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?
 
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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Emma Dean
Managing Director
Emma Dean
Emma Dean
Managing Director

Emma is a public affairs specialist, with over fifteen years of experience in strategic communications, political campaigns and policy roles. At Portland, Emma provides senior counsel to clients across a range of sectors on their integrated communications strategies and reputational challenges.  

Before joining Portland, Emma served the UK Government for three years as a Special Adviser working with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and two Health Secretaries. During this time Emma worked on the delivery of the National Cyber Security Strategy, the Covid-19 response, including the rollout of the vaccine programme, and devised and delivered the first Women’s Health Strategy for England.

Prior to government Emma advised tech, media and telecoms companies, including Microsoft, Three, Cisco, PaddyPower and StubHub, on issues relating to online harms, consumer protection and cyber security. She also led the civil liberties organisation, Big Brother Watch, where she regularly gave evidence to parliamentary inquiries and appeared on national broadcast.

Emma was named a We Are The City PR & Comms ‘Rising Star’ in 2019 and a PRWeek ‘30 under 30’ Young Professional in 2015. She is a mentor at King’s College London and a Trustee of the gynaecological cancer charity, The Eve Appeal.

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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, and Biogen, as well as a variety of healthcare providers, NGOs and advocacy groups.

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Louise Winmill
Chief Client Officer
Louise Winmill
Louise Winmill
Chief Client Officer

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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Luke Baker
Head of Media Strategy
Luke Baker
Luke Baker
Head of Media Strategy

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”.

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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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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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Emma Miyo
Senior Partner
Emma Miyo
Emma Miyo
Senior 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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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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Tristan Peniston-Bird
Senior Partner
Tristan Peniston-Bird
Tristan Peniston-Bird
Senior Partner

Tristan brings over two decades’ experience in corporate and financial communications, investor relations and crisis management, in both commercial and functional roles, worldwide.

Most recently, Tristan was a Managing Director at FTI Consulting in London.  In-house, he served as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Velcro Companies, and before that as Managing Director and Head of Communications, Marketing & Corporate Responsibility at Euroclear SA/NV, the global post-trade infrastructure.

Earlier in his consultancy career, Tristan advised clients on a variety of high-stakes situations in London, Dubai, and New York, with Marsh, Inc. and Bell Pottinger.  He began his career in the investment management division of Singapore’s Overseas Union Bank. 

Tristan has a Master of Applied Finance & Investment from FINSIA Sydney, and a degree in public relations from RMIT University, Melbourne.

 

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Abigail Bishop
Partner
Abigail Bishop
Abigail Bishop
Partner

Abigail is a life sciences policy and government affairs specialist. She leads Portland’s work with pharmaceutical clients, with a particular focus on UK public affairs.

Abigail works across both above-brand life sciences engagement programmes and disease-specific projects in pathway reform, awareness raising and market access.

Abigail’s experience includes supporting engagement around rare diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and sickle cell disease, major chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity and arthritis, and corporate life sciences policy such as NICE reform and the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing, access and growth.

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Alexandre Houssard
Partner
Alexandre Houssard
Alexandre Houssard
Partner

Alexandre has over 20 years of professional experience in the political and corporate sectors, in France and abroad.

He advised numerous decision-makers across multiple sectors of the economy, including sport, health, finance, technology, energy, pharmaceuticals, regulated bodies and philanthropy.

Through his various assignments, Alexandre gathered a wide expertise in public affairs, policy review, strategy and message development. He also has a strong experience working on political campaigns in France and in the UK.

Alexandre began his career in Jacques Chirac’s campaign team in 2002, before working as a private secretary to a British MP in the House of Commons, and later as a Secretary general in a corporate and investment bank in the City. He held a number of senior roles in the French Government, as advisor to the Minister for Greater Paris and advisor to the Secretary General of the Presidency of the G20 and the G8, at the French presidency, under President Sarkozy.

