Chairman and the Advisory Board
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Training and Innovation
HR & Administration
Sir Robert Fry
Sir Robert is Chairman of Albany Associates. He is also involved in a number of board and advisory roles to companies in the security and banking sectors, in Europe, North America and the Middle East, having previously been EMEA Regional Vice President for Defense & Security at Hewlett-Packard. Before business he enjoyed a full military career with posts that included Commandant General of the Royal Marines and Deputy Commanding General of coalition forces in Iraq.
Sir Robert is a visiting professor at Reading University and a visiting fellow at Oxford; he is also an occasional columnist for the European edition of the WSJ and for Forbes Magazine. He is a trustee of the charity Help for Heroes and the London based think tank, the Royal United Services Institute. He maintains his military links as Colonel, The Special Reconnaissance Regiment.
Lord Guy Black
Lord Guy Black has an esteemed career in freedom of expression issues, serving as Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group since 2005 and Director of the Press Complaints Commission for seven years.
He has been a Conservative Member of the House of Lords since July 2010 and was Director of Communications for the Conservative Party from 2003-2005.
Lord Black is currently Chairman of the Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust, which seeks to promote and preserve media freedom throughout the Commonwealth. He graduated from Cambridge with double first class honours from Cambridge.
Sir Kieran Prendergast
Sir Kieran Prendergast is a British diplomat and a former Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs at the United Nations. He was appointed consul-general in Tel Aviv, Israel and later served as High Commissioner to Zimbabwe and Kenya, and then as Ambassador to Turkey.
In 1997, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Sir Kieran Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs at the United Nations and served in that position until 2005. He helped call attention to human rights violations and ethnic cleansing resulting from the War in Darfur, and was deeply involved in Cyprus reunification negotiations in 2004. When he resigned in 2005, Kofi Annan thanked him for his “outstanding service” and “invaluable advice.” Since his resignation from the United Nations, Prendergast has conducted research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is a member of the Advisory Council of Independent Diplomat. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva.
Simon Haselock is co-founder and Director of Albany Associates and a pioneer in media intervention in countries emerging from violent conflict.
Following the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in late 1995 and throughout 1996 he was the NATO Spokesman in Sarajevo. He stayed on in Bosnia from 1997 until early 2000 as Deputy High Representative for Media Affairs in the Office of The High Representative responsible for the public presentation of policy and media reform.
As Temporary Media Commissioner in Kosovo in 2000 he began the process of building the professional, legal and ethical structures necessary for the independent media to flourish there. He then served as the Director of Public Information for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) from 2001 to spring 2003 when he went on to head the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Media Development and Regulatory Advisory Team in Iraq.
Since co-founding Albany he has directed projects in Kosovo, Darfur, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Somalia. He is an Associate of the Program for Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCLMP) at Oxford University and served for 23 years in the Royal Marines attending the Royal Navy Staff College in 1986.
Dieter Loraine is co-founder of Albany Associates. He has over 15 years experience of strategic communications, institution building and media and regulatory development. Prior to forming Albany he was Senior Consultant for Media Regulation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Media Development and Regulation Advisory Team in Iraq. Between 2001 and 2003 he was Acting Deputy Director General and Director of Communications for the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) in Bosnia and Herzegovina – at the time, Europe’s newest converged regulator.
During his time with the CRA he also served as Special Adviser to the UK Press Complaints Commission. Dieter is credited with designing and establishing from scratch the Bosnian Press Council, the first of its kind in South East Europe.
Between 1998 and 2001 he held two senior positions as Director of Broadcast Licensing and Director of Public Affairs in the Independent Media and Broadcasting Commission in Sarajevo. Prior to working in the Balkans, Dieter ran a flourishing public relations company in the UK, following a very successful career in the Royal Marines, retiring in 1995 as Assistant Director of Public Relations for the Royal Marines in the UK Ministry of Defence.
Doug Griffin is an expert in communications and media strategy, law and policy, particularly in conflict, post-conflict and transitional environments.
He is a lawyer with expertise in drafting important legal documents and assisting with the development of communications and media law and policy. He has significant experience communicating effectively with stakeholders, including the public, government officials and the international community, about key law and policy issues.
