Meet the team

  • Robin Grainger
    Co-Founder & Group CEO
    Robin Grainger
    Co-Founder & Group CEO
    Robin is a founding partner at GK. Initially, Robin supported the parliamentary work of a number of MPs in parliament before joining the Environment Agency as part of its government relations team. In subsequent roles, Robin has specialised in public affairs campaigning and political PR, helping clients to navigate the policy development process and providing advice on political engagement. Robin has considerable experience working in polling, political strategy, political risk and policy development. In recent years Robin has developed extensive relationships with key members of the Conservative Party, having worked closely with senior members of their team across a number of political campaigns.
  • Luke Kennedy
    Co-Founder & Strategy Director
    Luke Kennedy
    Co-Founder & Strategy Director

    Luke is a founding partner at GK. After beginning his career at DEMOS, the political think-tank, he moved into Government, supporting ministers across three different departments. Subsequently Luke has provided counsel to numerous corporate clients, advising on interaction with Government, non-departmental bodies and regulatory organisations. Prior to the 2010 general election, Luke worked with various members of the Conservative shadow ministerial team to help them draft Green Papers and develop manifesto commitments. Luke also holds an MSc from the London School of Economics.

  • Rt Hon David Laws
    Strategic Adviser - Former Minister of State for Schools
    Rt Hon David Laws
    Strategic Adviser - Former Minister of State for Schools

     

    David Laws was a Liberal Democrat MP, Minister in the Coalition Government and is a leading education reformer in the UK.

    David was Member of Parliament for Yeovil from 2001 to 2015. During his ministerial career in the Coalition he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Minister of State for Schools in the Department for Education and Minister of State in the Cabinet Office.

    David was an architect of the Coalition Government and was one of the negotiators responsible for agreeing the deal with the Conservative Party. David advises our clients on a range sectors including education, teacher recruitment, pensions and finance.

    David graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, with a double first class honours degree in economics and has worked at J.P. Morgan and Barclays de Zoete Wedd. In addition to his role as Strategic Adviser to GK, David is Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute and the Education Partnerships Group.

  • Phil Hope
    Strategic Adviser - Former Care & Vocational Skills Minister
    Phil Hope
    Strategic Adviser - Former Care & Vocational Skills Minister
    Phil is a former Minister of State for Care Services, and has also previously held ministerial posts for the Third Sector and Social Enterprise, Skills and Lifelong Learning, Local Government and the East Midlands. He is currently Co-Director of Improving Care; Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Global Health Innovation, Imperial College; and member of the Doctor Foster Intelligence Ethics Committee. Phil provides strategic input and shares his experiences of making procurement related decisions as a Minister in Government.
  • Stephanie Elsy
    Strategic Adviser - Former leader of Southwark Council
    Stephanie Elsy
    Strategic Adviser - Former leader of Southwark Council
    A cross sector public service leader with 30 years’ experience of working at a senior level, as an Executive and Non-Executive Director, in service delivery in the public, private and charity sector. Stephanie spent 15 years in the charity sector, successfully started two businesses, and spent 8 years in local government as a Councillor and Council Leader, along with 9 years working for Serco Group plc as Group Director of External Affairs. Stephanie brings a wealth of experience of public sector procurement processes to the GK offer. She provides strategic input and shares her experiences of working on both sides of the procurement process.
  • Fleur Hicks
    Managing Director - Digital
    Fleur Hicks
    Managing Director - Digital

    Fleur is the Managing Director of our digital sister agency onefourzero and leads on any digital GK projects. Fleur is a strategic Marketing and Operations professional with over 16 years' experience managing blue chip digital and broadcast brands with 7 figure commercial success in the B2C and B2B2C sectors. With key experience across web, mobile, TV and print, Fleur has delivered industry-leading marketing and operations analysis strategy at board level in consultative and client side roles. Fleur joined the company in autumn 2015 and has overseen its growth from a two man consultancy to world leading Digital Diligence Agency. Fleur is also an elected fellow of the RSA and sits on IDM, IAB and WOMMA councils.

  • Louise Allen
    Managing Director – Political
    Louise Allen
    Managing Director – Political
    Louise heads up GK’s in-house research function, overseeing our projects with the public sector, investment community and businesses. Joining GK in 2011, Louise led the health and social care division, providing strategic communications and research. Prior to joining GK, Louise held a number of other roles, including providing political support to a Labour-run local authority, providing research to a Directorate of the Treasury, starting out working for Labour MPs on constituency and campaign matters.
  • Emma Petela
    Managing Director – Public Sector
    Emma Petela
    Managing Director – Public Sector

    As Managing Director of B2G, Emma provides strategic advice to GK’s expansive client base. Emma has extensive experience in building effective and innovative communications campaigns which deliver an organisation’s strategic objectives. Emma supports her clients to understand and navigate complex policy areas and has particular expertise in education, government procurement and energy policy.

    Harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of GK, Emma also leads on service innovation; ensuring that GK continues to provide new and effective ways to achieve our clients’ objectives.

    Prior to joining GK in 2011, Emma worked with the Conservative Party, supporting Prospective Parliamentary Candidates during the 2010 General Election.

