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Central team

Jonathan Shaw CEO Policy Connect

Jonathan Shaw

Chief Executive

Jonathan worked as a care assistant, social worker and local councillor before being elected to Parliament for three terms between 1997-2010.

During his time as an MP he was a Minister at DEFRA, DWP and Regional Minister for the South East England. Before joining Policy Connect, Jonathan led a consultancy company that supported a range of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

He is also chair of a mental health charity, Blackthorn Trust.

Claudia Jaksch COO Policy Connect

Claudia Jaksch, MA

Chief Operating Officer & Head of Sustainability

As Chief Operating Officer, Claudia provides Policy Connect's Chief Executive with strategic and operational oversight of Policy Connect’s administrative, financial and HR capabilities and advises Policy Connect Board Members on key strategic issues. She is also Company Secretary.

As Head of the Sustainability department, Claudia oversees all of Policy Connect's sustainability-themed work on energy and climate change, the circular economy and sustainable resources, the built environment, natural capital and infrastructure. 

Claudia holds a Masters degree in International Political Economy from King's College London and a Bachelor's degree in European Studies from the University of Passau, Germany. She is now undertaking an Executive MBA with Warwick Business School, Warwick University.

Her past experiences include working for Stakeholder Forum, an international organisation dedicated to advancing sustainable development at a global level, as well as roles at the central bank in Germany and in the private sector in Spain.

In her spare time, Claudia enjoys exploring London's world of museums, art galleries, and restaurants, running, playing squash, reading, and travelling.

020 7202 8584
Oona Muirhead Business Adviser Policy Connect

Oona Muirhead, CBE

Business Adviser

Oona is the former Chief Executive of a business support Agency, with over 30 years’ experience of Whitehall, local and regional government. Starting her career in the Ministry of Defence, she ran the media operation in the 1999 Kosovo crisis, for which she was awarded the CBE, and the 2001 MOD-wide modernisation programme.   

After roles in the Environment Department and Local Government Association she was selected to develop and deliver the first ever business and climate change strategy for the South East of England business support agency, SEEDA. As Chief Executive of SEEDA, Oona also chaired the London 2012 partnership of public, business and voluntary sector organisations for the South East.

Since 2012 Oona has combined short-term business development assignments with non-executive roles in both the public and private sectors.

She is currently non-Exec Director for the Office for Nuclear Regulation, MSS Global (a small high-growth ethical auditing company), and Trustee of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Louise Young Policy Connect

Louise Young

Marketing & Communications Manager

Louise joined Policy Connect in July 2015. She works across all of the policy areas providing marketing and communications support and leadership. 

Her role oversees the strategic development of brand, inquiries and reports, website and digital and of course press coverage amongst many other things. She also sits on the Senior Management Team, assists with corporate social responsibility, and delivers high level Policy Connect events.

Louise has a BA Hons in English from the University of Leicester and a Diploma in Management Studies from London South Bank University, and has also studied with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Since graduating, her career has taken her through the renewables and sustainability industry, having worked in solar, heat pumps, wind and primarily biomass heating sectors (in companies providing everything from design through to training and installation) before joining the Policy Connect team. 

Her hobbies include cooking and baking, exercising and politics.

0207 202 8587
Uzma Anser Policy Connect

Uzma Anser

Finance Manager

Uzma joined Policy Connect in September 2017.

As Finance Manager, she manages all the financial activity of the company.

Uzma holds a Masters degree in Finance and she is part qualified with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

She has vast financial experience in not-for-profit sector. Her past experiences include working for IFAW, The Bar Council, World Animal Protection and Tate Modern.

Her hobbies include cooking and travelling.

0207 922 7783
Natasha Adade Events Manager Policy Connect

Natasha Adade

Events & Operations Manager

Natasha joined Policy Connect in 2008 and is our Events & Operations Manager, organising the busy events program at Policy Connect. Natasha is the first point of call for events activity; she makes sure that each of Policy Connect's many events runs smoothly.

