It’s our people that make us stand out

From the beginning, Portland set itself the goal of bringing together the very best in the fields of politics, the media, government and consultancy.

We understand integration is the key to succeed and have recruited the most talented specialists from the consultancy and advisory world, and multi-lingual executives from the most prestigious institutions worldwide, to bring in a new layer of professionals.

Alongside our research, creative, digital designers, strategists, content and brand experts, we are confident that at Portland we are best placed to help clients achieve their objectives.

Our clients also benefit from the insight and experience of our Advisory Council who work with our senior management team — overseeing all aspects of our strategy and challenging us to ensure that we provide the best possible service to our clients, now and in the future.

Interested in Joining Us?
 
Victoria Dean
Chief Executive
Victoria Dean
Victoria Dean
Chief Executive

Victoria Dean has recently re-joined Portland to take over the agency in late 2022. She is a career diplomat, having spent nearly two decades in the British Diplomatic Service, with roles in London, Paris, Brussels, Washington DC and the Eastern Caribbean, where she was High Commissioner until 2016. She then spent three years as a Partner at Portland in our corporate offering, and then went in-house to Google as the Global Public Policy Director.

Now back in agency, leading a 300 strong team of strategic comms and public affairs professionals across London, Doha, Singapore, Nairobi, Paris, Berlin and Brussels. The nexus of politics, policy and media and where those coincide with business strategy is what makes her tick professionally.

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George Pascoe-Watson
UK Chair
George Pascoe-Watson
George Pascoe-Watson
UK Chair

George advises the leaders of some of the world’s biggest companies and organisations on their strategic communications and advocacy.

His work spans multiple sectors of the economy including energy, pharmaceuticals, media technology, financial technology, defence, sport, transport, digital infrastructure, FMCG, regulated utilities and the third sector.

George brings unique insight and intelligence to his strategic and tactical advice from his vast network and rich experience of issues and campaigning

He advises on corporate affairs strategy, narrative and messaging, stakeholder management, crisis preparedness and handling, campaign development and delivery. He has also prepared some of industry’s most senior figures to navigate significant media and political cross examination.

George enjoyed a 22 year career on The Sun newspaper where he was political editor, widely regarded as the most influential role in British journalism.

He is a sought after media commentator and public speaker with formidable insight into the UK political and business worlds.

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Steve Morris
International Chair
Steve Morris
Steve Morris
International Chair

Steve is a strategic communications expert with over 20 years’ experience.

In ten years at Portland, he has advised corporate clients in a wide range of sectors, as well as non-profit organisations and private individuals. He has led Portland’s work for several government clients, advising leaders and officials, overseeing training and capacity-building, as well as managing global reputation.

Previously he held a number of senior communications roles for the UK Government and the European Commission. Steve was Director of Communications at DEFRA during crises including major floods and an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. He also spent five years as a senior official in 10 Downing Street, heading the Strategic Communications Unit, and before that was a Spokesman for the European Commission in Brussels.

His career began as a Fast Stream Graduate in the UK Civil Service, after studying Social and Political Science at Cambridge University.

Steve is a Trustee of WWF UK, and a Board member of the Jo Cox Foundation.

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Alexandra Farley
Chief Operating Officer
Alexandra Farley
Alexandra Farley
Chief Operating Officer

As Portland’s COO Alex is responsible for all non-client facing elements of Portland including Finance, HR, Legal, Commercial and Office Management.

Alex joined Portland in January 2010 from Taylor Herring Public Relations Ltd where she was Financial Controller.

She completed her ACA in 2003 and also holds a degree in Law from Leicester University.

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Noah Black
Managing Director
Noah Black
Noah Black
Managing Director

Noah is an experienced communications counselor who leads positioning and reputation campaigns for advocacy organizations, companies, and international governments.

He has been heavily involved in developing and managing branding, digital platforms, public relations, and advocacy initiatives; cultivating media relationships; serving as a spokesperson; and advising leadership at the highest levels.

Prior to joining Portland he served as Vice President of Public Affairs for a higher education trade association in Washington, DC.

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Philip Hall
Managing Director
Philip Hall
Philip Hall
Managing Director

Philip leads Portland’s specialist Litigation and Disputes practice, and manages the Philanthropy, International Development and Government Advisory offers.

