Number 10 comms veteran leaves Edelman Middle East for role with Princess Haya of Jordan

Former Number 10 comms strategist Robin Gordon-Farleigh has left Edelman in the Middle East to take a role advising Princess Haya of Jordan.

Princess Haya addressing the World Food Programme executive board meeting in June
Princess Haya addressing the World Food Programme executive board meeting in June

In his new position, Gordon-Farleigh will lead a team developing and implementing an international communications strategy to support Princess Haya’s portfolio of interests. These include humanitarian and healthcare work, sporting activities, and her role as United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Gordon-Farleigh, who starts as director of comms, marketing and events for Her Royal Highness Princess Haya on 8 July, joined Edelman in March 2017 as regional director for government strategies for the Middle East.

Separately, Edelman has announced the appointment of a new CEO of its Middle East office. Former Edelman employee Omar Qirem has rejoined the agency from Saudi Arabian family business Abdul Latif Jameel, where he was director of communications. He will report to Carol Potter, president and CEO at Edelman EMEA.

Qirem succeeds Tod Donhauser, who has returned home to the US as MD of Edelman’s Bay area.

The news follows a number of redundancies in Edelman’s Middle East operation. An Edelman spokesperson said Gordon-Farleigh was not among those made redundant.

Asked about the redundancies, Edelman said in a statement: "Over the last several months Edelman has been looking at the UAE business landscape, our clients and how we can best meet their needs for the future. This has been a carefully considered strategic decision regarding Edelman’s priorities in the region, ensuring we have the right organisational structure in place at the right levels to drive our business, corporate, reputation and brand into 2019 and beyond.

"Edelman remains committed to the UAE market, and servicing our clients at scale, partnering with the best talent."

Before joining Edelman, Gordon-Farleigh worked at Number 10 for six years as a senior comms strategist advising Theresa May and her predecessor David Cameron. At Downing Street, he advised several international governments in the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Europe on strategic comms as part of government-to-government bilateral relationships.

His prior roles in Government included head of media planning and strategy at the Department of Health and head of media planning at the Department for Work and Pensions.

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