Maja Pawinska Sims 09 Jul 2018 // 6:18PM GMT
LONDON — Business campaign group London First has hired Muniya Barua as its first corporate affairs director. London First’s mission is “to make London the best city in the world in which to do for business”, and the newly-created role will bring together campaigns, communications, public affairs and events teams to boost the organisation’s profile with policymakers as Brexit approaches.
The non-profit represents over 200 employers, including Starbucks, Lloyds Banking Group, Airbnb, Berkeley Homes, PwC and Canary Wharf Group. Barua will start work at the organisation this September from public affairs and communications agency Newington, which she joined as director of corporate affairs in September 2016 before becoming managing director of corporate affairs this April.
At the same time, Marilise Saghbini, currently executive director, communications, has stepped up to become deputy corporate affairs director, while Emma Hutchinson, currently head of media relations, has been promoted to programme director, communications.
London First chief executive Jasmine Whitbread said: “As Brexit approaches, we have to keep policymakers focused on the need to grow the UK economy and create jobs – and that means investing in talent, housing and infrastructure. There are huge challenges ahead but Muniya will help ensure that London’s voice is clearly heard.”
Barua said: “I’m delighted to be joining London First at this critical time for the capital. I’m looking forward to working with Jasmine and the team to ensure the voice of our members is heard on the issues that matter to the long-term prosperity of the capital and for the whole of the country.”
Before Newington, Barua spent seven years at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), where she was director of corporate communications and head of news. She began her career as a business reporter at the Liverpool Daily Post before producing news for ITV News London, CNN and the BBC.
Newington chief executive Mark Glover said: “We were very sad to see Muniya leave and wish her all the best in her new role. Michelle Di Leo has already replaced her as managing director, corporate affairs and we were delighted to find someone with such fantastic agency experience as we continue to grow in the UK and internationally.” Di Leo has worked at MDL Strategy, Inhouse Communications, FleishmanHillard Fishburn and Teneo Strategy.