As chief economic adviser, she will provide economic and policy analysis to the agency and its clients.
Ussher is currently research fellow at the Smith Institute, a think-tank founded in memory of former Labour leader John Smith.
She will continue to engage in think-tank work and will not undertake any advocacy tasks for Portland. Ussher’s agency role will not be full-time, but is understood to be a ‘sizeable commitment’.
She was an MP from 2005 to 2010 and her government experience included three years as special adviser to the then Department of Trade and Industry from 2001 to 2004.
After the 2010 general election she wrote four pamphlets on economic and industrial policy as director of the think-tank Demos before moving to the Smith Institute in January 2012.
Tim Allan, managing director of Portland, said: 'Being able to offer reputation management advice to clients based on strong economic analysis will reinforce Portland's positioning as a high-level consultancy.’
‘Kitty's expertise and experience make her ideally placed to help our clients, and further strengthens our high level strategic advisory pool.'