Director of Communications, HMRC
Poli was appointed Director of Communications at HMRC in January 2018, having held the position on an interim basis since May 2017. She is accountable for all reputational issues and leads a team of c.200 colleagues, based across the UK, covering media relations, external affairs, EU Exit communications, strategic communications, marketing and campaigns, and internal communications. She is also the department’s Sustainability Champion and is the Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the Government Communications Service.
Prior to this role Poli was Head of Communications at the Cabinet Office from 2015 to 2017, and interim Director of Communications at the Department for International Trade. Poli was at HMRC from 2012-15 as Head of Communications for Benefits and Credits, and before that worked in a number of communications roles including at Department for Education, the Home Office and Defra.
Communications Director, Homes England
Shaun Harley leads internal and external communications for the Government’s national housing agency. In the past 24 months, Shaun’s team has launched the repurposed organisation, rebuilt its profile, developed a new brand and shaped its culture change programme. Shaun is a member of the organisation’s senior leadership team and sits on its culture board. Before joining government, Shaun was the UK spokesperson for BP’s retail business and has previously worked in Sydney as a PR adviser. He lives in Leeds with his young family and is a junior football coach.
Director of Communications, Development and Marketing, University of Lincoln
Elly Sample has worked in marketing and communications for 30 years, in a range of different industries and roles including banking, consultancy, telecommunications, and HE. She has worked with a number of people and partners including Tony Blair, Max Clifford, Chris Packham, and Carol Ann Duffy as well as Guardian and Thomson Reuters Foundation. She has won a number of awards for marketing and PR including from the Institute of Public Relations, the Institute of Sales Promotion, Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), and HEIST. She worked as an examiner for the CIM and taught on the CIM programmes for 12 years. She writes fiction under a pseudonym and was 6th in the USA Amazon book chart in 2014 (in her genre)! Elly joined the University of Lincoln as Director of Communications, Development and Marketing in 2010 and genuinely believes it is the best university in the whole world.
Deputy Head of PM Priorities & Domestic Campaigns / Head of the Economy Campaign, No10/Cabinet Office Communications
Sarah Clark has has 17 years of PR experience across the private and public sector, working on high profile issues such as the housing market, MRSA, Europe, crime and NHS delivery. For the last 10 years she has specialised in strategic communications, creative problem solving and insight development and application. Sarah is a published author, writing on insight in the leading PR book, FuturePRoof Edition Two.
Head of External Communications, Legal Aid Agency
Russell was appointed Head of External Communications for the Legal Aid Agency in March 2019. Since joining he has put into place the agency's first proactive communications strategy. This aims to build relationships with legal aid firms by improving customer service communications, and to fight misrepresentation in the media by telling the agency story through its processes.
Prior to this Russell was Head of Digital Communications at Defra, where he developed a digital skills training course for the comms directorate, and tranformed Defra's Twitter account into the 3rd best Government account in PR Week's yearly round-up. He's also worked in digital comms teams at both Cabinet Office and GDS, and before that he ran and managed websites for a number of entertainment companies, including Channel 4, AoL and Flextech Television.
@BarnesOfBarnes | @LegalAidAgency
Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
Ivo Vlaev is a Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Ivo received a DPhil (PhD) in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford (and St. John's College) and MSc in Cognitive Science and BSc in Psychology from the New Bulgarian University. Before coming to Warwick, Ivo worked as a research fellow at University College London and senior lecturer at Imperial College London. He has a track record of research in decision science (behavioural economics) and behaviour change, which is published in peer-reviewed academic journals, book chapters and government reports.
In behaviour change, Ivo’s research focuses on developing an integrated theory of behaviour change which combines principles from psychology, neuroscience, and economics. Testing the theory involves developing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in various domains such as health (influencing lifestyle risk factors such as dieting and physical activity; modifying patient behaviours such as medication adherence; changing professional practice such as safety and quality of care) and finance (motivating customers to manage their money more effectively; design of financial products). Ivo is also a co-author of the famous UK Cabinet Office MINDSPACE report, which provides a framework for designing effective policy utilising the latest insights from behavioural sciences (also known as nudge theory). The report was the basis for establishing the ‘Behaviour Insight Team’ at the Cabinet Office. MINDSPACE is widely used across both local and central government and in the commercial sector.
Behaviour Change Hub Manager, Croydon Council
Amy is a behaviour change and UX consultant with experience in both the public and private sectors. She helped to establish and currently leads the first local government ehavioural science hub at Croydon Council. Amy’s previous positions include principal consultant and founder of behavioural economics consultancy System One Change, where she was an award winner at the 2016 International Nudge Awards for her work with the DWP, and as a researcher in the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team. She holds a first class degree in psychology and an MSc in policy and planning from the London School of Economics. Amy's wealth of experience in behavioural science provides innovative insights into ways of making communications more effective.
Chair, PRCA Council
Amanda has more than two decades of experience within communication roles. She has worked for 20 years in police communication and has dealt with many high profile events and crises. Amanda led the police communication response dealing with the Manchester Arena terror attack of 2017, with the murder of two serving police officers in 2012, riots in 2011 and the death in service of a former Chief Constable in 2008.
