Owen is a freelance journalist, writer and teacher. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut.
Yale University Press published his book The Bhutto Dynasty: The Struggle for Power in Pakistan in 2020. His history of Pakistan: Pakistan: Eye of the Storm is now in its third edition was also published by Yale University Press. Target Britain, a thriller set amid the war on terror is available in paperback. In 2004 he contributed to the Lonely Planet guide, Pakistan and the Karakoram Highway.
His writing for the London Review of Books has concentrated on Pakistan, the Iranian militant group MEK (also known as the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran), the Deobandi movement and Northern Ireland. He has also written and broadcast extensively on the Pakistani political party the MQM. His columns for Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper Dawn cover Pakistani and international affairs. He has made two major podcast series The Assassination for the BBC and The Hijack for Audible. The Assassination investigated the murder of Benazir Bhutto. The Hijack told the story of PK 326, a plane hijacked in 1981 with fatal consequences.
Owen graduated from the London School of Economics in 1983 and obtained an M Phil in politics from St Antony’s College Oxford in 1985. In 2018 he was awarded a PhD by publication by the University of Hull.
2022: A course on British media and society for students of the University of North Carolina
2018/9: He taught journalism at Zayed University in the UAE.
2014: Visiting Professor teaching a course on the politics of global health at the University of South California
2012: Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University
2006: Visiting scholar at University of British Colombia in Vancouver
2018: Gold, British Podcast Awards, True Crime category for The Assassination a 10 part investigation into the 2013 New York Festival Radio Awards. Gold for ‘Best Investigative Report’ for Strange World of the People’s Mujahidin.
2013: Sandford St Martin Trust Radio Premier Award. 2013. Runner Up for Blasphemy and the Governor of Punjab (a radio play)murder of Benazir Bhutto
2009: Commonwealth journalist of the year.
2008: Sony Radio Gold Award, News Journalist of the Year.