Natasha has a background in television production with previous roles held at UEFA Champions League and the BBC and BBC World service. She graduated from the University of Westminster and gained a BA in Contemporary Media Practices and is also a member of the Alumni from the Brit School.

In her spare time she enjoys reading, putting together dinner parties, and organising various Ghanaian charity gala events both in the UK and Ghana.

020 7202 8585

Education & Skills

Simon Kelleher Head of Education & Skills Policy Connect

Simon Kelleher

Head of Education & Skills

Simon joined the Education and Skills team at Policy Connect in June 2013. He is responsible for strategic management of the Education & Skills team's work across the Skills Commission, the Higher Education Commission and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment (APGSE).

Prior to joining Policy Connect Simon taught Functional Skills at secondary level in the state sector, and gained research and campaigning experience at the Young Foundation and the British Humanist Association. He holds a BA in History and Politics, an MA in Social and Political Theory from the University of East Anglia, and a Diploma in Management Studies from London South Bank University.

Outside of work Simon enjoys reading, climbing, kayaking and getting creative. 

020 7202 8575
Dominic Trendall

Dominic Trendall

Policy Manager, Education & Skills

Dom joined Policy Connect in May 2018. He leads on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment and assists with the running of the Higher Education Commission and the Skills Commission.

Prior to joining Policy Connect, Dominic worked for Universities UK coordinating a national project relating to degree apprenticeships and the apprenticeship levy.

He was previously President of the University of Sheffield Students’ Union. During this time he chaired the trustee board and was an elected member of the NUS committee for Society and Citizenship. Dom also holds a BA in Politics from the University of Sheffield.

Outside of work, Dom enjoys listening to podcasts, running and is a qualified association football referee.

0207 202 8576
Tom McEwan Policy Connect

Tom McEwan

Senior Researcher, Education & Skills

Tom joined Policy Connect in August 2018. He leads on inquiries for the Higher Education Commission and supports work with the Skills Commission and All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment.

Prior to joining Policy Connect, Tom completed an Ed.M. specialising in International Education Policy at Harvard University. He has previously led a research inquiry into the quality of educational provision for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and has also worked as a teacher of English in the North-West of the UK. In addition to his Ed.M., Tom holds a PGCE from the University of Chester and a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from King’s College London.

Outside of work, Tom enjoys competing in a range of sports, eating Indian cuisine and is a life-long Tranmere Rovers supporter. 

0207 922 8003

Energy Safety

Georgina Bailey

Georgina Bailey

Acting Manager, Energy Safety

Georgina became part of the Policy Connect team in March 2018, mainly focussing on events and communications for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Carbon Monoxide.

Before joining Policy Connect, Georgina worked for a political media company, primarily on the unofficial in-house journal of the Houses of Parliament (although she also dabbled in magazines for senior civil servants and the European Parliament). Previously, she worked in a charity for a year, conducting research into young adult engagement in religious life in Britain. Georgina holds a BA in Politics from the University of York, where she was also captain of the Cheerleading squad.

When not working or reading about politics (which sometimes feels like work in itself), Georgina is a keen rugby fan, and also volunteers at residential events for teenagers. She loves musicals, podcasts, and baking.

0207 922 7813
Jess Pye

Jess Pye

Intern

Jess joined the Policy Connect team in June 2018 as an intern in the Energy Safety team, assisting in the running of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group with particular involvement in external communications, research and events.

Before joining Policy Connect, Jess received a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations from the University of Kent; graduating in the same year that she joined the team. She developed a keen interest in quantitative research whilst at university, undertaking a research dissertation examining the empirical relationship between partisan polarisation and congressional efficiency in the United States.

In her free time, Jess loves being outdoors and particularly enjoys running and taking long countryside walks with her dog. She also loves to travel and is keen to learn more about other cultures and cuisines at any given opportunity.

0207 202 8581

Health

Emelie de Wagt

Emelie de Wagt

Policy Manager, Health

Emelie joined Policy Connect in April 2018. As Health Policy Manager, Emelie manages the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group.

