London's Ambassadors

Sarah Bevan

Director, Planning & Development

Sarah is an experienced planner with twenty years’ experience working in the private sector in London. The majority of her career has been within planning consultancy, however she also spent six years working for a major developer, which provided invaluable insight into the commercial and construction aspects of development. She has a deep understanding of development management and planning policy, together with specialist experience in housing, urban regeneration, urban design and heritage planning.

At BusinessLDN, Sarah leads on all their planning policy advocacy and represented members throughout the London Plan examination in public. She works closely with the GLA and London Boroughs to bring together the public and private sectors to help foster a positive planning climate for development in the capital. She also leads on BusinessLDN’s high streets, industrial and logistics, and public realm work.

Sarah has a BA(hons) Degree in Urban Development and Policy from the University of the West of England and a MA Degree in Town Planning from the University of Westminster. She is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Councillor Elizabeth Campbell

Vice Chair of London Councils and Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Councillor Elizabeth Campbell was the portfolio holder on London Councils for Schools & Children’s Services (2020 - 2021) and now serves as the Lead for Business, Economy & Culture. These roles involve advocating for member authorities to receive the support they need to do the best possible job for their residents. 

Elizabeth was elected Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in July 2017, in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tragedy. She has been a Councillor since 2006 and previously served as Cabinet Member for Family & Children’s Services (2012 - 2017) and Education & Libraries (2010 - 2012).  

Elizabeth has taken a leading role in a number of local government networks, identifying strategic actions to support the capital’s economic recovery and future growth. She was Chair of Central London Forward until 2022, recently appointed by the Mayor of London as a Board Member of the London Economic Action Partnership and the Cultural Leadership Board.    

Born and based in Hong Kong for 25 years, Elizabeth graduated from Oxford University with a Master's degree in Modern History. 

Laura Citron

CEO, London & Partners

Laura Citron is CEO of London & Partners, the business growth and destination agency for London. 

Laura leads London & Partners in its mission to create economic growth that is resilient, sustainable and inclusive. She runs inward investment and trade for the capital, supporting thousands of innovative businesses to grow in London and internationally. She convenes London’s tourism industry to develop the destination and win visitors and events, including the Let’s Do London campaign and VisitLondon. Laura is a global advocate for London, regularly appearing in international media and events.   

Laura has been CEO of London & Partners since 2017, leading through both Brexit and covid. Before that she spent nearly a decade at WPP, where she was Managing Director of the Government & Public Sector Practice. 

Laura is a proud Londoner, has a Masters degree in Economics from University College London and has lived and worked in Brussels, Moscow and Germany. 

Dee Corsi

Chief Executive of New West End Company

Dee is Chief Executive of New West End Company, a leading business partnership for London’s West End, representing the people and organisations behind the world’s largest retail and leisure destination. It represents 600 businesses across London’s West End with a property portfolio of £3.5bn and annual turnover of £10bn.

Dee was previously the Chief Operating Officer of New West End Company for five years, delivering place management, inward investment, destination marketing, insights, sustainability and advocacy services to over 80 streets in and around Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Mayfair with 150,000 employees. Dee has led on key business support for the District, working in partnership with the public and private sectors to deliver world-class street operations, an unrivalled customer insights programme and the creation, development and implementation of our district-wide Road To Zero Sustainability Action Plan.

Prior to joining New West End Company, Dee worked as Head of Commercial Finance at Bauer Media, having spent ten years as a qualified accountant in consumer publishing.

Ruth Duston

Managing Director, Primera Corporation

Ruth is one of the UK’s leading experts in the Business Improvement District (BID) sector, with a 30-year career that has included the development of many successful place-based partnerships to drive urban growth. To that end Ruth has leveraged over £80m of private sector funding, which has been the catalyst for generating more than £6bn of further investment. Ruth is Chair of the Management Committee for the Guards Museum and Wellington Barracks, Chair of The Passage Trading Services Board, a member of The Goring Hotel School Management Committee, and a member of the NLA’s New London Sounding Board. In 2018 Ruth was awarded an OBE for Services to Business and an OC, a Belgian honour, following her fundraising for the Flanders Field Memorial Garden which opened in 2014.

