Samuel Compton began his career as a reporter in Northern Ireland covering the violent and complex political unrest during the 1980s. Later moving to ITV in England, he became a news producer and editor for regional news in the west of England, but also with periods reporting on events in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. As CEO of KTN, sub Saharan Africa's first commercial television station based in Nairobi, and then as MD of The Nation Media Group's Broadcast Division, he directed media businesses in Kenya. As a member of the NMG’s board, he reported on the development of the electronic media side of the group and helped build the new business. During this period he provided communications advice for the Aga Khan’s educational and women’s foundations.
On joining the development sector, he was Country Director of two USAID funded media programmes in Serbia and Jordan. Both assignments involved close coordination with senior US and host government officials while overseeing projects that supported improvements in independent media and public service broadcasting.
Samuel holds an LLB and postgraduate qualifications in journalism. During his career, he interviewed prominent members of the IRA’s Army Council, during the most intense period of conflict with the British security forces. He also interviewed leading members of the Zanu PF government in Zimbabwe and produced investigative documentaries for television in the UK. During the early days of environmental journalism, he linked the problems associated with poverty to the need for responsible management of natural resources.