He is a communications strategist and qualified lawyer. Ranked by Chambers and Partners as a leading litigation consultant, Philip has advised on complex legal actions, conflicts and crises across multiple countries, sectors and jurisdictions, including the European Court of Human Rights.

Philip also has particular expertise in digital communications. He has developed and deployed sophisticated data-driven campaigns for both government institutions and multi-national companies.

Prior to joining Portland, Philip worked for Finsbury, the international financial communications firm, where he was Head of Digital and advised on crises in the travel, construction and automotive sectors. He is qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand, and has a Master’s degree (LL.M Hons) in international public law.

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Katie Saxon
Managing Director
Katie Saxon
Katie Saxon
Managing Director

Katie is a strategic communications and public affairs specialist, with a decade of experience supporting healthcare clients in the UK, Europe and globally. Katie works with clients to create integrated communications strategies that differentiate and engage, with particular expertise in oncology and rare diseases. This support includes strategy and positioning, narrative and policy development, as well as capacity building, execution and issue management. Katie has advised a host of life science companies on corporate, brand and market access initiatives, including Pfizer, Amgen, Novartis, Vertex and Biogen, as well as a variety of healthcare providers, NGOs and advocacy groups.

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Louise Winmill
Managing Director
Louise Winmill
Louise Winmill
Managing Director

Louise is a communications and PR specialist and has advised some of the world’s best known retail, tech and FMCG brands including Netflix, L’Oreal, Asda, PepsiCo, Intel and LinkedIn. She has worked agency side and in-house, most recently for online marketplace, notonthehighstreet.com.

Louise specialises in bringing together corporate, consumer and digital communications disciplines to build brands and protect reputation. She is also experienced in Exec Comms and crisis management.

Louise has a degree in Economics from University College London but started-out as a professional contemporary dancer before moving into comms.

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Carmen Bell
Senior Partner
Carmen Bell
Carmen Bell
Senior Partner

Carmen returns to Portland as Senior Partner and Head of Office for Brussels. Bell has a proven track record of designing and conducting European policy and communications campaigns for over 13 years in the financial services, digital and sustainability sectors, and holds extensive experience advising businesses on the EU geopolitical agenda, including economic and trade relations with the UK, US and India.

Prior, Bell steered the Brussels expansion of advisory firm Global Counsel as its EU Policy Practice Lead and was a Senior Policy Advisor at Insurance Europe, where she managed its campaign for the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Before arriving in Brussels, Bell worked as an attorney in the United States with international law firm Reed Smith.

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Stéphane Harrouch
Senior Partner
Stéphane Harrouch
Stéphane Harrouch
Senior Partner

With over 20 years of professional experience in public affairs, reputation management, issues and crisis communications, Stéphane has worked for clients in France, Europe, Middle East and globally. His experience has spanned across a number of domains including public sector, health industry, services, energy, tech and he has a strong experience working on political campaigns in France and Russia.

Before joining Portland Paris, Stéphane worked for a former Minister for Foreign trade and also worked as an opinion analyst within Politics and Opinion Department of TNS Sofres (KANTAR). Until 2020 Stéphane lived and worked in the Middle East.

Stéphane has a post-graduate degree in Law, Political Science and a masters degree in Political Communication (Sorbonne).

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Victoria Wallin
Senior Partner
Victoria Wallin
Victoria Wallin
Senior Partner

Victoria advises a wide range of organisations, from major corporates, including Pfizer and Heathrow airport, to some of today’s fastest growing challenger brands, such as Funding Circle.

Over the past 15 years, she has developed and led a wide range of campaigns in the UK and internationally.

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James Bell
Partner
James Bell
James Bell
Partner

James is a communications professional with over a decade of experience providing strategic consultancy and crisis comms support to clients.

He has been based in Doha, Qatar since 2019 and joined Portland from the UK government where he was Head of Strategic Communications in the Cabinet Office.

James was a previous MediaWeek 30 under 30 winner and has advised governments and corporate clients on a range of complex issues including countering disinformation and delivering national communications campaigns.

 

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Anita Boateng
Partner
Anita Boateng
Anita Boateng
Partner

Anita Boateng is a government affairs, policy and communications specialist with extensive experience working at the highest levels of government and media.

She specialises in delivering ambitious, integrated public affairs and corporate communications campaigns for clients facing regulatory, reputational and commercial challenges.

Anita served three Cabinet Ministers as a government special adviser from 2016-2019, including the defacto Deputy Prime Minister in the Cabinet Office, the Lord Chancellor and the Work and Pensions Secretary.