Prior to joining the team and moving to the UK, Emelie worked in a policy role with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at a European sustainable transport organisation in Brussels promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable means of transportation. Emelie holds a MA in Global Ethics/Political Philosophy from King’s College London, BA in International Relations from University Groningen, and did a Political Science exchange abroad to Université de Sherbrook in Canada.

In her spare time, Emelie loves exploring new places in London by bike or running, trying new cuisines, reading, travelling, and learning as many languages as she can.

0207 202 8580

Industry, Technology & Innovation

Robert McLaren APPGAT Policy Connect

Robert McLaren

Head of Industry, Technology & Innovation

Rovert manages the strategic direction of the ITI team and specialises in Assistive Technology policy including managing the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology.

Before joining Policy Connect in RSeptember 2017, Robert worked within the Assistive Technology sector providing technology training and study skills tuition to disabled people in universities and the workplace, and consultancy services for organisations in the sector.

Robert holds a BA (Hons) degree in Philosophy from King's College London and a PGC in Teaching Adults with Specific Learning Difficulties from London Metropolitan University. 

He is dyslexic and was first introduced to assistive technology when he received a Disabled Student's Allowance as an undergraduate.

Outside work, Robert enjoys taking improv classes and runs a monthly philosophy talks series, hosted by the arts and education charity SET, of which he is a trustee.   

0207 202 8577
Jack Tindale Design & Innovation Policy Connect

Jack Tindale

Manager, Design & Innovation Policy

Jack joined the Policy Connect team in April 2016. He coordinates the design, innovation and creative industries within our Industry, Technology & Innovation programme, directly managing the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group and the Design Commission, as well as coordinating the Data Analytics APPG.  

Jack graduated from LSE with a BSc in Government and History in 2012. After a term in which he served as Community and Welfare Officer for the LSE Students' Union, he later worked as a researcher to a member of the House of Lords and as Communications Officer at Transport for London.

Outside Policy Connect, Jack is an amateur writer and graphic designer, having helped to establish an online publishing label specialising in counterfactual history. He also enjoys reading political biographies, Gilbert and Sullivan, and craft beer. 

0207 202 8588

Sustainability

Claudia Jaksch COO Policy Connect

Claudia Jaksch, MA

Chief Operating Officer & Head of Sustainability

As Chief Operating Officer, Claudia provides Policy Connect's Chief Executive with strategic and operational oversight of Policy Connect’s administrative, financial and HR capabilities and advises Policy Connect Board Members on key strategic issues. She is also Company Secretary.

As Head of the Sustainability department, Claudia oversees all of Policy Connect's sustainability-themed work on energy and climate change, the circular economy and sustainable resources, the built environment, natural capital and infrastructure. 

Claudia holds a Masters degree in International Political Economy from King's College London and a Bachelor's degree in European Studies from the University of Passau, Germany. She is now undertaking an Executive MBA with Warwick Business School, Warwick University.

Her past experiences include working for Stakeholder Forum, an international organisation dedicated to advancing sustainable development at a global level, as well as roles at the central bank in Germany and in the private sector in Spain.

In her spare time, Claudia enjoys exploring London's world of museums, art galleries, and restaurants, running, playing squash, reading, and travelling.

020 7202 8584
Mitya Pearson Policy Connect Carbon Connect

Mitya Pearson

Manager, Carbon Connect

Mitya joined Policy Connect in January 2016 and initially worked across Policy Connect's sustainability-themed activities. Mitya is now the Manager of Carbon Connect, the cross-party policy research forum that seeks to inform and guide a low carbon transformation underpinned by sustainable energy.

Mitya has a BA in Politics from the University of Sheffield and an MA in Politics & Contemporary History from the Institute of Contemporary British History at King’s College London.

His interests outside of work include playing and watching football, reading and walking.

