The job – one of the largest in local government – oversees a 30-strong comms department. The LGA represents the councils in England and Wales and the mainstream political parties.
Swann’s move draws the curtain on 21 years at the LGA and its predecessor, the Association of Metropolitan Authorities (AMA), where he held a series of posts in planning, transport and environment.
The AMA merged with the Association of County Councils and the Association of District Councils to create the LGA in 1997 and Swann was promoted to head of comms in 1998.
He said: ‘The Tavistock job is completely different. It is about who is influencing policy debate. I would like [the institute] to make a more coherent contribution to social policy debate than it does and to have a higher profile.’
Swann, who takes up the post on 13 September, will report to the council of the institute, whose chairman is Lucian Hudson, director of comms at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Swann said: ‘Comms needs to be at the heart of an organisation; there needs to be people in comms with other [business or administrative] experience and vice versa. Moving from a head of comms role to a directorship ought to happen more.’
l In a separate move, The Association of London Government (ALG) is seeking a new director of comms and public affairs following Anna Feuchtwang’s decision to become chief executive of charity Everychild after three years in the post.
In her new role, working for the global charity for poor and vulnerable children, Feuchtwang will report to the board of trustees and be responsible for raising funds, as well as co-ordinating public policy and lobbying activity.
Feuchtwang has been an ActionAid trustee for four years and spent ten years at Oxfam, where she started as a press officer and was promoted to head of comms after five years at the charity.
She starts work at Everychild on 5 July.