Examples of projects include drafting a media development strategy for Somalia with input from ministries, other stakeholders, the United Nations and UN agencies and donors; drafting key legislation and regulations concerning media and telecommunications in Iraq; training senior management of national regulators of broadcasting and communications and government officials; and providing comprehensive broadcast and other regulatory advice to communications regulators and government ministries in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to joining Albany, Doug was in private practice with an international law firm in New York, Moscow and Paris.
Paul Bell is Director of Business Development. He specializes in the development of comprehensive communications campaigns and product in conflict and post-conflict zones. Before joining Albany he was Chief Executive and subsequently Deputy Chairman of London’s largest public relations group, Bell Pottinger.
Raised in South Africa, Bell is a graduate in History and Politics of the University of Cape Town. Working as a journalist, he observed and reported South Africa’s complex and turbulent transition from apartheid to democracy. During this time he held senior posts on several leading publications, and was a two-time winner of the Mondi Gold, South Africa’s leading award for magazine journalism. In the mid-1990s he served as Director of Communications for the country’s Independent Electoral Commission, helping deliver its historic first non-racial, democratic general election.
In 2000 he took up a post with Bell Pottinger, consulting to governments and political figures, work that has taken him to Botswana, Iraq, Latvia, Russia, Turkey, the United States and Yemen. He is well versed in Middle Eastern affairs, having built and led the largest, most sophisticated and longest-running communications operation of the Iraq conflict. This led to further specialized work across the Middle East. In 2008 he was appointed Chief Executive of Bell Pottinger Sans Frontières, the Group’s strategic and geopolitical communications agency. In 2010 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Bell Pottinger Group of 15 companies.
Bell is a Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People, which operates in more than 120 countries offering youth development programmes to more than 700,000 new entrants around the world each year.
Jem had a successful career in the Royal Navy, specialising in intelligence and then media and public relations. During this time he developed considerable operational experience in communications, including the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and West Africa.
His recent years have seen him as the spokesperson for the EU in Bosnia-Hercegovina and as Chief Instructor at the UK MoD's Defence Media Operations Centre. Academically, he has Masters degrees in security studies and international relations and also a diploma in public relations. His experience and knowledge have resulted in his focus on public diplomacy, media relations, strategic communications, issue and crisis management, with a specific interest in communication aspects of foreign policy (national and intergovernmental) and post-conflict reconstruction.
He has specialised in training public affairs, instructing UN agencies, national governments and corporate clients. He is a communications consultant to the UK government’s Stabilisation Unit and Thomson Reuters.
John trained as a Chartered Accountant and in his early career worked in practice at various accountancy firms in the South West . He then moved onto working in the commercial environment being management accountant to several nationally known businesses and more currently to project managing various large building projects.
He joined Albany in 2011, initially as a consultant providing business and financial management before becoming a member of the team full time initially as the company’s financial manager . Over the last year the job has developed further with John becoming the full time project manager on our flagship project and spends most of his time onsite managing our client and contractor relations together with its financial management .
Anna is a Senior Associate in Albany Associates, currently responsible for the administration of donor funded projects in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa; writing tender proposals; and identifying new business opportunities.
Anna developed and organised two very successful Master Classes in Broadcast Regulation in France and the UK where representatives of regulatory authorities from all over the world had the opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss broadcast regulation. Before joining Albany in 2007, Anna worked in the fund department of Standard Bank where she oversaw large investment projects.
Anna has a Masters Degree in International Trade, European Integration and Management from the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic and Certificates in Financial Advice and Offshore Administration, obtained in the UK. Anna is a Czech national and speaks five languages.
With a background in journalism and media analysis, Guy works on communications, public information and peace building projects in transitional and post-conflict societies. This has recently included producing radio drama for reconciliation and peace building in Darfur, providing technical support at the 2014 UN-sponsored Syria peace talks in Geneva, and consulting on an awareness raising project around the constitution drafting process in Libya.
Guy also advises on media and communications strategies, speech writing and media engagement. French and Arabic language skills, experience of working with national governments and INGOs, crisis management in conflict zones, and familiar with operating systems, bureaucracies and idiosyncrasies the world over. Widely published journalism, masters from SOAS.
