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.
Victoria Dean is Portland’s newly appointed Deputy CEO. She is a Portland returnee, having worked previously as a Partner in our corporate offering.
Victoria has spent the past three years as Google’s Director of Global Policy. Previously Victoria was a diplomat in the British Diplomatic Service, where she served in Paris, Brussels, Washington DC, as deputy director Europe in the Foreign Office as as British Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean.
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 panellist 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.
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.
Thomas is a strategic communication and public affairs expert with over 20 years of experience. He is responsible for Portland’s operations in Brussels, Berlin & Paris.
Over the last decade, he has advised both multinational companies and governments on issues campaigns and their regulatory engagement in Europe. In particular, he has developed an extensive experience in trade dispute cases & antitrust proceedings.
During the 20+ years of his career, he advised several high-profile international companies in sectors ranging from textiles, private investment to media/entertainment, guiding them through sensitive operations such as restructuring and hostile takeovers, often acting as their spokesperson.
Thomas has also worked at Publicis Consultants in Paris where he specialised in crisis communications. Previously, he spent several years in Argentina as a corporate communications consultant.
In addition to his native French, Thomas is fluent in English and Spanish.
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.
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.
Anne-Juliette joined the team in October 2013. She has 15 years of experience in public affairs consultancy for companies, associations or governments.
She previously advised healthcare stakeholders: Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Medical Device Industrials, Professional Unions, Patient Associations, etc.
Before entering the consultancy world, Anne-Juliette spent ten years at the French Red Cross, where she was responsible for international relations. She had the opportunity to work in Niger and then in Algeria.
Anne-Juliette holds a Master’s degree in International Law and one in Defence and Security. She speaks French and English and has notions of German and Spanish.
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.
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.
Luke advises UK and international clients on issues including reputation, crisis management and media engagement.
A former foreign correspondent and bureau chief with Reuters, he ran the news organisation’s operations in Paris, Jerusalem and Brussels for more than a decade, gaining high-level insight into policy and decision-making in France, the European Union and the Middle East.
Earlier in his career he worked across southern Africa, Italy, Iraq and Afghanistan, reporting from more than 40 countries. As well as international affairs and geopolitics, he has covered sectors including banking, financial regulation, technology and competition, and is regularly invited to speak to investors, law firms and start-ups.
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar and is the author or co-author of two books, the novel “Dateline Baghdad” and “Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anneka’s expertise lies in strategic communications and reputation management for global corporates, governments and NGOs. She specialises in dealing with complex issues that impact multiple audiences and often stretch across geographies.
Anneka has advised corporate clients across the pharmaceutical, energy, FMCG and agribusiness sectors. She has also led major reputation management and capacity building programmes for Portland’s government clients in the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia and Europe.
Anneka is highly experienced at designing and running international campaigns that shape opinion, covering all aspects from media and digital to crisis management. Anneka speaks fluent German, French to a high level and conversational Spanish and Italian. She is a trustee of the Young Camden Foundation.
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).
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.
Benoît is a public affairs and communications strategist who specialises in EU public affairs, with a focus on digital, antitrust and health policy. He has led high-stakes public affairs campaigns for a broad range of multinational companies on issues ranging from data privacy / GDPR to competition policy and antitrust investigation to platform liability, digital taxation, Intellectual Property and industrial policy.
Benoît also advises companies on communications strategies and has extensive experience as a media trainer for senior corporate executives, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.
Benoît began his career in the European Commission, where he worked on European Social Fund programmes and Labour Market policies.
Benoît is also involved in a several pro-European initiatives and think tanks.
Besides English and his native French, Benoît is fluent in German and speaks conversational Spanish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.