0207 202 8578
Julieta Cuneo

Julieta Cuneo

Manager, Sustainability

Julieta joined Policy Connect in April 2018 as a manager of the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, she has a background in journalism and local government and has lived in Dublin, Bologna and Rome. Before joining Policy Connect she worked as a Team Coordinator for the International Relationship Development team at the Future Cities Catapult, and before that as a Communication Content Manager for the Buenos Aires Undersecretary of Creative Economy. She holds a BA in Publishing and an MA in Journalism from the University of Buenos Aires and the Torcuato di Tella University respectively, as well as an MSc in Sustainable Cities from King’s College London.

Her interests outside of work include reading, writing, cooking, travelling and exploring cities by foot and bike, and she has made it one of her 2018 resolutions to complete in its entirety the London Capital Ring Walk. 

0207 202 8589
Jim Clark Policy Connect WSBF

Jim Clark

Sustainability Manager (Westminster Sustainable Business Forum)

Jim joined Policy Connect in April 2017. Within the Sustainability team, he particularly oversees the work of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum.

Before starting at Policy Connect, Jim worked in Parliament as a Researcher. Before that he worked for a number of charities in marketing and events. Jim holds degrees in Biology, Conservation and Marketing from York, UCL and CIM respectively.

In his spare time he enjoys running, watching football and reading.

0207 202 8570
Antonia Sheedy

Dr. Antonia Sheedy

Senior Researcher, Sustainability

Antonia joined the Sustainability team as Senior Researcher in April 2018 and is currently working on Carbon Connect’s Future Gas Series.

Previously a Senior Policy Adviser in DECCs Strategy Unit and the Office of Climate Change, Antonia also worked as Committee Specialist for the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, leading on a number of inquiries into climate change policy. Antonia has a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry and Plant Physiology from Lancaster University.

A keen cook, Antonia also likes reading and walking in her spare time, and is attempting to develop a love of gardening.”

Joseph James

Joseph James

Business Development and Project Lead

Joe is on a 6 month secondment from the Civil Service from March-August 2018. He is based in the Sustainability team and is examining approaches to hydrogen production for part 2 of the Future Gas Series and developing the membership base for the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group.

Joe is on the Civil Service Fast Stream programme and has had previous postings in Ofsted, the Department for Work and Pension and the Department for International Trade. These have included a variety of roles including operational and policy development. Before joining the Civil Service, Joe taught English and was Head of Literacy at a school in Birmingham as part of the Teach First programme and participated in the International Citizen Service leading a group of volunteers in Nepal. Joe holds an MA in Educational Leadership and Management, a PGCE and a BA (hons) in Philosophy, all from the University of Warwick.

Out of work, Joe enjoys dancing, exercising, exploring the UK and visiting art exhibitions.

020 7202 8572
Joanna Furtado

Joanna Furtado

Researcher & Project Coordinator

Jo joined Policy Connect in April 2018. As a researcher in the sustainability team, she is conducting research for Carbon Connect’s Future Gas Series, as well as providing event planning and communications support to both Carbon Connect and the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum.

Jo has an MSci in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, with a masters project looking at the role of gender and socioeconomic status in the perception of chemistry in school students. Before working in Policy Connect she worked in science policy and science education policy for the Royal Society of Chemistry, and in climate and energy policy for the World Wildlife Fund as an intern. She has also worked for the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Outside of work, Jo likes doing all manner of outdoors sports including running, cycling, swimming, scuba diving, skiing and hiking. She also loves nature, travel and Mexican food

0207 202 8571
Jacob Ainscough

Jacob Ainscough

Research Fellow, Sustainability

Jacob started with Policy Connect in August on a 6 month secondment from his PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He is working to deliver the NERC-funded Zero Plastics Waste project as part of the Sustainability team.

Jacob has a BSc in Zoology from the University of Exeter and an MSc in Environment, Science and Society from UCL. He is also studying part time for a Graduate Diploma in Economics from Birkbeck, University of London. Jacob currently edits the newsletter for the European Society of Ecological Economics and sits on the committee of the Royal Geographical Society: Coastal and Marine Research Group. Prior to starting his PhD Jacob worked as a research assistant at the Zoological Society of London in their Marine and Freshwater team.

Outside of work Jacob enjoys reading, cycling and hiking (preferably in Scottish mountains).