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 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.
Sam is Portland’s Managing Director responsible for the agency’s client teams around the world.
He provides senior counsel to a range of 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.
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.
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.
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.
Philip leads Portland’s specialist disputes and litigation practice, and manages the International Development, Government Advisory and Africa 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.
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”.
Experienced government affairs and communication professional, Céline has 10+ years experience leading and implementing a wide range of communications and political campaigns for governments and companies who have found themselves in complex negotiations or litigation with the EU institutions.
Since March 2018, Céline has been overseeing the company’s European operations and procedures, working alongside senior management on business development and strategic growth initiatives.
Prior to this, Céline worked on an EU-funded project with French think-tank Notre Europe and was a press officer in the European Parliament in the cabinet of former EP President Josep Borrell Fontelles.
Educated in Belgium at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Université Catholique de Louvain La Neuve, she holds a Master in Political Science and European Political Studies. Céline speaks French, English and has some basic knowledge of Dutch.
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.
Roni leads Portland’s Global Health offer. He is a global health policy and advocacy specialist who advises pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies and patient organisations, with a particular focus on strategic communications and advocacy campaigns.
Roni has 20 years’ experience leading initiatives aimed at increasing access to medicines and vaccines in low- and middle-income countries for some of the most prominent global health organisations, including WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and IFPMA.
Roni began his career developing health clinics for young people in Africa and Asia for the International Planned Parenthood Federation. He has a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kate leads both Portland’s Research & Strategy unit and our Employee Engagement practice.
As head of Employee Engagement, Kate covers all aspects of employee communications including organisational change, issues management and leadership profile-building, from strategy development through to campaigns and creative execution.
On the research side, Kate heads up a team of research and strategy specialists, adding depth and rigour to our advice to clients. The team works across a range of methodologies and technologies to understand perceptions, cause-and-effect, and rapidly changing trends.
Kate has a wide breadth of experience from analytics to creative work, spending the past 14 years advising clients including BP, Heathrow, Nike, Disney and Diageo, and working in multiple countries. She is a Man City fan and always keen for a 1Rebel class.