CIPR Public Affairs Group elects new committee

The Public Affairs Group held its AGM on Tuesday 24 March at CIPR HQ where a new committee was elected. Paul Beckford MCIPR, Account Director at Connect Communications, was elected Chair, having previously acted as Membership Secretary for the Committee. Paul has consistently played an active role in the industry, helping to found the CIPR Public Affairs Group’s Young Professionals Committee and, until recently, sitting on the APPC Management Committee.

Other newly elected members of the Public Affairs Committee include:

  • Vice-Chair: Rachael Clamp MCIPR, Manager, Strategic Marketing & Communications, Northrup Grumman.
  • Vice-Chair: Vernon Hunte MCIPR, Director, Horseferry Public Affairs.
  • Secretary: Stuart Holland MCIPR, Public Affairs Manager, Unum.
  • Treasurer: Sarah McMonagle MCIPR, Head of External Affairs, FMB.
  • Membership Secretary: Donna Castle MCIPR, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, PAGB.
  • Committee Member: Simon McVicker FCIPR, Director of Policy and External Affairs, IPSE.
  • Committee Member: Nusin Ergun MCIPR, Freelance.
  • Committee Member: Rebecca Yates MCIPR, Stakeholder and Communications Officer, Smart Energy GB.
  • Committee Member: Mike Blakeney MCIPR, Consultant, Interel.
  • Committee Member: Dominic Gates MCIPR, Government Relations Adviser, Anglo American.
  • Committee Member: Helen Walsh, Senior Account Manager, ICG.

The AGM was followed by a Q&A with Dan Hodges, journalist and one-time Labour supporter who gave a powerful critique of the General Election including why he thinks the Conservatives will win with a small majority.

CIPR PA Chair, Paul Beckford MCIPR
I am delighted to have been elected as the CIPR Public Affairs Group chair and it is an honour to take over from Simon McVicker FCIPR. One of Simon’s great achievements is that the number of Public Affairs professionals doing CPD has soared. I hope to strengthen this commitment to our members' professional development by increasing CIPR’s range of public affairs specific training. Establishing the Young Professions Group is another legacy of Simon’s I hope to build on. It is a great way to support our younger members and to engage them in CIPR’s work driving up standards in public affairs. I am fortunate to have had an excellent and vibrant committee elected alongside me and I look forward to working with colleagues in the forthcoming year.
CIPR PA Chair, Paul Beckford MCIPR
Simon McVicker FCIPR
It has been a great honour to serve my peers and the CIPR over the last three years. I am delighted I have handed over to the next generation of public affairs professionals, an extremely able bunch.

Our new Chair, Paul, is a man I have watched grow in stature, grow in leadership and grow in confidence. He is the right man to face the new Government, the new Parliament and the challenges that that will bring. He will bridge the generations and I wish him not only my congratulations but the best of luck in leading this Committee and the Industry in the next few years!
Simon McVicker FCIPR
Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).