Robert Evans

Joint Managing Partner, Argent LLP and Partner, Related Argent

Robert joined Argent in 2001. He became a Director in 2004, a Partner in 2012 and is now Joint Managing Partner along with Nick Searl. Robert is CEO of the King’s Cross Estate and sits on the main King’s Cross Partnership (investor) Board. He is also one of the Related Argent Partners charged with securing new development opportunities. He is a member of the Trust that set up and runs the King’s Cross Academy School and is Chair of Governors. Robert is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a member of the New London Architecture (NLA) Sounding Board, the Joint Planning Law Conference committee and the CBI London Council.

Robert Gordon Clark

Senior Advisor NLA, Partner and Senior Advisor at London Communications Agency

Robert founded London Communications Agency in 1999 which he ran until 2021. He is now part time there, handling a small range of clients including Brentford FC, British Land, Museum of London and Tottenham Hotspur FC. Additionally, Robert is a senior advisor to NLA and currently interim communications lead for Oxford University Development, a JV between Oxford University and Legal & General Capital.

Councillor Georgia Gould

Chair of London Councils and Leader of the Council, Camden

Georgia was appointed Leader of Camden Council in May 2017 and has served as a Councillor for Kentish Town Ward since 2010.

Georgia studied at Camden School for Girls and has lived in the Borough for most of her adult life. Georgia studied History and Politics at Oxford, and graduated with a master's degree in global politics from the London School of Economics. At the age of 24 she was elected a Labour councillor for the Kentish Town ward of Camden in 2010 and prior to becoming leader she held cabinet roles responsible for young people, economic growth and adult social care.

Georgia has a particular interest in youth politics and published a book called Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future. It draws on two years spent travelling around the UK interviewing young people.

Georgia is also Chair of London Councils, Member of London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) Board, Chair of Euston Strategic Board, Co-chair of Skills for London Taskforce and a Governor of William Ellis School.

Philip Graham

Executive Director, Good Growth, Greater London Authority (GLA)

Philip Graham was appointed as Executive Director, Good Growth and joined the GLA in January 2020.

Phil joined the GLA from the National Infrastructure Commission where he was Chief Executive. Prior to that he was Head of the Independent Airports Commission after holding two Deputy Director roles in the Department for Transport (DfT) – responsible in one for the government’s high speed rail strategy and in the other for transport security (including work on the Olympics) and research. Phil had a number of team leader roles in the Civil Service before that. Before he joined the Civil Service Phil set up and ran an independent theatre company.

Alison Griffin

Chief Executive of London Councils

Alison Griffin took up her role as Chief Executive of London Councils - the cross-party organisation which is the collective of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation – in July 2021. She works with the Leaders Committee to deliver their agreed Shared Ambitions; promoting borough and partner collaboration for the benefit of London and Londoners.

Before joining London Councils, Alison was Chief Executive at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council from July 2017- July 2021. She was instrumental in developing Southend 2050, the resident and stakeholder led ambition for the Borough.

Prior to that Alison was director of finance and corporate services at the London Borough of Bexley (2014-2017) and has also worked at the London Borough of Camden (2004-2014) where amongst other roles she was Assistant Director Communities and Deputy Director of Finance. She is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Chris Hayward

Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation

Throughout his career Chris Hayward has worked in the construction, aviation, infrastructure and global events management sectors.

He is currently a Director at leading communications agency JBP, a Director at professional services consulting firm WSP in the UK and Director of Hayward Properties Limited.

He is a former Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire and Dorset County Councils.

As Policy Chairman, he will effectively operate as the political Leader of the City Corporation.

Rob Heasman

CEO, Earls Court Development Company

Rob Heasman was appointed as CEO of The Earls Court Development Company in November 2020. Prior to this, Heasman spent a decade at Lendlease including two years as Managing Director of Euston Over Station Development, as development partner for the Department for Transport and Network Rail, bringing forward plans for the UK's most ambitious station destination right in the centre of the capital. Prior to that, he served as Project Director for the flagship Elephant Park development in Elephant & Castle, where he delivered on the early vision to create a place full of life.

The Earls Court Development Company is an Earl’s Court based business, responsible for driving the regeneration of the, circa 40 acres, former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site. ECDC has a vision ‘to bring the wonder back to Earls Court’ with a masterplan which opens up the site to the local community, celebrates the legacy of world-class ingenuity, creates a better piece of city, and addresses the climate emergency with an ambition to go beyond net zero. ECDC are committed to delivering innovative buildings and spaces that are well connected, whilst enhancing the environment, generating job opportunities and other benefits for the local area, as well as creating social and economic value.

