Diary: Army man takes on the social security PR battle

Simon MacDowall has taken a dramatic change of tack in moving from NATO’s press operation to head PR for the Department of Social Security.

Simon MacDowall has taken a dramatic change of tack in moving from

NATO’s press operation to head PR for the Department of Social

Security.



To date, MacDowall’s career has been in the army. He emigrated from the

UK to Canada as a teenager and soon joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons,

who were based in Germany at the time.



Six years in the public affairs department of the Canadian ministry of

defence, where he was communications planning head, followed.



Since 1993, he has worked for NATO as a senior media officer at its

military headquarters in Mons, Belgium, and then as press and

information director for NATO’s north western region, based in High

Wycombe.



Most recently, he was seconded to run the NATO press and information

centre in Macedonia, where Kosovan refugees flocked when the bombing

began.



Moving to a caring and sharing department like the DSS after

representing one of the world’s most influential military organisations

must a bit of a culture shock.



But then, with the Labour leadership still reeling from the rebellion in

the Commons last month over its welfare reforms, MacDowall’s battlefield

skills should come in handy.



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