Edelman grabs No 10 grid guru
Robin Gordon-Farleigh to join agency’s Dubai office.
Edelman has appointed Robin Gordon-Farleigh, the senior civil servant responsible for running the Downing Street news grid, to oversee its operations in the Middle East.
Gordon-Farleigh will make the move to the PR and public affairs firm in March. He will be based in Edelman’s Dubai office and will take the title of regional director for government strategies for the Middle East, the agency has confirmed.
The hire comes a month after Edelman bolstered its UK lobbying firepower by bringing in Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Will Walden as managing director for public affairs.
As the Number 10 news planner, Gordon-Farleigh leads a team of 30 news planning staff in departments across Whitehall to strategically coordinate the Government media activity.
He took over the job of running the crucial Number 10 news grid in 2011, having previously performed a similar role at the Department for Health.
It is understood that no replacement for Gordon-Farleigh has yet been lined up and a Number 10 spokesman would only say that “a replacement will be announced in due course”.
Gordon-Farleigh said in a statement: “I am really pleased to be joining the Edelman Middle East team at such an exciting time. They are doing such amazing work there in the space of government communications, and I look forward to helping them to build out the business.
“It has been a great six years at No 10 which throughout I have felt truly honoured and humbled to work there at the top of Government and in some small way contributed to deliver its agenda.”
Edelman’s global chair of public affairs Stephanie Lvovich said: “Robin is a widely respected government communications strategist, with significant experience at the heart of government. He has played a critical role in helping the UK government to speak with one voice and communicate effectively its policy agenda.
“Building on a number of recent senior government communications hires into our UK office, Robin joining Edelman represents another significant investment in our international government communications work, an area in which we have many clients internationally.
“Demonstrating Edelman’s commitment to driving growth in our government services work in the critical region of the Middle East and beyond.”