Our People

Lord Black of Brentwood

Senior Adviser

Sir Robert Fry


Dieter Loraine

Managing Director

Simon Haselock

Director of Strategy and Innovation

Doug Griffin

Director of Programmes

Jem Thomas

Director of Training and Research

Kerry Harrington

Head of Finance

Piers Atkinson

Head of Business Development

Elizabeth Edwards

Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)

Yusra Mahdi

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Manager

Nicky Ngobeh

Office Manager

Sukhwinder Kaur

Finance Manager

Joseph Green

Project Accountant

Sahra Ismael

Senior Account Manager

Michelle Cramer

Senior Account Manager

Elias Pogany

Senior Account Manager

Kierat Ranautta-Sambhi

Account Manager

Jack Lyne

Senior Account Executive

Emily Hoyle

Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Executive

Gaia Gaddi

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Executive

Hamish Lee

Account Executive

Jonathan Morley-Davies

Research and Innovation Executive


Lord Black of Brentwood is Deputy Chairman of the Telegraph Media Group (publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph). Previously he was Director of Communications for Conservative Central Office and Press Secretary to Rt Hon Michael Howard QC, and Director of the UK Press Complaints Commission. Additionally, he is Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance, Chairman of the Royal College of Music, Vice-President, News Media Europe and Patron of the Rory Peck Trust.


Sir Robert is the chair of Albany Associates. He completed a full military career that included posts as Commandant General of the Royal Marines and Director of Operations in the MoD, advising successive Prime Ministers on the response to 9/11. After leaving military service in 2007 he became CEO of Hewlett Packard’s defence and security business and was appointed chair of Albany Associates in 2011. He is a member of the executive council of the Royal United Services Institute and a visiting professor at King’s College, London. He writes occasionally for a number of periodicals and is a regular contributor to Prospect Magazine.


Dieter co-founded Albany after a career in the Royal Marines, running a niche regional PR agency, holding several senior positions in Bosnia’s media and communications regulatory authority and working in Iraq as a communications consultant for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has garnered over 20 years of experience in strategic communications, institution building and media and communications regulatory development, helping to establish and advising more than twenty media and press councils across South East Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Dieter is on the board of trustees for the Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust.


Simon is an early innovator in media interventions in countries emerging from violent conflict. Since co-founding Albany, he has directed strategic communications, CVE and media development projects across Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He is a frequent speaker on information operations and counter radicalisation and propaganda issues. He also served for 23 years as an officer in the UK Royal Marines. In the Balkans, from 1996 to 2003, he was the NATO Spokesman in Sarajevo, Deputy High Representative for Media Affairs in the High Representative’s office in Bosnia, Temporary Media Commissioner in Kosovo and then Director of Public Information for UN mission there. He then went on to head the UK FCO’s media development team in Iraq.


Doug is a lawyer specialising in media and communications strategy and policy.  He has advised government and civil society, drafted legislation and regulation, and developed and implemented programmes for a number of communications projects across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  His expertise includes ICT law, broadband, digitalisation, broadcast and internet policy.  Prior to joining Albany, Doug was in private practice with an international law firm in New York, Moscow and Paris.  Doug also speaks French.


Jem leads Albany’s training in media relations, media literacy and strategic communications with a specific interest in communication aspects of foreign policy and post-conflict reconstruction. He has delivered courses across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and has developed and implemented instruction for UK ambassadors and senior UN management. Prior to joining Albany, he had a long career in the Royal Navy, where he was spokesperson for the EU in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Chief Instructor at the UK MoD's Defence Media Operations Centre.


Kerry is Albany's Senior Finance Manager and oversees the finance function in all aspects, including working on projects, managing accounts and business development. Kerry started her career off in the private sector, working for a diving company as a finance manager, looking after entities in the Middle East, Europe and the head office in UK. Before joining Albany, she worked for a global company on compliance and finance projects, implementing new ways of workings to non-finance members, and looking after the Western Europe Credit control.


Piers leads on Albany’s inbound and outbound business development activity. He has 15 years of experience in procurement, pursuit management and bid writing. Prior to his career in international development, he worked in the transport and health sectors, including on successful, multi-billion-pound public procurement contracts. He has extensive experience of managing applications and securing funds from donors including FCDO, USAID, World Bank and UN agencies. He has delivered pursuits across a wide range of technical subject areas including stabilisation, peacebuilding, crisis response, governance, and global health.


Prior to joining Albany, Elizabeth gained extensive experience in research and M&E to inform programming and operations in conflict-affected and fragile states through consultancies and INGOs operating in Syria, Afghanistan, West and East Africa and Eastern Europe. Her key thematic areas of experience include stabilization, strategic communications and countering disinformation, access to justice, mixed migration, support to survivors of GBV, civil society development and peacebuilding. Elizabeth has delivered to a range of clients including the UK FCDO, the UK MoD, USAID, the US State Department, IOM, UNFPA and the EEAS.


Yusra is Albany’s MEL Manager and possesses both a depth and breadth of experience in a wide variety of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems from within the research, NGO and private sectors. She currently leads the MEL of FCDO-funded ‘Early Recovery Initiative’ and ‘Women to Women’ programmes in Somalia. Prior to joining Albany, she managed the implementation and MEL systems for IDS’s CREID programme in Iraq, focusing on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), curricula development, participatory research methods, and training of teachers. With a background in journalism and media production, Yusra also developed in-depth knowledge about problems on the ground pertaining ethnic and sectarian conflicts, press freedoms, displacement, and poverty. She is bilingual English and Arabic and has MA Human Rights and International Relations from Roehampton University.


