RDA Secretariat names comms director

The national champion of regional development has hired former Hill & Knowlton senior account director Alison Culshaw to its beefed-up top comms post.

The public affairs specialist joins the Regional Development Agency National Secretariat as national communications director in mid-January after a brief career break, having left H&K in summer 2004.

The post at the secretariat, which lobbies on behalf of the nine RDAs, has been held on an interim basis by Duncan Stroud (PRWeek,
3 November 2005). It was previously held by Jon Bennett, who left in July to start up his own business (PRWeek, 24 June 2005).

Culshaw said the comms manager post has since been upgraded with more of a focus on PA.

'The challenge is to coordinate across the network of agencies, working on a national level, and to communicate the contribution that the RDAs make in terms of economic and social regeneration,' she said.

The post involves stakeholder relations with a large number of organisations, including the British Chambers of Commerce, government departments, the Trade Union Congress, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors.

RDAs agree economic growth targets with the government and private sector partners.

Culshaw will report to  secretariat director Sue Baxtor.

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