Nick Allan joins Portland after 18 years at the FCO, including stints as press secretary at the British Embassy in Washington and in Paris.
Allan makes the switch as the agency bids to expand its international reach. Portland set up an international affairs unit last year and plans to open a new office in Nairobi later this year. Agency founder and MD Tim Allan (no relation) is setting up an office in New York and is understood to be dividing his time between London and the US at present.
Nick Allan was press secretary at Britain's Washington Embassy during the 2008 US presidential election. Before this, he spent three years as head of comms at the British Embassy in Paris, a period that saw the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president.