December 4th 2018 | Prospero House, 241 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1GA


Emma Leech

Director of Marketing and Advancement, Loughborough University

Emma Leech MBA, Found.Chart.PR, FCIPR, Dip CIPR, Dip PR (CAM) FCIM, FIIC, FIoD, FRSA, FInstILM,  FCMI, MPRCA MInstF

Emma is Director of  Marketing and Advancement at Loughborough University, overseeing communications, marketing, recruitment, web and digital, widening participation, international and fundraising and development.

Emma started her career in fashion and consumer PR in 1988, working in tourism and destination marketing before settling in higher education in 1997.

A Founding  Chartered PR Practitioner,  Chartered Marketer and Chartered Manager, she has won a string of awards over  two decades spanning PR, marketing, innovation, fundraising, digital, and web. Emma holds an MBA and various PR, marketing and management qualifications and was recently elected as President Elect 2018 of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Twitter: @EmmaJ70 | @lborouniversity

Emily Hall-Strutt

Head of Communications & Engagement, Ministry of Justice Digital & Technology

Emily is Head of Communications & Engagement for the Digital & Technology directorate of the Ministry of Justice, which is around 1000 people based all across the country working on digital services and technical solutions for its 74,000 staff and users of the courts, prisons, probation, legal aid and other justice services. She is also Diversity & Inclusion champion, leading the directorate's drive to be more representative of the UK population.

She has worked for the Ministry of Justice for the past three years. Prior to her current role she was a Delivery Manager for multidisciplinary software teams. Before moving to the MoJ she was on the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate scheme in a variety of policy, project and digital delivery roles in different departments. 

Twitter: @EmilyHallStrutt | @Justice_Digital

Mandy Dryden

Head of Internal Communications, Department of Health and Social Care

Mandy has worked at the Department of Health for the past nine years. She is a successful communications professional with extensive experience in government and the third sector. She has strong leadership and project management skills, with a proven record of transforming and delivering internal and external communication campaigns to achieve business objectives, including brand development, corporate reputation, and people engagement.

Sandra Elliot

Head of Communications, University of London

Sandra has held the role of Director of Communications at the University of London since early 2105 where she has responsibility for internal and external communications and supporting public engagement activities.  Prior to this she was Director of Communications and International Relations at Cardiff University.  Before that she had a career in travel and tourism in the private and public sector including the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and ending as Deputy Chief Executive of Visit London.  She is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and a lifelong Francophile.

Twitter: @UoLondon@ElliottSandra

Melissa Stewart

Head of Internal Communications, Save the Children UK

Melissa is currently leading on internal communications and leadership engagement at Save the Children UK. At a challenging time for the aid sector as a whole, this has involved strengthening the internal culture, increasing engagement and trust between the leadership and staff and building a shared understanding of organisational goals – while bringing some discipline and focus to a very cluttered and noisy internal communications culture! Previously Melissa spent a year at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s office (PHSO) where she was brought in to troubleshoot a chronically low employee engagement situation and establish an effective internal communications function from scratch. That followed six years leading internal communications and engagement globally for the British Council where she also held senior management roles in their Brazil and Moscow offices.

Twitter: @MelAmberStewart@savechildrenuk

Natalie Anderson

Head of Organisational Development, Elmbridge Borough Council

Natalie Anderson is the Head of Organisational Development for Elmbridge Borough Council and has responsibility for internal and external communications.  Elmbridge Borough Council is based in Surrey and has around 400 employees and has a population of over 130,000 residents.  

In addition to communications Natalie oversees policy, Human Resources, Learning and Development, Community Safety and Family Support.  Natalie is constantly looking to further her knowledge and is always seeking learning and development opportunities.

Twitter: @elmbridgeBC

Rory Hegarty

Director of Communications, North West London Collaboration of CCGs


Rory Hegarty took over as the Director of Communications and Engagement for the North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups, covering 8 CCGs and the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), in June 2018. He has previously led communications for Imperial College Healthcare Trust, West London Mental Health Trust, Healthcare for London and two other London STPs, having started his comms career in the voluntary sector.

Twitter: @RoryHegarty | @HealthierNWL

Jo Bland

Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, NHS Digital

Throughout her career Jo has worked across a variety of communication disciplines, although her passion has always been transformation and internal communications.

Joining NHS Digital in April 2013, Jo previously worked in communications and engagement roles across a variety of NHS and public sector organisations.  She has had the privilege of leading strategic communications for a number of high profile, complex national public sector change programmes.  Her career highlight was in leading the internal transformation communications for the Scottish Government, following devolution.

A member of the IoIC and CIPR, Jo recently completed an MSc in Strategic Communications and Public Relations.

Twitter: @jobland3