1. Simon Baugh – Director of comms, Home Office
Appointed in February with one of the most demanding roles in government comms, Baugh is ultimately responsible for Home Office messages on crime, security and immigration in a department that’s rarely out of the news.
2. James Helm – Director of comms, Metropolitan Police
With arguably the most intense role in policing comms, for the country’s biggest force, Helm’s job involves dealing with the comms around everything from violent crime to terrorist attacks.
3. Alex Aiken – Executive director, Government Communications Service
A champion of diversity and networking, Aiken co-ordinates comms work across government departments, and engages their teams in continuous improvement and upskilling.
4. Helen Bower-Easton – Director of comms, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bower-Easton returned to the FCO in 2017 after a long stint at Number 10, including as the PM’s official spokesperson, before leading comms for the powerful government department.
5. Simon Enright – Director of comms, NHS England and NHS Improvement
A veteran journalist and NHS operator, he holds one of the most senior roles – recently expanded to take in NHS Improvement – in public sector health comms today.
6. Poli Stuart-Lacey – Director of comms, HMRC
On a mission to redefine the public’s image of the department from ‘The taxman’ to a helpful, 21st-century service, Stuart-Lacey has a wealth of experience across government to draw upon.
7. Matt Brown – Director of news and external relations, TfL
The former City Hall comms pro moved to Transport for London three years ago. His role was expanded to oversee all external stakeholder and government relations in his new brief.
8. David Holdstock – Director of comms and strategy, Local Government Association
As local authorities wrestle with the effects of austerity, Holdstock’s role is to help them articulate their needs to central government and convey their ambitions to stakeholders.
9. Carl Newns – Director of comms, Ministry of Defence
The understated but powerful departmental comms chief has one of the biggest comms teams in Whitehall under his command.
10. Tashi Lassalle – Director of communications, Church of England
As the Church struggles to remain relevant in modern Britain, Lassalle has applied the considerable expertise that she built up in financial comms to the modernisation of the CofE’s presence across digital media.
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