Veteran communications strategist and public relations executive Charles McLean has joined Portland as the General Manager of the company’s New York office. Mr. McLean will manage Portland’s portfolio of US clients, and will assist professionals in Portland’s London and Nairobi offices in serving the company’s international clients.
Mr. McLean comes to Portland’s New York office after leading major engagements for the company including in Dubai (2010). Earlier in his career McLean has held a number of high profile and important communications roles. He directed communications for the World Economic Forum, helping to promote Davos as the premier forum for discussion of world business and political events. He also headed communications for the American Museum of Natural History. Previous agency experience has included work for Hill and Knowlton in Washington DC, and The Dilenschneider Group in New York.
Mr. McLean began his working life as a journalist with NBC News, covering global events in 57 countries during his fifteen years with the network. McLean was NBC’s Africa Bureau Chief from 1988 to 1993, and oversaw the network’s coverage of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Out of Africa, Mr. McLean won a national Emmy Award for his work as a correspondent in Hong Kong during the Tiananmen Square uprising. During the first Gulf War, he reported from Baghdad, Amman, Damascus, Riyadh, Dhahran, Kuwait City and southern Iraq.
Portland was founded in London in 2001, by Tim Allan, who was Tony Blair’s Deputy Press Secretary in Downing Street. It now employs 70 people across its network of international offices. Its clients include Google, Coca Cola, McDonalds, The Kofi Annan Foundation, and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Its New York office has focused on work for international organizations such as UN Women, and leading development NGOs such as Millennium Promise and the Nduna Foundation.
Tim Allan said: “Charles has been a client of Portland, a consultant to Portland on some of our major international engagements, and I am delighted that he now joining us in our New York office. He is a world class communications professional whose counsel has been highly valued by our clients. He is the perfect person to help take Portland to the next level in New York”.
Charles McLean said: “I have had the pleasure of seeing Portland’s remarkable growth in London and internationally over the last few years. I know about its rigorous approach, its commitment to quality and its work ethic for its clients. I am delighted to be joining Tim and to be leading the team in the New York office. We both have very high hopes for Portland’s growth in the US.”