Nicky joined the firm in March 2022 and brings with her 15 years administrative experience in Office Management and Human Resources. She assists in the development and implementation of the firm’s policies and procedures, manages and overseas the administration of HR policies, programs and practices within the firm. She studied Social Research and Information Studies at London Metropolitan University. She is interested in current affairs, world news and how it impacts the world we live in. Her hobbies include travelling and socializing.


Sukhwinder assists with a wide range of accounting and financing issues, often involving some of the world’s most challenging environments. She has considerable experience with projects in Africa before joining Albany. Sukhwinder worked in France and Kenya and also speaks Punjabi, Hindi and Kiswahili.


Joe joined Albany in March 2022 as Project Accountant, having previously worked for 5 years as an Accounts Manager & Finance Assistant within his family's Essex based marketing company, Green Square, where his role was also that of IT and Web Assistant. Joe studied Accounting and Business Studies at college, and discovered a natural passion for problem solving and objective, analytical thinking. Away from work, Joe is a fully qualified, CAA licenced, commercial drone pilot and a former semi-professional gamer. Albany's industry sector compliments Joe's interest in domestic and global news and current affairs.


Sahra oversees Albany’s East Africa flagship projects as the Project/Programme Director. She is an experienced technical programme development and delivery manager specialising in East Africa conflict stabilisation with a particular focus on counter violent extremism and behavioural change. Previously Sahra has overseen direct implementation for multilateral and bilateral government funded projects She also has a wealth of experience delivering on programmes focusing on justice, security, local governance, community engagement, capacity building as well as strategic communications in East Africa. A Swedish-Somali and multilingual, Sahra holds a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Geopolitics, Territory and Security focusing Africa with a specialism in East Africa from King’s College London, marrying her interest in behavioural change and conflict stabilisation.


Michelle is one of Albany’s senior project managers, focussing on security-related programming, in particular in fragile and conflict affected states such as Iraq and Somalia. Projects she has managed have ranged in thematic focus and covered topics such as countering violent extremism, deradicalization and resilience-building, climate change and conflict, and security sector reform. Prior to joining Albany, Michelle worked at other major development consultancies in the United Kingdom, and also gained a MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Elias oversees Albany’s projects in the Eurasia region, focused on countering disinformation, preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE), and building the capacity of government officials to communicate more effectively, transparently, and coherently with citizens. Prior to joining Albany, he managed large-scale Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) programmes for Tetra Tech International Development (formerly Coffey), in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mozambique and Ethiopia. A native of Boston, Elias holds a BA in International Studies from American University’s School of International Service (SIS) and MA in Governance and Development from the University of Sussex’s Institute of Development Studies (IDS).


Kierat assists on projects in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Albany, Kierat interned at a 'think and do' tank working to counter extremism and polarisation globally and, previously, at the King's Centre for Strategic Communications. Kierat has also worked as a regional security analyst at a geopolitical, security and risk management consultancy focusing on the MENA region. Kierat has a MA in International Peace and Security (with a focus on strategic communications and PCVE/CT) and na LLB in Law with French Law and Language.


Jack has experience across a broad range of counter-disinformation and counter violent extremism projects throughout the Western Balkans, Central Asia, and Morocco primarily through the lens of Strategic Communications. He is currently supporting Albany’s UK CSSF funded stabilisation project in Somalia, The Early Recovery Initiative, which aims to build bridges within communities recently liberated from al-Shabaab through peace-building and reconciliation interventions. Jack holds a BA in French and Politics from Queen Mary University of London where he specialised in US foreign and counterinsurgency policy in Iraq in the 21st century, and is currently working towards a MSc in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict from Birkbeck University.


Emily is a Senior Research and MEL Executive working across projects in the the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the MENA region and East Africa. She has a particular interest in the intersection of media with a variety of socio-political issues, alongside experience in counter-disinformation, media literacy, P/CVE, and grassroots resilience programming. She led the MEL on a three-year FCDO-funded 'Promoting Media Literacy and Strengthening Independent Media' programme in the Western Balkans (WB6) and currently works on Albany's third party evaluation, strategic communications, and media development portfolio. Emily joined Albany following the completion of an MPhil in Islamic Studies and History from the University of Oxford, with a research specialism on Iran.


Gaia is currently supporting Albany’s monitoring, evaluation and learning team across a variety of programmes based in the Balkans and East Africa. Completing her Masters degree in Terrorism, Security and Society, Gaia also has an MA in Intelligence and International Security as well as a BsC in Criminology and Criminal Psychology. Her area of interest focuses on contemporary challenges around the implementation of counter violent extremism measures. Gaia is fluent in French, Italian and English.


Coming soon!


Joe is Albany’s Strategy and Innovation Researcher, responsible for monitoring international developments in information operations and extremist messaging and liaising with experts in those fields. Before joining Albany in 2021, Joe studied International Security and Terrorism at the University of Nottingham. Since graduating in 2020, he has been involved in research projects tracking the rise of antisemitic conspiracy theories online for the National Holocaust Museum and profiling VEOs for Janes Intelligence.