Sarah Barbut

Government Relations, Barclays

Sarah currently works in the Government Relations team at Barclays, which she joined in 2014 following four years working for MHP.  At MHP she advised a range of clients – including EDF Energy, Kraft Foods and Siemens Rail – on their government engagement strategies before taking the leap into financial services.

Originally hired into the Barclays Government Relations team to work on consumer banking policy, she is now Vice President of GR Strategy and Planning, working directly with Barclays’ Head of UK and EU Government Relations to join up and manage political and policy challenges impacting the bank as a whole.  At present, this means a heavy focus on Brexit, and helping to inform the bank’s response.

She says that what she most enjoys about public affairs is the opportunity it provides to dabble in two different worlds – both business and politics –and to see at close quarters how they interact with, and shape, each other

Sophie Bonnel

Senior Account Executive, Newington Communications

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Sophie joined Newington Communications in 2015 and works across a broad range of sectors including justice, education and finance. In the summer of 2016, she spent two months on secondment to the Association of British Insurers’ public affairs team. Sophie also volunteers as an English tutor for the Access Project.

Stacey Frier

Senior Parliamentary Adviser, Historic England

Stacey is the Parliamentary Affairs Manager for Historic England. She has previously worked for DCMS and the RSPCA as well as two Labour MPs. Stacey has a BA and MA in Legislative Studies from the University of Hull and is the co-author of a chapter called "Campaigning to change the law" in Exploring Parliament, an upcoming Oxford University Press textbook. Her key aim as part of the Executive Board of Women in Public Affairs is to encourage and mentor young women from diverse backgrounds into the industry. 

Anna Wallace

Head of UK Political Relations, PwC

Anna is Head of UK Political Relations at professional services firm, PwC. In her career Anna has worked in a variety of public affairs roles including in pharmaceuticals, HR and telecoms. Anna studied German and Politics at Aston University and started working in public affairs post-graduation. What she likes most about public affairs is that you are close to the political action without having to be party political. Anna joined the Executive Committee of the Women in Public Affairs Network in 2014. She recently became a Freeman of the City of London and was named one of the top influential women in the city according to City AM.


Head of Political Intelligence, Lexington Communications

Ella is Head of Political Intelligence at Lexington Communications, and Co-Founder of Women in Public Affairs with Laura. She's been at Lexington for almost 5 years and before that she managed political engagement programmes at Dods, ran parliamentary and policy training and worked for two Labour MPs. She has a Masters in Parliamentary Studies (niche!) from Leeds University and a BA in Politics and History. She's passionate about promoting and supporting women in all industries. She loves good food and travel, although she has a young son who prevents her enjoying either of those things regularly!

Jen Pufky

External Affairs Manager, Local Government Information Unit

Jen currently manages external affairs for the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU). Her previous roles in public affairs have included stakeholder relations at a national UK charity for ageing and older people, account management for a leading public affairs agency specialising in healthcare, press work on the 2005 general election and working in the US on campaigns to elect more women to political office (see VoteRunLead) and raise the profile of women as experts on national news programmes ( Her passion lies in advancing women’s leadership.

Roisin Watson

Senior Public Policy Manager, Aviva

Roisin leads Aviva’s public policy activity with UK policy-makers and key stakeholders on a number of policy areas including pensions auto enrolment and financial advice. Roisin has over seven years’ experience in government affairs, spanning both agency and in-house. She has managed corporate client accounts across a fun mix of sectors including tech, financial services and transport. Roisin holds an MSC in Geography from the University of Edinburgh, is fluent in French and spends her spare time eating her way round London. Her favourite thing about public affairs is being able to creatively problem solve.

Soniya Ganvir

Senior Public Affairs Adviser, ABI

Soniya is currently Senior Public Affairs Adviser at the ABI where she leads on political strategy and engagement across a breadth of issues relevant to the insurance and long term savings industry. She was previously an Account Director at Bellenden (now Newington Communications), leading accounts spanning financial services, technology, justice, housing, education and helped grow their European and due diligence practices. She started her career in public affairs working for the leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party in Brussels. Soniya also runs a Latin American supper club and catering business called Sobremesa.

Laura Gilmore - fOUNDING MEMBER

Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns, Dearman

Laura is a European Union Politics MA graduate from the University of Liverpool. She is currently Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Dearman, a fast growing British clean technology company, and leads campaigns across the UK and EU.

Before this, Laura was Head of the Liberal Democrat Whips’ Office in the House of Lords whilst the Liberal Democrats were in Government. There she provided senior counsel to the Chief Whip and the Leader of the group of 99 peers on political, communications and legislative matters. Prior to this, Laura worked for the Rt Hon David Laws MP, London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon and  at Liverpool City Council.

Outside of work, Laura is on the Board of Trustees of the climate change charity 10:10 and is one of  the two founding members of Women in Public Affairs.

Laura Sainsbury

Senior Consultant, FTI Consulting

Laura is a Senior Consultant at FTI Consulting where she works across a broad range of accounts including financial services, technology, infrastructure and justice. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Laura worked at Bellenden and before that as a political journalist at and Total Politics magazine where she co-authored Class of 2010, a biographical guide to the 2010 parliamentary intake.

Gabrielle Wain

Public Affairs Manager, National Housing Federation

Gabrielle has over six years experience in public affairs, spanning both agency and in-house. She currently leads the public affairs work of the National Housing Federation, the trade body for over 1,000 housing associations in England. She is responsible for boosting awareness and understanding of housing associations, as well as lobbying on their behalf for policies that support their work. Prior to this, she worked for the agency EUK Consulting, providing public affairs support for a number of FTSE 100 companies, and in the private office of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Lizzie Wills

Associate Director, Westminster Advisers

Lizzie has eight years’ experience in public affairs, advising clients on a wide range of policy and communications activities, as well as political risk. Lizzie has led successful campaigns for major corporates across a wide range of sectors including financial services, transport, FMCG, technology and healthcare, and is an expert at guiding businesses through policy-rich and regulated environments.

