Our People

Kirsty McNeill

Founder
Kirsty McNeill is Themba’s founder, but no longer works with us as she is full time as Save the Children’s Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns. Before that she spent three years as a senior Special Adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, leading Number 10’s work on stakeholder management, equalities, faith, non-traditional communications and political speechwriting.

She came to Downing Street having led the policy and influencing work of DATA, Bono and Bob Geldof’s advocacy organisation, in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the EU institutions.

Before joining DATA she was on the board of Make Poverty History, writing the coalition’s flagship policy report, serving as a national media spokesperson and leading the delivery of a quarter of a million strong rally in Edinburgh.  At the same time, she managed the Stop AIDS Campaign, successfully negotiating a commitment to universal access to AIDS treatment from the 2005 G8.

Between 2011 and 2015 she served on the board of one of the biggest and most successful political training programmes in Britain, delivering intensive residential trainings for commentators, campaign strategists and candidates.

Today she c0-chairs the Jo Cox Foundation, is on the board of the Holocaust Educational Trust and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. She is a regular public commentator on power, politics and policy, having written for outlets including the Telegraph, Observer and New Statesman. You can find a collection of her writing at www.kirstymcneill.com. She tweets at @kirstyjmcneill.

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