Kathrin Hersel

Executive Director, Almacantar

Responsible for the development functions at Almacantar, a design-led development and investment company which is behind some of London’s most notorious buildings, Kathrin draws on her extensive experience of mixed-use schemes in London and her in-depth understanding of the market to provide bespoke solutions for complex projects.

As Property Director she handles the management of the company’s entire portfolio and oversees all development activities including site assembly, planning, design, construction, residential marketing and sales.

Prior to joining Almacantar in 2012, Kathrin was Development Director at Land Securities where she worked on a range of transformational developments including One New Change, Wellington House and 20 Fenchurch Street.

Kathrin is a Chartered Surveyor, Board Member of the Westminster Property Association and Trustee of the Architecture Foundation. She also spearheads the Almacantar Studio Award, which supports young artists in the early stages of their careers.

Shravan Joshi MBE

Chairman of Planning & Transportation, City of London Corporation

Shravan Joshi has served since 2018 as an elected member at the City Corporation and has held various positions including, Deputy Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee & Deputy Chairman of the Property Investment Board.

Shravan is presently the Chairman of the Planning & Transportation Committee and a Member of the Policy and Resources Committee. He is also the Policy Lead for High Growth Markets for the City of London Corporation.

Shravan started his career in investment banking but moved to the energy sector in 1999. He specialised in trade structuring and supply chain contracts into Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Far East and North America. He has worked with several new energy technology companies, and he advises and consults on commercialisation of new innovations and solutions.

Katie Kopec

Head of Strategic Development Consulting

Katie Kopec is one of the foremost development advisors in the industry having achieved a wide range of complex developments for a range of clients across the world.  Katie’s work involves advising on land use options and disposal and acquisition of sites for corporate landowners, developers and public authorities. With experience of over 35 years, she has been involved with a number of large scale urban regeneration schemes across the UK, with a particular focus on London and regional cities like Manchester and Internationally in Dubai, Jeddah, Hong Kong, Beijing and numerous Continental European Cities including Hafen City in Hamburg.

Nicola Mathers

Chief Executive, Future of London

Nicola joined Future of London in March 2017 as Head of Networks and became CEO in April 2019. She guided the quality and growth of FoLs professional development offer, co-ordinated research notably on housing our ageing population and now leads on strategy, business development and partnerships. Nicola is passionate about the role of the built environment to improve lives, address inequality and to build the capacity of individuals and teams to achieve this aim.

Previously, Nicola was Head of Cities Programme at Design Council Cabe, leading the design support offer and helping clients to achieve well-designed places. She oversaw the delivery of Design Review, training and expert advice for public-, private- and voluntary-sector clients. She also led the development of Cabe’s Inclusive Environments programme, supporting built environment professionals to deliver buildings and spaces that welcome everyone.

Before Cabe merged with the Design Council, Nicola worked in the CABE Space team. She managed and developed national toolkits and best practice guidance to support local authorities, communities and other public sector organisations in the planning, design and management of the public realm. This included climate change adaptation and community engagement.

Nick McKeogh

Co-Founder & Chief Executive, NLA

Nick is a Trustee of The London Society, a Director of Pipers Model Makers and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

He studied Civil & Environmental Engineering at UCL before joining his father at Pipers in 1996, creating an interactive system for the City of London model and supporting the delivery of the London Stand at MIPIM in his early career. He subsequently ran the model-making business for seven years and has managed the London Stand at MIPIM from 1998 until 2020.

He created public exhibitions ‘London: The New Millennium’ with NatWest in 1997, “New City Architecture” in 2004 for Sir Robert Finch during his Lord Mayoralty and “The Developing City” in 2012 on behalf of Lord Mayor Sir Michael Bear.

Nick led the transformation of the London Architecture Biennale into the annual London Festival of Architecture and subsequent integration into NLA in 2019.

He established The London Real Estate Forum (LREF) in Berkeley Square in 2013 and continues to oversee the event.

Benjamin O'Connor

Director, NLA

Benjamin is a Director of NLA in charge of Galleries, Programme and Events. Benjamin started as Director of NLA at The City Centre in September 2015 developing several new streams of activity including a Learning programme, Exhibitions and Public Events. Shortly after the Lord Mayor opened The City Centre to the public in 2016, Benjamin took on the role as Director of the One City project, a digital platform promoting the best the City has to offer to City workers.

