Highways England appoints public affairs manager

Vanessa Furey has been named public affairs manager at Highways England, leaving her role as campaigns and public affairs manager at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Vanessa Furey has taken a new role at Highways England
Vanessa Furey has taken a new role at Highways England

Vanessa Furey started in her new role this month and reports to John Harmer, head of public affairs.

She is responsible for the Midlands and the East of England regions at Highways England, the government company that operates, maintains and improves England’s motorways and major A roads.

She told PRWeek: “Over the next year I’ll be leading on our public affairs programme for the region, working closely with Highways England’s regional leaders and delivery teams on our engagement with parliamentarians and local stakeholders.

“Alongside my regional focus I will be ensuring that my work aligns [with] and supports the organisation’s national priorities.”

Furey is an experienced campaigner, with more than a decade’s experience since she started out at Amnesty International – where she was an outreach project co-ordinator on the charity’s terrorism security and human rights campaign.

She went on to work in campaigns for a series of charities, including Unicef UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, VSO, Parkinson’s UK, and Action on Hearing Loss.

In 2014 Furey left the charity sector to become a senior campaigner at Which? She was promoted to international campaigns manager during her time at the consumer rights organisation.

In 2018 she moved to become policy manager at the Royal College of Nursing. A brief stint as a campaigns and public affairs adviser at the Local Government Association followed, before Furey joined ICE in 2019.

Her career to date also includes being a successful campaigner outside work. In 2013, Furey helped organise a campaign by the London Charity Softball League that ultimately forced The Royal Parks agency to drop controversial plans to charge people for playing sports in the parks.


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