  • Rebecca Lury
    Managing Director - Strategic Communications
    Rebecca Lury
    Managing Director - Strategic Communications

    Rebecca has 9 years of experience working across policy, public affairs and communications.  She recently joined GK from Vocalink, a Mastercard company, where she supported the business through a regulatory review, and developed policy positions for the business around financial inclusion.

    Prior to this she has worked at a number of public affairs agencies including Westbourne Communications, FleishmanHillard and Edelman, developing multi-faceted campaigns strategies across a range of industries, including financial services, energy, technology and transport.

    At GK, Rebecca is responsible for providing strategic support and advice, helping clients to achieve their business objectives through public affairs and communications.

    Rebecca is also a local Councillor in Southwark, where she is the Chair of the Healthy Communities Scrutiny Committee, and she is also Chair of the South East London Health Scrutiny Committee.

  • Harry Shackleton
    Commercial Director
    Harry Shackleton
    Commercial Director
    Harry oversees GK’s commercial activity, with responsibility for business development and marketing. He has over ten years’ experience working in commercial roles in UK and EU politics, and has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands. Prior to joining GK, Harry led the Account Management team at a political communications and publishing firm, with responsibility for a portfolio of organisations 1,000 strong and from over 30 jurisdictions. Prior to that, he held other roles with similar political communications firms and started out working in the office of Theresa May.
  • Martin Summers
    Associate Director - ESG & Compliance lead
    Martin Summers
    Associate Director - ESG & Compliance lead

    Martin has over 15 years’ experience advising companies and investors on regulation, compliance and reputation management issues, including:

    • Advice to private equity and investment management firms on ESG, political and regulatory issues and communications to investors and portfolio companies.
    • Gap analysis for a major industrial company on their biggest regulatory and reputational risk and recommendations for a new strategy and policy, based on a peer review and interviews with senior management to identify areas of alignment and non-alignment.
    • Development and implementation of responsible procurement and supply chain management practices at BP and British American Tobacco for suppliers and other business partners.
    • Devising new governance, policy, KPIs, audit and risk analysis systems for sustainability issues at BP and British American Tobacco
  • Matt Palutikof
    Account Director
    Matt Palutikof
    Account Director
    Matt is an experienced political consultant with over four years of experience working in the political field. Before arriving at GK, he worked for Connect Communications as an Account Executive, providing public affairs support to clients. Matt completed two internships for two members of the United States House of Representatives in the summer of 2012, and also worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign in Florida. Matt has also worked for Richard Fuller MP as a Parliamentary intern and on the Boris Johnson campaign in 2012. Matt holds a degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Exeter.
  • Ned Lamb
    Account Director
    Ned Lamb
    Account Director
    Ned is a reputation specialist, with over two years’ experience creating public relations strategies that help businesses protect and enhance their value. He believes reputation is a critical ingredient to sustainable business, supporting growth, improved employee morale and retention rates, and greater customer loyalty. Prior to joining GK, Ned worked for national broadcaster ITV in their commercial insights team, with responsibility for multiple channel analysis. He has also worked at a major corporate communications firm, worked in the visits team for Nick Clegg MP’s 2015 General Election Tour and with the former MP for Solihull, Lorely Burt.
  • Jennifer Berger
    Account Director
    Jennifer Berger
    Account Director

    As an Account Manager at GK, Jennifer provides strategic advice on public affairs, media relations and corporate communications across all policy areas, with a particular focus on clients in the health and social care sector. Prior to joining GK, Jennifer worked at another communications agency for clients in the planning, property, education and charities space. A native French speaker Jennifer has worked across Europe for organisations such as the International Air Transport Association and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law.

  • Kit Binnie
    People & Culture Manager
    Kit Binnie
    People & Culture Manager

    Kit oversees all things People and Culture at GK, with responsibility for the development and delivery of our People Strategy. He has over ten years’ experience gained across both Europe and the USA, with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion, culture development and employee engagement. Prior to joining GK, Kit worked within the global people team at Spotify, delivering the people agenda across the UK and USA.

  • Viya Nsumbu
    Account Manager
    Viya Nsumbu
    Account Manager

    Viya is an Account Manager at GK Strategy working across a diverse range of clients. She joined GK from the British Library where she led the Library’s public affairs activities. Prior to this, she has held roles in political campaigning and in agencies working with brands in the third, property and retail sectors. Viya is also a Councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham and has served on the Planning and Development Control Committee since 2014.

  • Jamie Cater
    Senior Political and Policy Analyst
    Jamie Cater
    Senior Political and Policy Analyst
    Jamie is GK Strategy’s Research Manager, working on political due diligence, political risk analysis and opportunities profiling. He specialises in qualitative research on a range of public policy issues, including health and social care, financial services, energy, employment and education. Prior to joining GK’s research team in 2014, Jamie worked in the offices of a former Shadow Education Minister and Shadow Transport Minister.
  • Johnny Munro
    Account Manager
    Johnny Munro
    Account Manager

    Johnny is a Senior Account Executive within the public affairs team, working across a number of client issues with a particular interest in financial services. Prior to joining GK in September 2016, Johnny worked for a finance start-up in Manchester and completed an internship within the Policy Research Unit for the Conservative Party in Parliament. A graduate of Manchester University, he studied for a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Modern History.