Previously Benjamin was Head of Operations at the Garden Museum which is where he developed his interest and expertise in green infrastructure and public space. Prior to his role at the Garden Museum, Benjamin worked across the museums and heritage sector, including White Cube and Dulwich Picture Gallery. He trained in Fine Art to MA level at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, has curated a number of exhibitions, been a Features Editor and sits on a number of committees for Cultural Development, Sustainability and Diversity in London.

Rob Perrins

Chief Executive, Berkeley Group

Rob joined Berkeley in 1994 and has been Chief Executive since 2009. Under his management the company has increased its focus on regenerating large scale brownfield sites and now delivers around 10% of all new homes in London. 

Rob oversees Berkeley’s sustainable business strategy, including industry leading climate action, nature recovery and social value programmes. He advocates a holistic approach to placemaking, firmly based on community engagement and partnership working with local stakeholders.

He has been Chair of Trustees of the Berkeley Foundation since its launch in 2011. This independent charity works in partnership with the Berkeley Group and the voluntary sector to strengthen local communities and help disadvantaged young people achieve their potential.

Deputy Mayor Jules Pipe CBE

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills

Jules Pipe is working on key priorities for the Mayor, including: implementation of the London Plan, major and community-led regeneration projects across the capital, building a skills system that properly addresses the needs of Londoners and the economy, and ensuring London’s infrastructure supports good growth, meets the needs of London’s communities and makes London a cleaner, greener and smarter City. 

Jules has unrivalled knowledge of London government, becoming the first directly elected mayor of Hackney in 2002 and serving as Chair of London Councils from 2010 until he joined the Mayor’s team in 2016.

Geoff Raw

Managing Director, Be First

Geoff joined Be First as Managing Director in May 2023.  Previously he was Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council for 8 years having served as their Strategic Director of Place since 2010.  He has extensive experience in planning and regeneration, sustainable development, housing investment and fund management.  He has worked for a wide variety of organisations including the London Development Agency/Greater London Authority, the Housing Corporation (now Homes England) and HM Treasury.  He is passionate about working with communities and investors to create thriving, environmentally sustainable and inclusive places and spaces and draws on experience from the master planning of the Wembley Stadium area to a partnership with U&I and the award-winning Brighton Circus Street development.

Councillor Darren Rodwell

London Councils Deputy Chair and Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing and Planning and Leader of Barking and Dagenham

Darren is currently the Deputy Chair of London Councils, having served on the Executive since 2016 – first as the Executive Member for City Development and now as the Executive Member for Housing and Planning. In his current role he has prioritised the delivery of truly affordable housing in the capital, fire safety, reducing homelessness and reducing the use of temporary accommodation.

Darren became the Leader of Barking & Dagenham Council in 2014. Since then, he has established the borough as one of the most important growth opportunities in London. Darren has focused on moving beyond the borough’s industrial past, bringing the community forward as the borough embraces its identity as one of the most forward- thinking parts of London. Under his leadership, the borough has undergone a programme of sustainable regeneration, welcoming world class universities, and groundbreaking startups.

Barking and Dagenham is to become home to the capital’s biggest film studio operating across two sites, and the City of London’s iconic wholesale markets.

Darren is also a member of the Homes for Londoners Board, the Arts Council for London and since September 2019, Vice Chair on the LGA Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board.

Both Darren and the Council have won numerous awards, including LGC Council of the Year for 2018 and the LGIU Leader of the Year Award in 2019. Darren was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education by Coventry University in November 2021, a reflection of his efforts to expand the educational opportunities available to Barking and Dagenham residents.

Jace Tyrrell

Chief Executive, Opportunity London

During a 25-year career in urban regeneration, destination development and campaigning in the UK and Australia, Jace has led successful industry and precinct partnerships and holds the world record for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). His recent tenures include CEO of New West End Company (London’s West End), setting up Australia’s first BID across Sydney’s Western Harbour and incoming CEO for Opportunity London, the public/private partnership seeking to secure the next £100bn for London. Jace has represented thousands of businesses and employees, secured millions in funding and successfully advocated for billions into capital investment.

His entire career has been spent in building meaningful collaborations and driving value across cities with businesses, working with Government at all levels and cultivating local communities.

Jace is passionate about sustainable and innovative cities, commercial real estate, and the retail & leisure sectors. He thrives in leading award-winning teams and working with purpose driven businesses. He is an Alumnus of the London Business School and Griffith University, Australia.