Alexandre co-founded an influential business club in France before leading the Public Affairs team of a strategic communications agency in Paris.

Alexandre is a deputy mayor of Orléans and has post-graduate degrees in Law from Orléans University and Northumbria University.

 

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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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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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Charlotte Miller
Partner
Charlotte Miller
Charlotte Miller
Partner

Charlotte is a public affairs and policy specialist with extensive experience working at the highest level of government and politics.

She specialises in advising Portland’s clients on navigating Westminster and Whitehall, providing insights on the policy-making, legislative and regulatory processes. ​​

Prior to joining Portland, Charlotte was a Special Adviser to the Home Secretary, working on a range of policy issues including security, online harms, encryption and policing.

Charlotte has also served as Special Adviser to the Leader of the House of Commons at the Cabinet Office and as Head of Policy at the Conservative Party.

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Daphne Cafritz
Partner
Daphne Cafritz
Daphne Cafritz
Partner

Daphne is Partner in our international team, where she designs award-winning global communications strategies and campaigns for some of the world’s most prominent organisations, philanthropic foundations and international events.

Her experience and expertise span social impact, international development and sport communications, with a focus on Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Before joining in 2017, she worked at Burson Cohn & Wolfe and Newgate in Brussels, specialising on human rights and sustainability issues. She also has worked at the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development. Daphne is bilingual in English and French and fluent in Spanish.

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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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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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Jefferson Alava
Partner
Jefferson Alava
Jefferson Alava
Partner

Jeff helps his clients navigate the EU institutional waters, getting their message across and defining policy positions from our Brussels office.

He strategises and implements pan-EU policy, communication and (social) media campaigns on a number of sectors, including tech, pharma, government relations, international trade, and corporate taxation. He also provides geopolitical insights on EU relations vis-à-vis other major players and blocs on recent global developments.

Prior to Portland, Jeff worked at the European Parliament. He has obtained two Master’s degrees: in International Law, from the University of Strasbourg; and in International Relations and Diplomacy, from the College of Europe in Bruges. A Peruvian national, he speaks fluent English, French, and Spanish.

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Jim Lake
Partner
Jim Lake
Jim Lake
Partner

Jim joins Portland as Partner to lead the Washington DC office. Jim brings more than three decades of executive leadership experience, in both the private and public sectors, in designing, managing, and executing successful strategic communications and public affairs initiatives.  

Previously, Jim served as a high-ranking U.S. government official in the Reagan and Bush Administrations at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He maintains extensive political and campaign experience having served as a senior team member on several national presidential campaigns, four national political conventions and at the White House 

Jim has led the public affairs divisions for some of the world’s largest public relations firms handling domestic and international client issues from around the globe. 

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Leila Mountford
Partner
Leila Mountford
Leila Mountford
Partner

Leila advises clients on best practice integrated campaign strategy and creative.

Having worked agency side as a copywriter and creative for over a decade, Leila has led award winning global campaigns on behalf of NGOs, healthcare providers, tech companies and financial institutions. Leila previously worked at Amnesty International as Global Creative Manager leading work on gender equality and tech and human rights, with a special focus on the global south and youth.

In her spare time, Leila guest lectures on campaigning at the University of Greenwich.

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Max Blain
Partner
Max Blain
Max Blain
Partner

Max is a communications specialist with more than a decade of experience working at the highest level in the UK Government, most recently as the spokesperson and civil service director of communications for the Prime Minister.

He has substantial expertise in planning and delivering complex communications campaigns which tell a compelling story, including working on the successful roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine both at the Department of Health and No 10.

In Government he has been a senior advisor to four Prime Ministers, working on a diverse array of communications challenges including the UK’s response to the invasion of Ukraine and the announcement of the Windsor Framework. 

As spokesperson for the Prime Minister he held twice-daily on-the-record briefings from domestic and international media covering all aspects of government policy and has an unrivalled understanding of how to prepare and respond to media questioning. 