In 2019 Amanda took the position as Chair of the PRCA Council. Amanda is also a Chartered PR Practitioner and a Fellow of both the PRCA and the CIPR. She provides training for the PRCA and is an assessor for the CIPR Charter accreditation.
Amanda started her working career as a journalist on newspapers in the North West.
Director of Communications, Department for International Development
Tim Singleton was appointed as Director of Communications for the Department For International Development in January 2017. Before joining the department Tim was Deputy Editor and Director of Newsgathering for ITV News.
He has held a series of senior roles at ITV News, including Head of Foreign News, Westminster News Editor and Home and Foreign News Editor. He has covered a range of significant international and domestic stories during his career, including the 2003 Iraq War, the Kosovo conflict, the Asian Tsunami, and six general elections.
During his broadcast career, he has won a number of BAFTA awards for news coverage, an International Emmy, Royal Television Society awards for international and home news coverage, several One World Media Awards and a Broadcast Award.
Head of Policy and Campaigns, Mind
Vicki Nash is Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, the mental health charity. A seasoned campaigner, Vicki leads Mind's policy, lobbying and campaigns work, ensuring we reflect the needs and experiences of people with mental health problems and speak truth to power. Issues range from welfare reform and benefits, to improving access and quality of mental health services, and tackling stigma and discrimination.
Vicki previously held positions at Breakthrough Breast Cancer (where she led the organisation’s public campaigns and parliamentary influencing work), the Holocaust Educational Trust where she worked with Government and politicians to set up the now established Holocaust Memorial Day, and Basildon District Council, helping to skill up local voluntary and community sector organisations.
Head of Campaign, This is Engineering, The Royal Academy of Engineering
Daniel was educated at Oxford University (Hertford College), King’s College London & the University of St.Andrews.
Daniel started at the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2016 to head up a programme to "refresh" the image of the profession. The programme is a part of the academy’s bid to solve the UK’s longstanding shortfall in engineering skills. “This is Engineering” was subsequently launched in January 2018.
Prior to this he held senior roles in communications and marketing at Citibank, Weber Shandwick, and Thomas Cook.
Daniel is also an External Examiner in Marketing at London South Bank University, the author of “Online Marketing to Investors”, Published by Business Expert Press (2015) and a mentor for “Women in Transport”.
Dr Maeve Chappell
Head of Corporate Communications, Thames Valley Police
Maeve Chappell has worked in communications across the corporate, charity and public sectors over the last 20 years having initially started her career as a research scientist. She has honed her skills and knowledge across the range of corporate communications specialisms. Maeve made the move the public sector in January 2016 when she took up her current role as Head of Corporate Communications with Thames Valley Police – the largest non-metropolitan force in England and Wales. Maeve’s role is to scope, develop and implement communication and engagement to support the strategy and priorities of Thames Valley Police and its reputation as a trusted organisation. It has been a hugely rewarding experience with unique challenges and development opportunities.
Director, Cheary & Gallagher Ltd
Paul Gallagher embarked on his career as a communications consultant in 2007 after 15 years as a journalist. He has coached business leaders, economists, analysts, politicians and diplomats in dozens of countries around the world for media interviews and public engagements. Paul is a regular consultant for the United Nations, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF).
He has also worked with CEOs and management board executives at blue-chip companies. As a journalist, Paul reported on politics, international relations, human rights, business and finance in nine countries, including Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Ireland. He interviewed dozens of major world political and business leaders at Reuters, Bloomberg and The Irish Times. He led Reuters’ coverage of the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. He holds an MA and speaks German and Dutch.
Interim Assistant Director, Engagement (Marketing and Communications), Anthony Nolan
Kiran is a senior Communications professional with experience in the public, private and charity sectors. She also worked on the Obama Presidential campaign in 2008 and 2012. She joined Anthony Nolan in November 2018 and has recently led a large brand awareness and comprehension campaign ‘Without You’. Kiran is also a local Councillor in Harrow and a long-time political activist and campaigner. .
Press Office Manager, Essex Police
Donna Veasey has been in police communications for almost 13 years with her previous experience being in local journalism.
During her time at Essex Police she has focussed mainly on communicating the work of the force to the public, including managing several high profile matters including the largest illegal traveller site clearance in Europe, visits from dignitaries including two Presidents of the United States, countless court cases, media briefings, change programmes and most recently held the Head of Communications role on an interim bases for 5 months overseeing the work of 25 staff managing internal and external communications, campaigns, graphics, social media and an award-winning video production unit.
Director of Communications, Waltham Forest Council
Having started his career working for the European Commission in Brussels, Eddie went on to work for four police forces and the Home Office during which time he worked on the response to the London riots; Lord Justice Leveson Public inquiry, implementation of neighbourhood policing nationally and campaigned on raising the profile of topics such as FGM, cyber crime and fraud. He also worked in the Government Olympic Communication Department during the 2012 games and has been working at Waltham Forest Council for the past 18 months.
Head of Marketing, West London College
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Head of Digital, University College London
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