'World’s largest energy organisation' appoints comms chief

The International Energy Forum (IEF), based in Saudi Arabia, has named Tom Ashby (pictured) as its new head of global communications and director of the communications division.

Headquartered in the capital Riyadh, the IEF claims to be the world’s largest energy organisation, with more than 70 sovereign members.  

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British national Ashby has experience in energy communications, including having served as group vice president, corporate communications at Abu Dhabi National Energy Company between 2012 and 2014.

Secretary General Joseph McMonigle said: "Tom is a leader in strategic communications and an energy expert. He comes to the forum with strong track record managing high-performance teams in multinational enterprises and advising heads of state and governments, with a particular  focus on emerging markets."

"High-quality communications are absolutely critical to the forum as we engage with  stakeholders around the world, promoting the security and stability of global energy  markets and supporting the transition to a decarbonised economy," he added. 

In his new role, Mr Ashby is responsible for the global reputation of the brand and becomes part of the leadership team guiding strategy and flagship events. He is the IEF’s chief media  strategist and spokesperson. He manages relations with traditional media and works with  divisional colleagues to deliver critical data and content that informs the global debate on  energy futures. 

Many of the forum’s events have moved online since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,  and Mr Ashby assumes responsibility for the forum’s omni-channel communications,  including digital and social media.

Most recently, he has spent several years as a strategic communications advisor, with clients including heads of state and sovereign wealth funds. He has also founded and advised several start-ups in the areas of fintech, investor relations and PR. He served for six years as an executive board member for MEPRA.

Prior to that, he was a partner at Consulum, an international comms consultancy founded by former Bell Pottinger chairman Tim Ryan.

He began his career as a journalist with Reuters, working his way up from an energy markets reporter in London to postings as a foreign correspondent in Latin America  and chief correspondent in Nigeria. He moved to the Middle East as business editor of The  National newspaper in Abu Dhabi. 

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