The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”Steve Jobs, Former CEO of Apple Inc.
Established in 2012, Deryn brings together senior level, cross party experience in campaigning, government relations and politics in Wales. We want to talk to you about how we can help engage with communities, civic society and decision-makers at every level.
Meet the team
Huw Roberts has a distinguished career in public affairs, most recently as National Director for Wales for the Royal Mail. A former Chair of the IOD in Wales, he was previously Head of Marketing for BBC Wales. With extensive knowledge of government, Huw worked at the Department of Energy and No 10, was Head of Press at ITN and Director of Corporate Affairs at Swalec. He was also a Senior Special Adviser in the UK Government.
Cathy Owens previously worked as a Special Adviser at the Welsh Government, and played leading roles in the Carwyn Jones leadership campaign as well as the successful Yes for Wales campaign in the 2011 powers referendum. She has been a government relations specialist in Wales for 17 years and advises senior blue chip corporate clients.
Nerys Evans served as an Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales between 2007 and 2011, Nerys was Plaid Cymru’s Director of Policy and authored their 2011 Assembly Manifesto. She also served on the First Minister's Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery – The Williams Commission. In 2011 she was appointed by the Welsh Government to be an Education Commissioner in Blaenau Gwent County Council and then served on the Ministerial performance board in the County.
Jo KiernanSenior Adviser
Jo has recently joined as a Senior Adviser, following 10 years working as a Senior Special Adviser to the First Minster, for both Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. She was previously a senior journalist and presenter at both the BBC and ITV.
Stephen BrooksSenior Adviser
Stephen is the former UK Executive Director of External Affairs for green transport NGO Sustrans and chaired the climate advocacy group Stop Climate Chaos Cymru. He has led successful campaigns to develop active travel and introduce carbon reduction targets in Wales.
Richard JohnAccount Director
Richard joins us fresh out of his role as the Leader of Monmouthshire Council. During his time as leader Richard was committed to tackling environmental challenges and inequalities. Richard played a key role in strategic economic development as Vice Chair of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, a board member of the Economic Growth Partnership, WLGA Spokesman for Levelling Up and Intergovernmental Relations and WLGA Conservative Leader. Richard has worked with a range of senior politicians in the Senedd and in the UK Parliament and is a former Head of Communications for the Welsh Conservatives.
James BrinningAccount Manager
James joined Deryn in 2022 as an Account Manager after working in communications for Cardiff Central MP and Shadow Secretary of State Jo Stevens. Whilst working in Parliament, James focused on a range of policy areas, from devolution and Welsh politics to culture, climate, and justice. James brings a wealth of political, communication and campaigning experience to the team having worked with several senior politicians and figures across Welsh and UK politics.
Outside of Deryn, James sits on the Executive of Public Affairs Cymru, and currently serves as the Secretary of the Rainbow Wall - the official LGBTQ+ Supporters Group of the Wales national football teams.
Dr Georgina BenstedAccount Manager
Georgina joins us from her previous role as Senior Researcher for the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd, having worked on and off in politics for the last 18 years, and in Welsh politics for the last 11 years.
As part of her role as Senior Researcher, Georgina oversaw amendments to legislation, and specialised in health and social care. Georgina also provided support to two Welsh Conservative manifestos, including policy work on the 2021 health manifesto. Georgina holds three law degrees, including a Master’s degree in Commercial Law and a D.Phil. in counter-terrorism and brings to the team her knowledge of electoral campaigns, devolved law, and on policy making in areas such as health.
Jennifer JordanOperations and Account Manager
Prior to joining Deryn, Jen worked as the Senior Policy Adviser at CBI Cymru, having formerly worked for the Welsh Government.
Jen has an excellent understanding of policy-making processes in Wales gained from a career working both internally, and externally, with government.
Outside of work, Jen is a member of Victim Support’s Wales committee, a sub-committee of the national Victim Support board.
Bridget JohnsonBusiness Support
Bridget joins the team having previously worked in London for 11 years at a Management Consultancy. She obtained a Law and Politics degree from Nottingham University.
Jack BurnettSenior Monitoring and Research Officer
Jack joined the team in March 2023 after completing his Masters in Politics and Public Policy at Cardiff. Previously, he studied an undergraduate degree in Politics at Swansea University. He is from Cardiff and has an interest in how policy is developed within the Senedd, writing his dissertation on how the Conservative Party's policy positions changed through various stages of devolution.
Fergus TurtleMonitoring and Data Officer
Fergus joined the Deryn team in January 2022 and is currently studying towards his Masters in Welsh Politics and Government.
Zuzanna KomosinskaMonitoring and Research Officer
Zuzanna has recently completed her BA Degree in International Politics at Aberystwyth University.
During her studies, she proudly represented her 3-year peers as their Academic Representative whilst working for the Department of International Politics as Student Ambassador. After graduation, she completed an internship in the Senedd with Cefin Campbell MS of Plaid Cymru, which helped to deepen her knowledge of the Senedd, local politics and policy in Wales.
Alex AtkinsonMonitoring and Research Officer
Alex has joined the team as a Monitoring and Research Officer, having originally grown up near Portsmouth. After completing his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University in Business Management, he undertook a Masters in Politics and Public Policy, where he also spent time as an intern in the Marie Curie Cymru public affairs team.
Owain DaviesMonitoring and Research Officer
Owain Davies is a part-time Monitoring and Research Officer. He completed his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University in Politics and International Relations, and is currently completing his Masters in International Relations.
He has a keen interest in social and infrastructural development, writing his Masters dissertation on development in Latin America.
Krishna PatelMonitoring and Research Officer
Krishna has joined the monitoring team after completing her undergraduate degree in Politics and Economics at Cardiff University. Originally from Birmingham, she has a keen interest in development economics and issues regarding women’s rights. During her studies, she has collaborated with charities such as Movember and NSPCC to organise charity events, while also representing the university as a student ambassador.
Dylan CollierMonitoring and Research Officer
Dylan joined the team in September 2023 as a monitoring and research officer. He is also studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath. During his studies, he has developed an interest in Welsh Government infrastructure and development as well as Middle Eastern affairs. He has also completed internships in Westminster, working on policy development in sewage and health.
Caitlyn AkassMonitoring and Research Officer
Caitlyn joined the team in September 2023. She is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Law. She has a particular interest in family affairs within the Senedd.
From the Nest
For a bird's eye view.
Am olwg oddi uchod.
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