  • Jasmin Johal
    Operations Manager
    Jasmin Johal
    Operations Manager
    Jasmin is a Marketing and Business Development Executive at GK and as a part of the commercial team, she manages marketing activities and supports new business development across the company. Prior to joining GK Jasmin was the Research and Events Executive at a public sector market intelligence firm, working extensively with senior stakeholders from central, local government and the NHS. She has an M.A. in International Politics and Human Rights and a B.Sc. in Sociology with Media studies
  • Tim Swabey
    Senior Account Executive
    Tim Swabey
    Senior Account Executive
    Prior to joining GK, Tim interned for two months at M&C Saatchi PR, and also completed a placement at the advertising firm J. Walter Thompson. He attended Durham University and graduated with a degree in International Relations. During his time at GK, Tim has particularly enjoyed working on campaigns, social media management and building effective media relations on behalf of our clients.
  • Andy Peel
    Senior Account Executive
    Andy Peel
    Senior Account Executive

    Andy is an Account Executive on the public affairs team, working across GK’s healthcare clients. Prior to joining GK, Andy was elected Vice President of Edinburgh University students’ union and was a trustee of a student-led charity, before going onto work for the Campaigns Team at Save The Children. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, he studied Biomedical Sciences with honours in Pharmacology.

  • Edward Jones
    Senior Account Executive
    Edward Jones
    Senior Account Executive

    Edward is a Senior Account Executive working primarily in GK’s specialist health team, as well as across a number of other policy areas. Prior to joining GK, Edward worked as a parliamentary assistant in the House of Commons and brings experience from working behind the scenes in different MPs’ offices. Before this he completed a BA in History and Politics from the University of Exeter and an MSc in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he also worked part-time for the LSE Institute for Public Affairs.

  • Megan Baxter
    ESG and Political Analyst
    Megan Baxter
    ESG and Political Analyst
    Megan is a researcher within the GKI team, producing in-depth political analysis and risk reports in a variety of sectors for private equity investments. Prior to joining GK in May 2015, Megan graduated from the University of Birmingham with a B.A. in History and Political Science and an M.A. (Merit) in International Relations with Gender. Her MA dissertation has been published in an academic journal. Megan was elected Chair of the University of Birmingham Politics Society and Campaigns Officer for the Women’s Association, organising events and campaigns with local MPs, academics and charities.
  • Isabelle Hillson
    Junior Political Analyst
    Isabelle Hillson
    Junior Political Analyst

    After completing a string of work experiences in the financial sector, Isabelle interned at GK Strategy during the summer of her penultimate year of university. She graduated with a degree in Economics and Politics from Edinburgh last year and then did a whistle stop tour of South America before returning to GK.

  • Caoimhe McElduff
    Junior Political Analyst
    Caoimhe McElduff
    Junior Political Analyst

    Caoimhe is a researcher in the GKI team, providing political risk analysis for clients across a wide range of sectors. Prior to joining GK, Caoimhe was a parliamentary researcher for an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly, focusing on education and early years policy. Caoimhe graduated with a degree in Law from the University of Manchester and later achieved an MA in Legislative Studies and Practice at Queen’s University Belfast.

  • Ed Morris
    Account Executive
    Ed Morris
    Account Executive
    Edward is a member of our public affairs team, working with a wide range of clients, including those in higher education, digital, transport and construction. Prior to joining GK, Edward spent a year working in Parliament in the run up to 2015 General Election. In his role, Edward played a key part in constituency and general election campaigning, as well as local media relations.
  • Caitlin Wilkinson
    Business Development Executive
    Caitlin Wilkinson
    Business Development Executive

    Caitlin joined GK's marketing team in November 2017. Prior to joining GK, Caitlin worked in the corporate fundraising team at youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, and has previously worked in marketing in the not-for-profit sector. Caitlin graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in History.

  • Jack Sansum
    Account Executive
    Jack Sansum
    Account Executive

    Jack joined GK’s public affairs team in November 2017, working across a wide range of policy areas, including healthcare and transport. Prior to joining GK, Jack completed a BSc in Politics from Cardiff University and an MSc in Public Policy from the University of Bristol.

  • Kit Bowerin
    Account Executive
    Kit Bowerin
    Account Executive

    Kit is an Account Executive working with a range of GK clients. Prior to joining GK in February 2018, Kit worked for the Blood Cancer Charity Anthony Nolan as a Policy & Public Affairs Intern and worked for Cancer Research UK’s Public Affairs and Campaigning team. Kit graduated in 2016 from Oxford Brookes University holding a degree in Politics and Business Management.

  • Joe Berkhout
    Account Executive
    Joe Berkhout
    Account Executive

    Joe is an Account Executive working across a range of clients. Joe recently completed a Masters in International Political Economy from King’s College London. Prior to that, he spent much of his life in the Netherlands, studying Economics at the University of Amsterdam before gaining experience at a Dutch international development NGO and the CSR team at Philips Lighting.