republished 1990.
CRIME AND COMPROMISE : JANOS KADAR AND THE POLITICS OF HUNGARY SINCE REVOLUTION (1974)
SIDESHOW : KISSINGER, NIXON AND THE DESTRUCTION OF CAMBODIA (1979). Won the George Polk Award and the Sidney Hillman Award in the United States, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
THE QUALITY OF MERCY : CAMBODIA, HOLOCAUST AND MODERN CONSCIENCE. (1984) Awarded the Freedom From Hunger Media Award.
THE SHAH'S LAST RIDE : THE DEATH OF AN ALLY (1989)
MURDOCH: THE MAKING OF A MEDIA EMPIRE (1992)
DELIVER US FROM EVIL : WARLORDS, PEACEKEEPERS AND A WORLD OF ENDLECONFLICT (2000)
QUEEN AND COUNTRY (2002)
ALLIES – THE US, BRITAIN, EUROPE AND THE WAR IN IRAQ (2004)
THE QUEEN MOTHER, THE OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY (2009)
JUSTICE FOR THE ENEMY – FROM NUREMBERG TO KHALID SKEIKH MOHAMMED (To be published October 2011)
Pamphlets and Papers
KOWTOW: After Tienanmen Square, A Plea on Behalf of Hong Kong (1989)
CAMBODIA'S NEW DEAL - a report on peacekeeping and nation-building in Cambodia, (1994)
THE MEKONG, BBC TV 50 minute documentary in Great River Journeys series, 1984. BAFTA award.
THE SALT ROAD, BBC TV 50 minute documentary in Great Journeys series, 1989.
THE KILLING FIELDS ELECTION, BBC TV 50 minute documentary on UN Peacekeeping in Cambodia, 1993.
FEAR AND HOPE IN CAMBODIA, 60 minute film made for the UN on peacekeeping in Cambodia, 1993.
POWER AND DISORDER, BBC 3 part radio series on post Cold War disorder, from Washington, Tokyo and Berlin.
SATELLITE WARS, Channel Four 3 part series on satellite broadcasting, 1995.
MONARCHY, BBC TV 3 part series on the problems and future of constitutional monarchy in Britain.
PLANET ISLAM, BBC TV 3 part series on the spread and growth of Islam in the USA, France and Russia.
QUEEN AND COUNTRY, BBC TV series for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, 2002.
Chairman of ARTICLE 19, a London based charity and pressure group which defends the rights of free expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Declaration on Human Rights. 1986 - 1996.
Chairman of RESPONSE, a charity which helps refugees and others who have suffered for their political opinions. 1978 - 2012.
Board member, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP,1995 - 2005. Member of Executive Committee, 2000 - 2005.
Member of the HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES, Informal Advisory Group, 1995-2000.
Member of Council of the DISASTERS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE, London, 1997-2005.
Chair, Charity Commission, 2012 - present
William Shawcross terminated all his trusteeships on taking over the Charity Commission on 1 October 2012.