He provides clients with expert advice on all aspects of corporate reputation with significant experience in crisis response and reputation management.

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Michael Stott
Partner
Michael Stott
Michael Stott
Partner

Michael is a public affairs and corporate positioning specialist. Michael spent a number of years in the UK Government in a variety of roles, including at Number 10 Downing Street as Business Advisor to the Prime Minister and as Special Adviser to the Home Secretary. Prior to Government, Michael spent ten years in the private sector advising highly regulated businesses in energy, transport, intrastructure, tech and financial services sectors. As a partner at Portland, he provides senior counsel to clients seeking to gain a better understanding of how to ensure the political and regulatory framework supports private sector investment and growth.

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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 and AbbVie), as well as trade associations, NFPs and med tech.

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Rachel Maconachy
Partner
Rachel Maconachy
Rachel Maconachy
Partner

Rachel leads Portland’s work with life sciences clients across ​the global healthcare sector. Rachel is a strategic communications and government affairs specialist, with experience spanning the UK and globally.

 

Rachel’s policy experience includes vaccines, pandemic preparedness, rare diseases, neurology and neglected tropical diseases. She has a particular interest in health system strengthening, health workforce utilisation and pathway redesign.​

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Raghd Hamid
Partner
Raghd Hamid
Raghd Hamid
Partner

Raghd leads Portland’s Digital Team which combines data and narrative expertise to assist clients in executing impactful digital campaigns and initiatives.

She is a multilingual digital communications expert, with a background in government advisory. She has led government, non-profit and brand change projects across continents with a particular focus on Africa and the Middle East.

Raghd has extensive experience delivering behaviour change and mobilisation campaigns and previously worked with the digital strategy and technology firm Blue State Digital. Some of her previous experience also includes working on counter-terrorism programmes with various governments as well as delivering digital initiatives for organisations such as Google, UNHCR, and Amnesty International.

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Rhys Jones
Partner
Rhys Jones
Rhys Jones
Partner

Rhys leads Portland corporate and financial communications work in Qatar and manages the wider in-country team.

Rhys has 20 years of national and international experience in corporate communications as well as agency and print journalism covering business, financial markets, politics and economics. He advises clients on all aspects of their PR and specialises in strategic communications, crisis communications, media relations and media training.

During his agency career, Rhys has advised clients across a range of sectors including fund management, investment, aviation and renewable energy. Rhys also led the PR function in-house at international outsourcing and construction group, Interserve plc. Rhys also has vast experience in crisis communications, having worked on several live crises as well as having developed comprehensive crisis plans and training programmes for major retailers, construction groups, real estate and infrastructure firms.

Before entering the world of PR, Rhys was a journalist and spent eight years at Reuters covering investment, infrastructure and aviation. Before that, he spent two years in Dubai as news editor of Arabian Business. 

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Sarah Ludlow
Partner
Sarah Ludlow
Sarah Ludlow
Partner

Sarah returns to Portland to lead as Partner for Strategy and Growth.

Sarah spent 7 years at Portland until January 2022 where she left to work as a special adviser for Liz Truss in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. During this time she worked on the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the launch of the Government’s new International Development Strategy. Following this, Ludlow supported Truss during the Conservative leadership campaign as Press Secretary and went on to serve as Head of Strategic Communications in 10 Downing Street.

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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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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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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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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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Tom Rayner
Partner
Tom Rayner
Tom Rayner
Partner

Tom is a partner in the policy and public affairs team, working with clients across their strategic communications needs. Before joining Portland, Tom was an award-winning journalist at Sky News, where he worked for nearly two decades. As a foreign correspondent, he was based in Jerusalem covering the Middle East, before launching Sky’s first South East Asia bureau in Bangkok. As a political correspondent, he fronted hours of live broadcasting, interviewed UK and EU political leaders, and regularly attended global summits. Most recently, he ran Sky’s digital coverage of politics and was the founding editor of the Politics Hub.​

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