James was Director of Policy for David Cameron for four years from 2007-2011. He was responsible for drafting the Conservative Party’s 2010 general election manifesto, co-authored the Coalition’s Programme for Government, and played a leading role in managing the Coalition Government’s policy programme during its first 18 months.
Prior to working in Downing Street, James was Director of Policy and Research for the Conservative Party between 2007 and 2010, and before that Deputy Director at the think tank Policy Exchange.
He joins Portland in a newly-created role as Chief Policy Adviser, where he will advise clients on the priorities of the Coalition and in particular the Conservative Party.
Portland was founded in 2001 and has grown to become an 80-strong agency with specialist practices dealing with Communications, International, Digital and Public Affairs work.
The company’s 20-strong public affairs practice is led by Partner Oliver Pauley. Clients include Google, Apple, McDonalds, Vodafone, VirginMedia and BAE Systems.
Portland’s Managing Director Tim Allan said: “Nobody has a better understanding of the Coalition government’s policies than James. He will bring unrivalled insight and expertise to our Public Affairs team, which is going from strength to strength”.
James O’Shaughnessy said: “Portland is in a different class to other communications firms. I have always admired the calibre of its people and the way it does business, and I am looking forward to working with Portland’s outstanding set of clients”.
James will combine his role at Portland with pursuing his longstanding interests in education. This includes creating a new social business that aims to operate schools and to provide educational services based on a blend of traditional values and positive psychology.