Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications and Head of Profession congratulates colleagues newly appointed to Directors of Communications roles and thanks those moving on from the profession.
Thank you and goodbye
To Andy Tighe who is retiring from the Home Office after nine years service, seven as Head of News working to the former PM Theresa May. Andy joined the Home Office in 2011, after a career as a TV and radio journalist at the BBC.
He was Head of News until 2017 when he was appointed Director of Communications. Andy led the communications response to a number of major news events, such as the London Bridge attack and the Grenfell fire, and he oversaw the design and implementation of campaigns such as the EU Settlement Scheme, #knifefree and the current police recruitment drive.
Simon Baugh is heading to the Home Office to replace Andy. Simon Baugh has been Director of Communications at the Department for Exiting the EU since August 2019. He was responsible for the “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign, which prepared businesses and citizens for EU exit and was one of the largest and most complex cross-government campaigns ever run. Prior to that, he was at the Department for Transport from 2015 to 2018, where he was Director of Strategy and Communications.
Before joining Government, Simon had a 15-year career in the private sector.
A huge congratulations
To Rachel Carr who will be going on maternity leave from the Department of Health and Social Care – we wish her all the best with her new baby.
Wendy Fielder will be replacing Rachel on an interim basis as the acting Director of Communications at the Department of Health and Social Care.
Wendy has worked as Deputy Director Head of News and Media in a number of government departments in recent years including the Department for Transport, Home Office, Department for International Development and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Most recently Wendy stepped into the Head of Communications role at the Department for Exiting the European Union, to support the department’s media team through its final weeks of operation.
Finally, Andy Pike OBE has been successfully appointed to Director of Communications of the Northern Ireland Office. The move follows two years as Director of the National Security Communication team. Prior to this Andy has extensive experience in senior roles including, on secondment from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as Director of Communications and Engagement at GCHQ for nearly three years, Head of the GREAT Britain Campaign for two years at No 10, and spending time at the BBC as Senior Manager Press, Publicity and PR, England from 2002 – 2004. He has been involved intermittently with Northern Ireland for more than twenty years including as head of press at the British Embassy in Dublin and Consul for Northern Ireland in the United States.
We are hugely grateful to these colleagues for all of their hard work and I’m sure they will continue to flourish in their new roles.