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?
Mark Flanagan is Chief Executive of Portland, responsible for the agency’s 250 staff around the world. He also advises a range of senior leaders on today’s communications and reputational challenges.
Mark joined Portland in 2010, and has worked as Senior Partner for Content & Digital Strategy, prior to being appointed UK Managing Director in 2017.
Previously, Mark was head of strategic communications at 10 Downing Street, working for the Labour and Coalition Governments.
He began his career in radio and was Managing Director of LBC from 2002 – 2005.
George advises the leaders of some of Britain’s biggest firms, charities and organisations on their corporate communications and government relations strategies.
His work spans a huge range of corporate sectors including FMCG, defence, banking, financial technology, retail, health and pharmaceuticals.
George enjoyed a 22-year career on The Sun newspaper. He was the Political Editor for five years, widely regarded as one of the most influential positions in the UK media.
He has been a regular panelist on BBC Question Time, Sunday AM, Sky News, BBC News Channel, Any Questions, The Week in Westminster and BBC Radio 5 Live. This experience makes him a sought-after media trainer for some of the UK’s most high profile business leaders. He is a former chairman of Parliamentary Lobby Journalists and is the author of Total Politics’ The Insider column, widely read by Britain’s decision-makers.
George advises clients on all aspects of media handling, crisis management and campaigning, providing formidable insight into the political world.
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.
Dr Jane Brearley
Dr Jane Brearley
Jane has nearly 20 years of experience in health communications and employee engagement. She has worked with senior leadership teams to help craft the company vision and translate it for audiences, delivered across multiple channels.
Jane has developed creative campaigns which have engaged audiences, generated excitement and driven behaviour change for multiple clients across varied sectors and geographies. She believes in the business value of effective story-telling and recognises the role it has to play in corporate reputation, increased profitability, staff retention and recruitment.
Jane has led award winning campaigns for global communications agencies and has a PhD in Biophysics from Imperial College, London.
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.
Sam is Managing Director responsible for Portland’s Corporate, Disputes, Health, and Global Impact teams.
He provides senior counsel to clients on all aspects of media, politics and reputation. He began his career working at The Independent before joining the FCO as a fast stream entrant. He was also a Teach First participant.
Sam is a trustee of WorldSkills UK and sits on Teach First’s Business Leaders Council.
Martin Sheehan is Managing Director responsible for Portland’s Government Advisory, Philanthropy and Disputes teams.
He is a communications strategist and former journalist. Martin helps clients develop strategy, manage reputation and build capacity.
He was formerly Head of Strategic Communications at Number 10 serving under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, responsible for creating and delivering long-term communications campaigns.
Philip leads Portland’s specialist disputes and litigation practice, and manages the global campaigns and philanthropy teams.
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.
Chris is an experienced corporate communications practitioner having worked in agency and in local government. He specialises in helping clients to understand what it is they need to do to achieve their goals, and then helping them to do it.
He has advised clients from a range of different sectors, including property, tech, retail, health, financial services, and food and drink. He is particularly active in the devolution agenda, advising both city leaders and clients on how to maximise the opportunities it presents.
Chris leads Portland Local – a specialist practice within Portland which exists to help clients navigate the changing landscape of city, regional and local politics.
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.
Noah is a Partner and General Manager North America at Portland. He is an experienced strategic communications counselor who leads positioning and reputation campaigns for advocacy organizations, companies, and international governments.
He has been heavily involved in developing and overseeing 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 the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.
John specialises in healthcare public affairs and communications. At Portland John helps a range of healthcare clients understand and influence the increasingly fragmented health policy environment in the UK.
John’s background is in the pharmaceutical industry and consultancy, advising major international companies on issues such as the changing NHS, access and uptake of new medicines, reform of NICE, and market access strategies.
He has devised policy projects for clients involving a wide range of stakeholders, including patient organisations and academia, to achieve public affairs and market access objectives at a national and local level. He has also represented pharmaceutical companies at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the American Pharmaceutical Group.
Patrick is a communications professional with extensive experience acquired through 11 years of work in the Middle East, including 10 years in Qatar.
He has provided communications counsel to a number of world-leading entities in the media, legal, energy, education, corporate, health, and financial sectors.
Before joining Portland, Patrick founded and ran Qatar’s leading independent Public Relations company, Forbes Associates. He is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Rebecca advises clients across multiple disciplines and sectors. She has extensive experience of integrated communications and reputation management covering all aspects from public policy to digital.
Rebecca currently works with international businesses including Diageo, Uber, Barclays and Aviva as well as third sector organisations such as The Scout Association.
She is also part of Portland’s Sport Unit working with leading organisations such as The All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Prior to joining Portland she worked in the Leader’s Office at Westminster City Council as a policy adviser.
