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Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw

Chief Executive

Jonathan became Chief Executive of Policy Connect in May 2016. He worked as a farm worker, 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 member of the Environmental Audit and Education Select Committees; Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education; Government Whip; Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs; Minister for Disabled People; and also Regional Minister for South East England. Before joining Policy Connect, Jonathan led a consultancy company, the Shaw Business Partnership, supporting a range of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors. He co-founded the housing and employment consortium Give us a Chance, developed an award winning partnership to assist ex-offenders gain employment and established a leadership programme for the public sector.

Jonathan is chair of the Kent-based charity the Blackthorn Trust which assists with mental and physical rehabilitation and is based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner.

He enjoys running, country walks and cooking.

Claudia Jaksch COO Policy Connect

Claudia Jaksch, MBA

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. More recently she also completed 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.

 

020 7202 8584

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 executive-level business development roles with non-executive roles in both the public and private sectors.

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

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 & 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
Susie James Media and Communications Manager at Policy Connect

Susie James

Media & Communications Manager

Susie joined Policy Connect in September 2019 and oversees all media relations at Policy Connect, as well as working across each team to develop campaign strategies. She is also responsible for social media across Policy Connect.

Susie's background is in technology and corporate profiling, working for companies such as Vodafone Business, Lenovo and Sky. She is currently studying for a Masters in US History and Politics at University College London. 

 

020 7202 8587

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

Megan Hector

Senior Researcher

Megan joined Policy Connect in August 2019, and leads on research and operations for the Higher Education Commission.

Prior to joining Policy Connect, Megan spent a year and a half working in employability and skills in local government, and before that completed an MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities at LSE. Between leaving local government and joining the team, she spent three months volunteering in Greece with refugee women and girls. Megan also holds a BA in English Language and Literature from King’s College London.

Outside of work Megan enjoys classical singing, dance, baking, reading, and learning new languages.

0207 202 8576

Michael Crossley

Intern

Michael started at Policy Connect in September 2020, on a three month placement from the University of Hull, as an intern on the Education and Skills team.

At university, Michael is in his final year studying a BA in History and Politics, studying topics such as the structure of the British Government, British political history, British imperial history and international relations. Michael has also served as Convener for the Hull University Debating Society and has taken part in debating competitions across the north of England.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys hiking, reading and studying history.

Health & Accessibility

Robert McLaren APPGAT Policy Connect

Robert McLaren

Head of Health

Robert manages the strategic direction of the Industry Technology and Innovation team. Before joining Policy Connect, he 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 that 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 performs with an improv group and is a trustee for the arts and education charity SET.   

0207 202 8577
Geena Vabulas

Geena Vabulas

Policy Manager, Assistive Technology

Prior to joining Policy Connect, Geena held several roles in the assistive technology sector including as a specialist teacher with responsibility for implementing assistive technology in her school, technology and study skills trainer for university students with disabilities, and as a trainer for an app to support people with autism.

Geena holds a BA (Hons) degree in Linguistics from Binghamton University and is working towards her MA in Education and Technology at the Institute of Education (University College London). Outside of work, Geena enjoys comedy and a good pub quiz.

Clive Gilbert

Clive Gilbert

Policy Manager, Assistive Technology

Clive has held public policy researcher roles at Scope and the Policy Research Unit. More recently, he has worked as an independent consultant and writer on disability, education and skills, health and social services to organisations across the public, private and charitable sectors.

Clive holds a BA in History from King's College London and an MSc in Public Policy from University College London. In his spare time, Clive volunteers as the Patient and Public Voice representative for the NHS England Environmental Controls Service and a is trustee of the Young Adult Complex Condition Alliance (YACCA); he is also an avid reader, and a particular fan of author Michael Lewis.

Sam Hoskin

Project and Business Development Lead

Sam joined Policy Connect in September 2020 on secondment from the Civil Service Fast Stream, working within the Health and Accessibility Team.

Sam has worked in the Civil Service since age 16 fulfilling operational roles in DWP (Access to Work and Universal Credit) as well as working in an evidence team within Defra’s Future Farming Programme. Whilst at Policy Connect, Sam is working on a project focusing on the Disability Data Gap and supporting the Health and Accessibility Team event agenda.

Outside of work, Sam enjoys following the latest technology, gaming, learning to code and cooking delicious veggie meals!

Mathew Willis

Intern

Mathew started at Policy Connect in September 2020, on a three-month placement from the University of Hull, as an intern on the Health and Accessibility team.

Mathew has previously worked in Refugee Services for the British Red Cross assisting asylum seekers with accessing support. At university, Mathew is in his final year studying a BA in Politics and International Relations, where he was also a Course Representative and a PASS mentor for other students. At Policy Connect, Mathew is working in Carbon Monoxide policy. In his spare time, Mathew likes going for country walks, reading and spending time with his friends.

Industry, Technology & Innovation

Jack Tindale Design & Innovation Policy Connect

Jack Tindale

Policy Manager, Design & Innovation

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, MBA

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. More recently she also completed 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.

 

020 7202 8584
Jacob Ainscough

Jacob Ainscough

Senior Researcher, Sustainability Policy

Jacob originally joined Policy Connect on a 6 month secondment from his PhD at the University of Edinburgh to lead the NERC-funded Zero Plastic Waste project. After completing this project Jacob returned to his PhD part-time and joined Policy Connect on a part-time basis to managed the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group.

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).

Robert Allen

Robert Allen

Policy Manager, Sustainability

Rob joined Policy Connect in April 2019. As the Policy Manager in the Sustainability team overseeing the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum, Rob brings together businesses, parliamentarians, civil servants and other stakeholders to champion sustainability in built environment projects.

After completing his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Rob worked in environmental consulting for over ten years and is experienced in brownfield site assessment, flood risk appraisal, environmental due diligence, and permitting.

Outside of work, Rob loves hiking in the outdoors and is a keen cricketer, having captained his local club for a number of years.

0207 202 8573

Ágnes Szuda

Project Coordinator

Ágnes joined Policy Connect in February 2020 and she works across Policy Connect’s sustainability-themed activities.

She holds a BA in Geography and a Masters degree in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge.

Ágnes was previously a social research intern at the UK Cabinet Office, a sustainability intern at management consultancy in London and she conducted policy research on the Sustainable Development Goals as an intern at World Health Organization in Geneva.

Prior to joining Policy Connect, she served as the Youth Delegate of Hungary to the United Nations.

Outside of work Ágnes enjoys dancing, running, reading and cooking. 

Rein de Loor

Policy Manager

Rein joined Policy Connect in September 2020, to oversee the work of Carbon Connect and other sustainability-related activities.

He holds a BA in European Studies and French from King’s College London, as well as an MSc in Public Policy and Management from Birkbeck, where he wrote a dissertation on the UK’s Climate Change Act and Clean Growth Strategy within the context of European climate policy.

Previously, Rein worked at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum where he managed the organisation’s programming for the United States and Americas region. He also spent a number of years working in youth engagement and sustainability at the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit.

Outside of work, Rein enjoys cinema, literature and photography. He plays the piano and he can regularly be found on the tennis court or riding his bicycle.