The new members of the council will provide advice to Portland across the agency's work – including a focus on newer areas of work such as digital and employee engagement. They are:
- Sir Martin Davidson, chair, The Great Britain China Centre
- Louis R Hughes, chair of tech security firm, InZero Systems
- Elizabeth Linder, founder of politics & government programme for EMEA, Facebook
- Amanda Mackenzie, an executive adviser to UN-supported campaign group Project Everyone and CMO of UK insurance firm Aviva
- Phil McManus – until recently director of comms at payments infrastructure provider Worldpay
- Justine Roberts – founder and CEO of parenting website Mumsnet
- Jim Rosenberg – chief comms officer at US non-profit Accion
- Lisa Shields – VP, global comms at the US-based Council on Foreign Relations
- Radek Sikorski, senior fellow, Harvard University, and former Polish foreign minister
- Dr Shashi Tharoor, Indian MP and former minister
Five of the new hires are based in the UK, while Hughes, Rosenberg and Shields are US-based, Tharoor works full time in India and Sikorski splits his time between the US and elsewhere.
The 10 hires join the five existing members of the council, which is chaired by former BSkyB CEO Tony Ball, and includes Alastair Campbell, a former adviser to Tony Blair.
Campbell was the former boss of Tim Allan, Portland's MD and founder, who set up the firm in 2001. He said of the appointments: "Not only will the latest additions strengthen our established practice areas of reputation management and international affairs, it will help us to boost newer areas of the business such as digital communications and employee engagement."
The company now has 180 staff across its offices – the London HQ, plus New York and Nairobi offices opened in 2009, and Washington DC and Doha bases opened in 2014.