I started lobbying on financial services, energy and defence issues at an independent consultancy in 2007, followed by roles as Senior Researcher for MPs Peter Bone & Sir Richard Shepherd. I also ran a small anti-human-trafficking organisation for a while, in my spare time, before heading up the public policy team at UKSIF from 2012.
MSc (Distinction) International Political Economy, LSE
BSc, Economics with Politics, University of Warwick
How did you get into Public Affairs?
While at LSE, I did a part-time research internship for David Willetts which ignited my interest in politics. I knew that I wanted to remain in this area while doing something with a more commercial ‘edge’, so public affairs was a natural fit.
What does your current role entail on a day to day basis?
It’s pretty varied – one of the joys of a career in public affairs! As an example, I spent a day recently putting the finishing touches to our ‘Ownership Day’ e-mail campaign and drafting some Parliamentary Questions to be sent out to supporters while the next day I’ll be drafting news articles and chairing an investor roundtable for our members. Soon after, I will have meetings in Westminster with policymakers, will be speaking to the media about our views on the Budget as well as finalizing UKSIF’s public policy strategy for the next year. One thing you can count on to remain constant though: having to wade through a lot of e-mails and make lots of phone calls!
Which campaign/issue are you most proud to have been involved in?
My work for the ACT London Forum (the anti-human trafficking organization). I came on board in the run-up to London 2012, when the levels of trafficking were predicted to increase significantly. ACT London’s community-level focus and the passion of its volunteers were inspiring and I think we really raised awareness in London communities of the issue through our advocacy, education & outreach, and research capabilities.
What do you enjoy about working in public affairs?
I’ve been lucky to have generally worked on issues and campaigns that I believe in throughout my lobbying career. At a ‘micro’-level, to hear the ‘click’ in a policymaker’s brain about the positives of the position you’re advocating is very rewarding. In the more ‘macro’ sense, as a public affairs professional you’re feeding into the policymaking process and it’s one of the best ways to have a real impact on the world around you.
As somebody who is active on the local political scene, how important do you think such involvement is to a career in public affairs?
It’s excellent for networking and good for keeping up to date on what’s happening with a particular party. However, unless you’re careful, it can mean that your party political information is a bit one-sided and, especially if you’re working in a small team, being able to understand the approach of all the major parties is vital.
How important do you feel blogging and the rise of social media has become to the political process?
I do feel like it’s opened up politics and made our policymakers more accessible. The availability and amount of information can occasionally be overwhelming though, so it’s important to be able to sift through everything quickly.
What's your prediction for the next General Election result?
A Conservative-led coalition – I don’t think the Conservatives are quite there in persuading the electorate that they should be awarded a significant majority.
|If you weren’t a Government Relations professional, what would you be?||Probably an actuary – have always had a soft spot for maths.|
|LinkedIN or Twitter?|
|Tweet your career-to-date in 140 characters or less||Ex Parl’y Researcher, now financial services lobbyist. Love policy and comms sides of #govtrelations & fact that get to do both at @UKSIF|
|What’s your Media diet?||FT, Times, Guardian, Guido Fawkes and Blue & Green Tomorrow (for everything sustainable investment related)|
|Favourite Film||Strictly Ballroom – always makes me want to put on my dancing shoes.|
|Guilty pleasure||A full English breakfast – at any time of day!|