Finch joins as director of comms at the end of April, just days before the EU welcomes ten extra member states, during a European election year in which asylum could feature heavily.
He will take responsibility for the organisation’s advocacy policy, internal comms and fundraising activities, as well as control over its external PR agency portfolio.
A BBC journalist for 15 years, Finch worked in local radio and regional TV before joining the BBC’s political news unit eight years ago. He will leave his current role as political news editor to lead a 40-strong team at the council, reporting to chief executive Maeve Sherlock.
‘Refugees and asylum seekers get a shocking treatment in the media even though there are lots of good stories to tell,’ Finch said.
The public have a lot of negative stereotypes about refugees because certain sections of the media have exploited the issue shamefully,’ he added.
He plans to push the council’s fundraising role, and replaces Fazil Kawani, who left two months ago to work in Iraq (PRWeek, 23 January).