Prior to joining Westminster Advisers in January 2014, Lizzie worked at Cohn & Wolfe, MHP Communications and in the office of David Laws MP. Lizzie holds a master’s degree in International Peacekeeping from the University of Birmingham and has an undergraduate degree in Politics and European Studies from the University of Durham.

Clare Fraser

Account Manager, Cavendish

Clare is an Account Manager at Cavendish where she focuses on accounts covering skills, transport, financial services, health and safety and construction. Prior to this, Clare worked for Interel in various positions and also for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Before working in public affairs Clare worked in the office of Glenda Jackson MP and at polling agency, ComRes.

As well as her work with Women in Public Affairs, Clare is also a member of the Association of Professional Political Consultants Young Consultants’ Committee.

Emma Robinson

Director of Policy & Campaigns, Historic Houses Association

Emma is Director of Policy & Campaigns at the Historic Houses Association (HHA) – a non-profit organisation representing 1,640 privately owned historic houses, castles and gardens across the UK. HHA Members range from iconic heritage attractions such as Blenheim Palace, Highclere Castle (‘Downton Abbey’), Castle Howard and Chatsworth, to more intimate houses such as Traquair in Scotland, Treowen in Wales and Belle Isle in Northern Ireland. Emma leads public affairs campaigns across a range of policy areas affecting HHA Members, including taxation, de-regulation, tourism and planning policy. Emma also manages the work of the HHA’s education service and leads on major collaborative projects, such as the Capability Brown Festival 2016.

Before joining the HHA, Emma spent several years in education policy as Senior Strategy & Policy Manager in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of Roehampton. Prior to this, she was Policy & Communications Adviser at The Heritage Alliance – the advocacy group which unites over 100 heritage sector NGOs, including the National Trust and English Heritage.

Emma holds an MSc with Distinction in Public Policy and a BA in English Literature from the University of Exeter. In her free time Emma is a mentor and occasional guest speaker under the Birkbeck Politics Mentoring Scheme, and voluntary PR adviser to the charity Learning Through Horses.

Siobhan Hill

ASSOCIATE Director, Edelman

Siobhan is an Associate Director in Edelman’s UK Public Affairs practice. She works closely with clients to identify political risks and opportunities across a number of sectors, and to help strengthen their relationships in Westminster and Whitehall.

Siobhan has strong experience as a campaigner in the Conservative Party. She joined Edelman from Conservative Campaign Headquarters where she worked in the Business Relations team. Before that, she was seconded to the Rt. Hon David Cameron’s Operations and Events Team, where she worked on his political visits leading up to and during the 2010 General Election.

Natasha Thomas

Head of Public Affairs, Brands2Life

Natasha has been Head of Public Affairs at Brands2Life since 2011. She is responsible for the public affairs practice, part of Brands2Life’s digitally-led, integrated communications offer.

Natasha works with innovative, often tech-based clients to break down barriers and create opportunities from change, helping clients engage with the political process to ultimately improve the business environment. She has worked with a range of tech-based clients such as EMC, Nuance and Nominet on public service innovation, UK tech growth, privacy and internet safety as well as leading manufacturing companies like Sharp and Tetra Pak on clean tech and healthcare.

Previously Natasha ran an outsourcing industry lobby group and was political adviser to the Government’s schools funding agency. She has worked at Golin Harris and Ludgate Communicationsfor the retail and building sectors and started her career with five years’ at the Institute for Directors’ Policy Unit, focusing on EU business regulation.

Abigail Smith

Senior Account Executive, Edelman

Abigail joined Edelman’s Public Affairs team in May 2015 after finishing its Apprenticeship Scheme, where she spent time working across all of the company’s practices.

She is the day-to-day support for a variety of clients, providing political intelligence, writing weekly reports, creating briefings, stakeholder mapping and organising flagship events. She works across a broad range of accounts including food and drink, technology and regulation.

Prior to joining Edelman, Abigail graduated from Royal Holloway University of London with a BA in History. Following this, she was a PR Assistant at Scotia Gas Networks and an Assistant Complaints Adviser at SSE.

Anna Jobling

Senior Consultant, Interel Group

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Anna is a senior consultant at Interel, a global public affairs agency. She specialises in supporting technology and consumer goods companies with their public affairs strategies, and especially enjoys working on creative ways to engage stakeholders.

Prior to joining Interel, Anna worked for a communications consultancy and has completed internships with a Labour MP in the House of Commons and Essex County Council.

She is also a member of the APPC's Young Consultants Committee and was a finalist for the PRCA's Douglas Smith Prize in 2016 for young public affairs professional of the year.

Catriona is a Consultant at Lexington Communications working across financial services, health and third sector clients. She studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Oxford University and has experience working for a shadow frontbencher in the House of Commons, at the European Parliament and the Scottish Government. Outside of work Catriona enjoys visiting her hometown of Edinburgh, cheering on the Scottish rugby team, and trips to the pub with friends.

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ConsultanT, Lexington Communications

Catriona is a Consultant at Lexington Communications working across financial services, health and third sector clients. She studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Oxford University and has experience working for a shadow frontbencher in the House of Commons, at the European Parliament and the Scottish Government. Outside of work Catriona enjoys visiting her hometown of Edinburgh, cheering on the Scottish rugby team, and trips to the pub with friends.