Meet the team
- Stephen ByfieldChairman
Stephen joined GK in 2018 as our Chairman.
Stephen founded and ran PPS Group for almost 25 years, a specialist communications agency working across the built environment, growing it to over 45 staff and with offices in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.
Alongside his work at GK, Stephen is a Director of Horizon Cremation, a company focused on building a new generation of community crematoria across the country.
- Robin GraingerCo-Founder & Group CEORobin 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 KennedyCo-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 LawsStrategic Adviser - Former Cabinet Minister
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 HopeStrategic Adviser - Former Care & Vocational Skills MinisterPhil 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 ElsyStrategic Adviser - Former leader of Southwark CouncilA 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 HicksManaging 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 AllenDirectorLouise 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 PetelaDirector
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 LuryDirector
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 ShackletonDirectorHarry 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.
- James PageAssociate Director
James is a corporate communications professional with over 20 years’ in-house and agency experience across a wide range of industry sectors.
He is passionate about “good communications” and its power to enhance understanding of complex ideas and technologies, change perceptions and transform the reputations of large and small organisations.
- Martin SummersAssociate Director
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
- Ned LambAccount DirectorNed 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 BergerAccount 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.
- Jamie CaterHead of PolicyJamie 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.
- Viya NsumbuAccount 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.
- Johnny MunroAccount 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 JohalOperations ManagerJasmin 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
- Edward JonesAccount Manager
Edward is an Account Manager 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.
- Tim SwabeyAccount ManagerPrior 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 PeelSenior 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.
- Megan BaxterESG and Political AnalystMegan 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 HillsonJunior 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 McElduffJunior 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.
- Caitlin WilkinsonAccount Executive
Caitlin first joined GK as part of 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 SansumAccount 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.
- Joe BerkhoutAccount 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.