Abbie Sampson, Director of External Affairs, Energy UK

Abbie Sampson joined Energy UK in January 2017 as Director of External Affairs, overseeing communications, public affairs and events. Abbie has extensive experience of strategic communications and public affairs in the private, public and charitable sectors including at the highest level of government, having previously worked in Downing Street. Previously Abbie led communications at the consumer group Which? after working in a number of government departments. Abbie advises organisations on strategy, maximising opportunities and identifying risk, and how to clearly communicate values in an ever-evolving political environment. She is passionate about driving greater diversity and inclusion, and is a Women in PR committee member.

Abigail Scott Paul, Deputy Director Advocacy and Public Engagement, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Abigail is passionate about collaborating with others in winning hearts and minds to solve poverty in the UK. She is working alongside poverty activists and campaigners, content creators, cultural partners and the media to drive JRF's strategy and tell a new story about people in poverty. It is one that can boost public understanding, shift negative attitudes and build support for action. She is a framing advocate having led JRF's award-winning Talking about Poverty work. She is passionate about the role of authentic storytelling for systems change, and recently collaborated with Sean McAllister on the critically acclaimed documentary A Northern Soul. She is a true believer in using data and insight to inform the way JRF communicates with public audiences.

David Holdstock, Director of Communications, Local Government Association

David Holdstock is the Director of Communications at the Local Government Association (LGA). David has a wealth of experience of leading strategic communications and reputation management.  He has led a number of award-winning teams and worked in a variety of communications roles across the public sector. Working with the Foreign Office, he helped develop police and government communications in Bulgaria following the changes in Eastern Europe and worked on a number of high profile events such as Diana, Princess of Wales’ funeral, the Docklands bomb, the Greek Embassy siege and the Paddington rail disaster. . As Director of Communications at the LGA, David has overseen a range of successful campaigns and the development of a national communications support and improvement programme for councils and helped to develop the LGcommunications future leaders programme. David was a former national Chairman of LGcommunications.

Dominic Redfearn, Global Brand and Communications Director (SVP), DIAGEO

Dominic Redfearn is the Global Brand and Communications Director for DIAGEO and is responsible for global communications, employee engagement, financial communications, the corporate brand and reputation strategy. Dominic began his career in news with Dow Jones and CNBC television, before moving into the agency world with Medialink, a US media and public relations group. During nine years at the agency, he ran creative and consultancy teams, advising corporates and brands on strategic media, content development and campaigns. In 2007, Dominic went in-house at DIAGEO taking on roles in both corporate relations and global marketing. In 2012, as Global Media and Content Director, he led the company’s approach to content and communications across corporate and consumer brands. And in 2014, as Global Brand DIAGEO Director, he developed the company’s integrated, purpose-led corporate brand and reputation strategy. Dominic was appointed Global Brand and Communications Director in 2015.

Hilary Berg, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Iceland Foods

Hil is Head of Sustainability and CSR at Iceland Foods, where she reports to MD Richard Walker, leading the company’s ‘Doing it Right’ strategy, and working on partnerships and communications. She is a Chartered PR Practitioner with over 25 years of experience as a brand and communications advisor, specialising in social change. Before joining Iceland in 2016 she was Director of Communications at the world renowned Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Hil has twice been named ‘UK outstanding independent practitioner’ by the CIPR and has won multiple industry awards, most recently for Iceland’s campaigns on palm oil and plastic reduction. She has a passion for social enterprise and social innovation, and has worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. She is a Trustee of the Lankelly Chase Foundation and national social care charity PSS, and is in the final stages of a Master’s in PR, researching corporate activism.

Jeremy Townsend, UK Communications Director, Groupe PSA

Jeremy Townsend is the communications director for Groupe PSA in the UK.  Here he leads the team responsible for corporate, product and internal communications and events for Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.

Jessica Frost, Senior Managing Director & Co-Head, Public Affairs, Strategy & Communications Advisory UK, Teneo

Jessica Lennard, Senior Director of Data and AI Initiatives, Visa

Jessica is a Senior Director of Data and AI Initiatives in Visa’s Global Strategy team. Her work covers data privacy, AI ethics and related policy, regulation and business development. Her previous roles at Visa include Director of External Affairs for Visa’s Data Science Lab, and Head of UK Regulation and Public Affairs. She has over ten years’ corporate affairs experience including lobbying, communications and reputation management. She has worked for political parties, businesses (start-up to FTSE 100), consultancies, trade bodies, think tanks and NGOs. Her particular expertise is highly regulated, technology-driven sectors including digital, data and AI, telecoms, energy and fintech. She was previously a capital markets solicitor at Linklaters, having completed an undergraduate degree in Law from Oxford University and a Masters degree in Political Theory from the LSE.

Laurian Hubbard, Brexit Campaign Lead, Cabinet Office

Laurian is a CIPR Fellow and award-winning Chartered PR Practitioner. With over fifteen years’ experience in PR, communications and marketing she is currently working as the Strategic Communications Lead for Citizens and Nations on the UK Transition Campaign in the Cabinet Office. Previous roles have included working in the public sector in Australia, Welsh Government and the Chambers of Commerce. Laurian is the Founder and Co-President of Women in PR Cymru, International Board member of Global Women in PR, a CIPR Council member; and committee member of CIPR Cymru. She is also a CIPR Chartered Assessor and has been Head Judge for CIPR Cymru Pride Awards for the last three years.

