Edelman UK creates international affairs team for NGO work

Edelman UK is creating a new team in its London office, focused on working for NGOs and humanitarian organisations.

The new international affairs team sits within Edelman UK's corporate reputation team, which is led by MD Rachel Bower, and overseen by Hugh Taggart, a recent recruit previously employed by Bell Pottinger.

International affairs is led by senior director Ben Lock, who has been with Edelman for nearly five years, having previously been Ogilvy PR's head of issues and crisis.

Lock is supported by Naheed Mehta, who joined Edelman in August 2015 after 10 years at the Foreign Office, latterly as chief press officer, and additional experience across UK Government including Downing Street over a total of more than three decades.

Mehta initially joined Edelman's public affairs team to expand its work with overseas governments and heads of state, and has since worked on a project for the Government of Japan among other clients. She continues to work with public affairs in addition to the new team.

NGO clients

Existing NGO clients of the corporate affairs team include anti-slavery body Walk Free Foundation, Armenia-based international humanitarian award the Aurora Prize and The Elders, an international group of leaders working for peace, set up by Nelson Mandela. Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has also been a pro-bono client for more than three years.

The new team will "help clients tackle complex international challenges and develop campaigns that span media relations, stakeholder engagement, content development, digital, and crisis communications", Lock said.

"I am particularly excited about the opportunity of working more with international civil society organisations. We know from our own Trust Barometer that trust in NGOs is declining at a worrying rate, but I believe there is much that can be done to reclaim the dynamism the sector was once known for and to re-establish the respect it needs," Lock went on to say.

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