Anita is a former political producer of BBC Question Time and a regular political commentator. She has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford.

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Graziella Chelo
Partner
Graziella Chelo
Graziella Chelo
Partner

Graziella specialises in global health campaigns and development issues, advising not-for-profits, corporate clients and governments. 

A native French and Italian-speaker, she has delivered campaigns on complex development issues in Europe, Africa, the US and Asia, and works for clients such as the Global Nutrition Report, The Elders and The Kofi Annan Foundation.

Before joining Portland, she worked for agencies in Paris and London where she delivered campaigns and strategic advice for pharmaceutical companies around issues including AIDS, mental health and drug prices.

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Simon Evans
Partner
Simon Evans
Simon Evans
Partner

Simon leads Portland’s Financial Communications team.

He advises clients on a range of activities including: transactions such as M&A, IPOs and restructurings; on-going investor engagement; fundraising processes; special situations; general reputation management strategies; and crisis support.

He supports clients operating in domestic and cross-border situations.

A former financial journalist, he works across Portland’s portfolio including several leading listed UK companies, private equity partnerships and their portfolio companies, asset managers, banks and others.

Simon has an interest in digital investor communications, helping companies and organisations to reach investor stakeholders in, non-traditional, new ways.

He began his career in investment banking, working in equity finance and prime brokerage. He is a graduate of the University of Warwick.

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Jamie Fenton
Partner
Jamie Fenton
Jamie Fenton
Partner

Jamie leads Portland’s work in sports supporting teams, organisations, governing bodies and tournaments on global level.  He advises clients on all aspects of their communications, including crisis comms, reputation management, public affairs and stadium development.  

With over a decade working in communications and public affairs, Jamie has worked across a range of sectors spanning FMCG, technology and transport.

Jamie provides senior counsel to clients, specialising in strategic communications, crisis communications and media relations.

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Simon Hamer
Partner
Simon Hamer
Simon Hamer
Partner

Simon advises Portland’s clients on high impact, top-tier media engagement and delivery.  

He previously spent 17 years at the BBC, where he worked across a range of programmes and publications including the Today Programme, BBC Online, 5 Live and the 10 O’clock news.​

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Seonaid Hyslop-Parsons
Partner
Seonaid Hyslop-Parsons
Seonaid Hyslop-Parsons
Partner

Seonaid is a corporate reputation and media relations specialist, advising high-profile brands, businesses, and organisations at UK and global levels. She works with clients across a range of sectors including hospitality, FMCG, technology and healthcare. This work includes strategy and narrative development, integrated campaigns for external and internal stakeholders, story building and issues management.

Seonaid began her PR career in consumer and digital communications

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Ferkan Memedi
Chief Creative Officer, Middle East
Ferkan Memedi
Ferkan Memedi
Chief Creative Officer, Middle East

Ferkan is a seasoned brand and creative strategist, responsible for the integration and delivery of Portland’s core capabilities under a comprehensive creative offering for the Middle East region. 

He has consistently dedicated himself to implementing well researched, innovation-led, and sustainable growth concepts for key clients across both the private and public sector.

In previous roles, Ferkan has spearheaded the introduction and provision of numerous pioneering brand and creative strategies to organisations across the Middle East and Europe.

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Gabriel Milland
Partner
Gabriel Milland
Gabriel Milland
Partner

Gabriel leads Portland’s research practice, helping clients gain actionable insights into opinion and their reputation among their most important audiences, their most important stakeholders and the public at large. 

A former national newspaper political correspondent and foreign editor, he subsequently moved into government leading the communications teams at two major Whitehall departments. His last role in government was as a temporary special adviser to the Prime Minister in Downing Street, where he helped lead on the UK’s response to Covid. 

As well as expertise in opinion research for government, political parties, campaigns and several of the world’s biggest businesses, Gabriel offers counsel to Portland clients on media, government relations and issues and crises. 

Gabriel has a PhD in communications history from the University of Leicester and also studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Emma Miyo
Partner
Emma Miyo
Emma Miyo
Partner

Emma leads Portland’s Creative function, managing a team of creative strategists, designers and filmmakers to deliver powerful integrated campaigns underpinned by compelling audience insights.

With a background in corporate communications and brand building, Emma has over a decade’s experience harnessing earned, owned and paid media to help clients engage their stakeholders – from consumers and employees to journalists and policymakers.