Matthew Painter, Managing Director, Ipsos Corporate Reputation

Matt Painter is Managing Director of Ipsos Corporate Reputation. He leads a team of 45 people, based in London. Previously Head of Research at Echo Research Ltd and Ebiquity plc, Matt has specialised in reputation and corporate communications for more than 15 years. He has worked with some of the world’s most admired businesses including Rolls-Royce plc, Shell, Roche, Sony, Telenor Group, Diageo, Rio Tinto, Microsoft and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as national governments, NGOs and media outlets. Matt is a regular speaker and author on corporate reputation issues and trends.

Dr Michael Granleese – Deputy Managing Director, Ipsos Corporate Reputation

Mike is the Deputy Managing Director of the Corporate Reputation team at Ipsos MORI and works across a number of sectors, for clients including; EY, Mastercard, Lloyds Banking Group, Honda, Coca-Cola and HEINEKEN. Mike has extensive experience working with businesses that are facing challenging reputation environments, helping them to understand how to build goodwill with stakeholders and safeguard the organisation’s license to operate. Mike runs large scale quantitative stakeholder research projects in the UK – utilising a range of techniques to help deliver robust numbers across hard to reach audiences. He is an accomplished public speaker who presents to senior audiences at industry conferences, board meetings, and Westminster briefings. Mike holds a PhD in Economics, which involved senior stakeholder research across several markets in Europe and West Africa.

Natalie Deacon, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability & President, Avon Foundation for Women, Avon

Natalie is a communications and corporate affairs leader with more experience than she now likes to admit. She’s led corporate communications across 50+ countries, working with consumer and B2B organisations across multiple industries. Following her formative career years in PR, Natalie has subsequently worked across almost all elements of the communications and corporate affairs mix: across internal engagement, crisis, change management, corporate responsibility and sustainability. In her current role Natalie is a strong advocate of Avon’s mission to empower women and has been instrumental in developing Avon’s corporate affairs strategy.

Nick Collier, Managing Director, City of London Corporation

Nick Collier joined the City of London Corporation as its new Managing Director of the Brussels office in March 2019.  He was previously Global Head of Government Relations at Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) and before that worked at a range of organisations in the financial services sector, including Morgan Stanley and the Bank of England and, until recently, served as Chair of TheCityUK’s Public Affairs Group as well as Deputy Chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group. Nick is chair of diplomatic engagement at the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange. He holds a MSC in Economics and Finance from the London School of Economics and a BA from Oxford.

Nigel Milton, Director of Communications, Heathrow Airport

Nigel leads Heathrow’s external affairs, media and internal communications teams. His responsibilities include managing Heathrow’s relations with politicians, business groups and the media; representing Heathrow in the media and in public meetings; and liaison with stakeholders on a range of policy issues. Nigel represents Heathrow on a wide range of trade associations and lobbying groups. Nigel joined Heathrow from Virgin Atlantic in March 2010 where he had spent six years in the External Affairs department, latterly as General Manager for Government & External Affairs with responsibility for Virgin Atlantic's relationships with governments around the world. Nigel arrived at Virgin Atlantic in February 2004 from the Department for Transport (DfT) where he had been Assistant Director for International Aviation since October 2000. At the DfT, Nigel had been the lead negotiator in aviation talks with, firstly African and Middle Eastern countries and later, with countries in the Americas. Prior to this post, Nigel was Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Transport, John Prescott, between 1998 and 2000. Following his graduation with a law degree from Oxford University in 1993, Nigel travelled extensively before joining the Civil Service in 1995. Nigel also has a Masters degree in Transport Planning and Management from the University of Westminster.

Nina Jaksic, Vice President of EMEA Communications, BNY Mellon Investment Management

Nina Jaksic is vice president of EMEA Communications at BNY Mellon Investment Management, one of the world’s largest asset managers with US$1.9 trillion in assets under management. Nina leads the communications strategy for the company and its affiliated investment firms including Newton Investment Management, Insight Investment and Mellon Investments Corporation in the UK intermediary market, Netherlands and Nordics. Prior to this, she was corporate communications manager at Investcorp International where she covered communications across private equity, real estate investment, and hedge funds in Europe, the Gulf, and the US. She holds a BSc in International Communication and Media from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and a MSc in Corporate Communications and Reputation Management from Manchester Business School. She is vice chairman of the PRCA’s Reputation group and a member of The Investment Association’s communications committee. Nina was listed in PRWeek’s 30 under 30 in 2019.

Poli Stuart-Lacey, Director of Communications, HMRC

Sneha Patel, Senior Adviser for External and International Affairs, Mayor of London’s Office

Sneha Patel is the Senior Adviser for External and International Affairs in the Mayor of London’s office. She is responsible for the delivery of integrated communications campaigns, events and international visits for the Mayor. This includes delivering the Mayor’s most high profile campaigns on knife crime, air quality, Brexit and gender equality. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Sneha worked extensively across central government and Parliament, including as the Head of Tax Communications at HM Treasury, at the Department for Business, and for the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. She is a passionate champion of diversity and inclusion and has introduced the biggest public sector workplace development initiative of its kind in the UK - Our Time - and TfL’s annual diversity in advertising competition.


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