Nick is a strategist who has worked on campaigns across the globe – including the Conservative Party’s General Election victory in 2015, Europe more widely, Asia and the Caribbean. He now leads Portland’s research and strategy offer, helping clients ground their communications in a rigorous empirical approach.
He has served in Downing Street as a Special Adviser on two separate occasions – working for both David Cameron and Theresa May.
Nick is currently lead counsel to Portland clients in various sectors including telecoms, financial services, gambling, food and drink and entertainment.
Justin is Partner and General Manager of Portland’s Middle East headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
He has provided senior counsel to a number of government, corporate and not-for-profit clients throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Australia. Before joining Portland, Justin spent over a decade in Whitehall working as a strategic communications advisor to the Labour and Coalition governments.
Prior to this, Justin worked on the delivery of a number of high profile advertising campaigns for the Australian government.
Jonathan is a specialist in soft power, public diplomacy, cultural relations and place branding. He is Portland’s General Manager for Asia.
Jonathan has advised senior government clients in the UK, Europe, and Asia on reputation, policy, and effective global engagement. Jonathan previously led place branding at the London-based creative agency Winkreative. Prior to this, he worked as a consultant in the London office of the Boston Consulting Group.
Before working in the private sector, Jonathan was Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG), where he remains an Associate. While at the IfG, Jonathan developed the world’s first composite index for measuring the soft power of countries, used as a benchmark by foreign ministries across the globe.
Charles provides senior advice to Portland’s international clients.
As an international broadcast journalist with NBC News, Charles previously spent fifteen years covering news in 57 countries.
He was formerly Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the World Economic Forum. At Davos and in New York, Charles organised engagement with top international journalists, government leaders and corporate executives including Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, John Chambers, Thabo Mbeki, Javier Solana, Alejandro Toledo, Qatar’s Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and George Soros.
Charles also had a stint as a Senior Managing Director at Hill & Knowlton. His responsibilities included communications strategy, media relations and all external and internal communications.
Anneka is a Partner in Portland’s Government Advisory Practice. She is an experienced government communications specialist and has worked with governments in the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia and Europe.
She has led major reputation management and capacity building programmes for Portland’s government clients, advising leadership at the highest levels and providing on-the-ground support.
Anneka has extensive experience of designing and running international campaigns that shape opinion, covering all aspects from public diplomacy, to media and digital. She is fluent in French and German.
Aloïs leads Portland’s Global Impact unit and Nairobi office. He specialises in strategic PR and international reputation management for corporations, governments, multilateral organisations and foundations. His work focuses on building purpose-driven global campaigns, through creative content and integrated approaches.
Throughout his experience in the UK, France and several countries in Africa, he has advised a number of organisations in the development, energy, transport and financial sectors on their multimarket reputation strategies.
He has a Master’s degree from the Sorbonne’s communications and journalism school (CELSA).
Mary Pollard has over 12 years’ experience advising brands including Unilever, Mondelez International, HSBC and Sky on their corporate reputation, with a focus on social responsibility and purpose-led communications.
She joined Portland from Diageo plc, where she led on the global beverage company’s reputation on issues including public health, responsible drinking and CSR.
Mary is experienced in delivering multi-market, integrated campaigns involving both internal and external audiences to address specific business objectives. Her focus at Portland is on shifting perceptions, driving reputation and generating measurable outcomes for clients by defining and communicating the purpose of organisations.
With a background in digital, Anthony advises Portland’s government clients around the world.
He was previously Head of Digital Communication at 10 Downing Street, where he spent four years working for the UK Prime Minister. He was also Deputy Director of the Government Communication Service, where he helped deliver improvements to digital capability across the Civil Service.
Anthony helps clients build capacity, strengthen their digital skills and develop effective communication strategies.
As a Partner, Robert’s work involves devising and implementing global communications campaigns and advising clients on international policy issues.
Robert joined Portland in September 2006 to coordinate the launch of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. He leads Portland’s work for philanthropic and international development clients.
In 2009, Robert led the establishment of Portland’s Nairobi office. He oversees Portland work in Africa and the operation of the Portland Africa Network.
Robert was formerly a Senior Consultant at Africa Practice, where he advised multinational businesses and multilateral organisations on communications around investment in Africa.
Steffan leads the Financial Communications practice at Portland.
For over 20 years he has provided strategic communications advice to companies, organisations and governments around the world.
He was previously a Partner at Finsbury. Before this he founded Capital MSL (now CNC) in 2001 and then sold it to Publicis Groupe in 2013.
He is the Chairman of the PRCA – the voice of the Public Relations and Communications industry in the UK.
His charity pro bono commitments include The Prince’s Trust, The National Botanic Garden of Wales and The World Monument Fund.
He’s a Special Advisor to the Iraq Britain Business Council and the AMAR Foundation. He’s also an Old Member’s Trustee at Lincoln College, Oxford University, and a Member of the Advisory Development Board at Swansea University.
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.