Emma has advised clients including Netflix, YouTube, Pfizer, HSBC, UBS, Panasonic, National Grid and Sky, working with account teams to create narratives, support product launches, build employer brands and position clients as thought leaders.

She also works closely with Portland’s designers, producers and digital specialists to create visual concepts, brand identities and content including films, websites, social media toolkits, publications and 360 advertising.

Emma joined Portland in 2018, having spent eight years at Bell Pottinger, where she was an Associate Creative Director in the company’s integrated communications practice, Engage.

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Simon Pugh
Partner
Simon Pugh
Simon Pugh
Partner

Simon is a Partner in the Litigation Communications and Disputes practice. He provides specialist communications advice to legal teams and their clients, with a particular focus on contentious situations and reputation management. His work spans a broad range of legal situations, including group litigation (both claimant and defendant), judicial review, regulatory and other investigations, IP and commercial litigation.

Simon begun his career in public affairs consultancy, advising clients on how to navigate Westminster and Whitehall. He continues to work with clients who face political, regulatory or stakeholder issues.

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Anna Richardson
Partner
Anna Richardson
Anna Richardson
Partner

Anna is an award-winning strategic communications consultant who leads PR and communications programmes for not-for-profit organisations and global corporations. Her expertise is in delivering multi-market campaigns that engage audiences and mobilise energy for change.

Anna’s background is working with philanthropists, international advocacy organisations and businesses to help communicate around global issues and international development. In her experience the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, she has advised on issues from gender equality to global health, climate and education.

She is also experienced in crisis management, having advised on some of the biggest PR crises of the last decade.

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Susanna Rushton
Partner, Growth and Marketing
Susanna Rushton
Susanna Rushton
Partner, Growth and Marketing

Susanna leads Portland’s growth and marketing practice. She oversees our marketing channels and activity to ensure what we do is as impactful and relevant to our clients and prospective clients as possible, and helps prospective clients connect with the right experts in our business. 

Susanna has spent over 12 years at Portland and has a background in UK public affairs and corporate communications. 

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Phil Sawyer
Partner
Phil Sawyer
Phil Sawyer
Partner

Phil is a strategic communications specialist, leading our work with clients across the global healthcare industry.

Since joining Portland in 2013, Phil has advised clients on how to navigate some of the most complex communications challenges in healthcare, from the advent of cell and gene therapy to the impact of Covid-19.

Phil’s extensive experience includes pharmaceuticals and biotech (working with companies such as Novartis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, AbbVie and Vertex), as well as trade associations, NFPs and med tech.

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Salma Shah
Partner and Senior Advisor
Salma Shah
Salma Shah
Partner and Senior Advisor

Salma is a communications, public policy and government affairs expert, with over 10 years’ experience in Westminster and Whitehall.

She will be providing senior counsel to clients on issues ranging from the current political climate to implementing successful communications strategies.

She served in the UK Government from May 2014 for 5 years, in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and the Home Office.

Prior to this Salma was a journalist at the BBC, producing the Today programme on Radio 4.

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Richard Suchet
Partner
Richard Suchet
Richard Suchet
Partner

Richard advises high-profile brands and global businesses on all aspects of their corporate reputation.

He has built communications strategies and led corporate and consumer campaign for a range of clients.

Richard is a former journalist and broadcaster with over a decade of experience working in news, predominantly as a correspondent for Sky News and LBC.

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Hugo Sutherland
Partner
Hugo Sutherland
Hugo Sutherland
Partner

Hugo leads Portland’s infrastructure and local campaigns work. He advises clients on how to use their communications to address regulatory challenges, manage reputation and demonstrate delivery across a range of sectors including transport, energy, water, technology, planning and development.

He also leads public affairs and government relations work, providing senior counsel to clients. He began his career working in Parliament and joined Portland in 2014.

Hugo has degrees in History from Newcastle University and The London School of Economics.

 

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Harry Watson
Partner
Harry Watson
Harry Watson
Partner

Harry has over a decade of experience in UK public affairs, government relations and policy, as well as media relations and issues and crisis management. His work has spanned a range of sectors including tech, defence, FMCG, transport, sustainability and the third sector. 

He has substantial expertise in advising clients and developing strategies to manage reputational issues, address regulatory challenges and navigate complex external operating environments.

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