With a strong background of 16 years' experience in recruitment both in the UK and South Africa, Jo began with Albany as the Office Manager to cover all HR, Administration and Logistics operations for the company. Drawing upon her extensive experience working within the corporate logistics industry for major international organisations, she is now delivering Project Management for Albany's work in East Africa.
Fatma Ahmed joined Albany in November 2014 as an Associate.
Before joining, Fatma completed an EU-UN Fellowship Programme where she worked at the Human Rights and Social Affairs Division at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations (New York). She acquired valuable experiences of the complex procedures of EU internal communication, coordination and decision-making and the methods of work at the United Nations.
Fatma has worked with a number of NGOs on human rights, gender and development issues and has field experience in Kosovo and Tanzania and a particular interest in the Horn of Africa.
She completed an awarded and published thesis on Somali Piracy during her research visit at the Institute of Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. She holds a BA in Criminology and Security Studies and a Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation from the European Inter-University Centre – an interdisciplinary centre of excellence formed by 41 universities from all European Union Member States. Fatma speaks Somali, Swahili and Swedish.
Ania Podeszwa is a versatile and dedicated communications professional with a proven record delivering effective policy and campaigning strategies for political and corporate clients in the UK and the developing world.
Ania has joined Albany from ‘Bell Pottinger Geopolitical’ where she was a consultant and a client adviser in public affairs engagement. She works as a campaign strategist for political and corporate clients both in the UK and Abroad. Originally from Poland, Ania speaks both Polish and English fluently as well as German at an intermediate level. She is a confident public speaker and pitcher, both in country and abroad. She has worked in high-risk zones such as Pakistan, Zambia and Mozambique allowing her to cope well under pressure and deliver pitches regardless of environment. Furthermore she’s managed teams based in various geographical locations and arranged meetings and advised clients on public affairs engagement, with a focus on Westminster and Brussels.
Aside from her extensive knowledge in global Geo-policy, she also has a background in research formed from her work at ‘The Henry Jackson Society’ and ‘Track 24’. She has been acknowledged for her research in a Washington D.C report called ‘Al- Qaeda in the United states. Complete Analysis of Terrorist Offences’.
Ania has a B.A. in European Studies (2:1) from Kings College London. During her time at Kings, she took part in the Erasmus program and spent a year at Humboldt University in Berlin. She completed modules in international relations and foreign policy that were taught in German, aiding her degree and German speaking.
Valeriya Chaschyna Lindholt is an Associate with Albany Associates. She first joined Albany as an intern in 2015, and was then hired full time as an Associate in May 2016.
She works on the daily project management of Albany’s projects in the Russian language space, including in the Baltics and Central Asia, and contributes to on-going strategic communications work and project proposals.
Prior to joining Albany full time, Valeriya was a trainee with the European Union Delegation to Ukraine working with the Sector Manager for European Integration and the Communication Manager of the Delegation, where she put into practice the insight and knowledge she gained from writing a dissertation on the trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine. She additionally has internship experience from a Scandinavian design firm in Hong Kong.
She holds an MSc, with Distinction, in European Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA with a 2:1, in Business Administration from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She speaks Danish and Russian, and has a keen interest in the former Soviet Union as well as disinformation, media literacy and youth engagement.
Follow her on twitter at @ValeriyaCL
Valentina Salvati joined Albany Associates in July 2015 as HR and Administration Assistant.
She has extensive experience with all administrative tasks, including scheduling and correspondence. Having held positions in the business, tourist and legal fields, Valentina is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs to various clients. She has increased efficiency in several of her assigned roles, and is very effective at learning new tasks. As a HR Administrator, she is responsible for all human resources function, calendar maintenance, preparation of technical presentation, coordination of travel arrangements (and resulting expense statements), facilitation of meeting arrangements, processing of visit requests, and monitoring of all action and signature items.
Valentina holds a Bachelor and Master Degree in Modern European and American Languages and Literatures from the University of Salerno, Italy, and certificates in Human Resource Management and Performance Management. Valentina is an Italian national and fluently speaks 4 languages.