About those elected to the Progress strategy board, in September 2014, to serve a two-year term.

Parliamentarians’ section

Gloria De Piero MP
Gloria De Piero has been member of parliament for Ashfield since 2010. Before her election Gloria was GMTV’s political editor and previously worked as a journalist on the Politics Show at the BBC. In October 2010, Gloria was appointed as a shadow minister in the Department of Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport team. In October 2011, she became a shadow Home Office minister, and in October 2013 was appointed shadow equalities minister.

Oona King
Oona King is a member of the House of Lords and a diversity executive at Channel 4. She was member of parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow 1997-2005 and became parliamentary private secretary to the secretary of state for trade and industry. During her time in the Commons she founded the all-party parliamentary group on genocide prevention and received a commendation from the UN Security Council’s Expert Panel for her group’s work on peacekeeping. She campaigned to be selected as Labour’s mayoral candidate for the London 2012 mayoral election.

Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson is a member of the House of Lords and president of Policy Network. He was the member of parliament for Hartlepool from 1992-2004 and one of the key figures behind the New Labour project. He held a number of cabinet positions including secretary of state for trade and industry and secretary of state for Northern Ireland before leaving parliament to become the European Commissioner for Trade. He returned to the cabinet for a third time after being made a life peer and served as secretary of state for business, innovation and skills from 2008-2010.

Phil Wilson MP
Phil Wilson has been member of parliament for Sedgefield since 2007 and is currently an opposition whip. Prior to becoming an MP Phil ran a PR firm and worked in the civil service. After being elected to Tony Blair’s former seat Phil has been parliamentary private secretary to Vernon Coaker in the Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families and then to Andy Burnham as secretary of state for health.

This section was uncontested.

Councillors’ section

Theo Blackwell
Theo Blackwell is a Labour councillor in the London borough of Camden representing Gospel Oak ward. He has been the cabinet member for finance since May 2010 and formerly served as deputy leader of the council and regeneration lead for the borough. He is also the campaign manager for Next Gen Skills, a campaign that works improve computer-programming skills.

Rachel Hodson
Rachel Hodson is a councillor in Doncaster and a member of Don Valley CLP.  She works in Caroline Flint MP’s constituency office as a caseworker. In May 2011, Rachel was vice-chair of the schools, children and young people overview and scrutiny panel and is also the press and communications officer for Doncaster Labour group. Rachel was recently elected chair of her CLP, and is leading on press and communications for Labour’s candidate for the police and crime commissioner election in south Yorkshire.

Florence Nosegbe
Florence Nosegbe is a Labour councillor in the London borough of Lambeth, representing Brixton Hill ward.  She has held a number of key positions, including chair of the housing scrutiny committee, deputy cabinet member for communities and young people, cabinet member for culture, sport and the 2012 Olympics, and special representative on tackling youth violence. She led the campaign for Lambeth council’s first youth mayor elections in 2007 and London Councils’ ‘Be a Councillor’ campaign.  Florence has also worked with the LGA Labour Group on the ‘Next Generation’ programme for talented councillors.

Mandy Telford
Mandy Telford is a Labour councillor on Cumbria county council and a former special adviser to Tessa Jowell. Before that she headed up Unite’s flagship anti-bullying programme ‘Dignity at work’ and was the Labour Students president of the NUS during the 2004 top-up fees debate. She is an experienced media performer and speaks regularly at events for Progress and CLPs. She is married and has two children.

The full results in the councillors’ section are available to download here. Turnout: 30.4%

Members’ section

Paul Brant
Paul Brant was deputy leader and cabinet member for finance at Liverpool council. He was elected as a councillor on Liverpool city council in 1995 and became deputy leader in 2010 and then deputy mayor in 2011, stepping down in 2013. Previously, he was a member of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority; opposition spokesperson on the environment at Liverpool city council; a board member of Ropewalks; and a director of Liverpool Groundwork Trust.

Jo-Ann Robertson
Jo-Ann Robertson is the managing director of corporate and public affairs at Ketchum UK. She previously spent eight years working for Weber Shandwick rising to become the head of corporate and public affairs. She began her career as a television reporter in Scotland and political activist for the Labour party.

Joan Ryan
Joan Ryan was the Labour member of parliament for Enfield North from 1997 to 2010 and was a minister in the Home Office. Since leaving parliament, Joan has worked as chief executive of the Global Tamil Forum, as deputy director of the No to AV national referendum campaign, and now as policy and communications consultant with GTF and a number of other organisations.  In 2013, she was re-selected to contest the Enfield North seat at the next general election.

Hopi Sen
Hopi Sen is a general factotum and political hanger-on. After a few years in fast-moving consumer goods, he discovered that business was both difficult and dull and became a Labour party councillor, press officer, communications head and suchlike. Leaving the Labour party staff shortly before Tony Blair did (the two facts were unrelated, claims Blair), Hopi became a speechwriter, blogger, and third rate political pundit, so you might hear him on radio when they can’t find anyone better, telling people more electorally successful than he is that they’re doing it all wrong, and should do what he says instead. Widely regarded as a genius, it is of no significance that Hopi wrote this himself, using the third person.

The full results in the members’ section are available to download here. Turnout: 16.8%

Coopted members

Patrick Diamond
Patrick Diamond is a former director of Progress and served on the strategy board from 2012-4. He is currently vice-chair of Policy Network and lecturer in public policy at Queen Mary University of London. He  is also a former elected member of Southwark council. He is the former head of policy planning at 10 Downing Street and senior policy adviser to the prime minister. Patrick spent 10 years as a special adviser in various roles at the heart of British government, including at 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet Office, the Northern Ireland Office, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission where he served as group director of strategy.

Victoria Groulef
Victoria Groulef is parliamentary candidate for Reading West and former leader of Wycombe Labour group. She served on the south-east regional board of the Labour party and has spoken at various Progress events. Victoria is a small business owner and hard working campaigner.

Susan Hitch
Susan Hitch manages Lord Sainsbury of Turville’s pro bono programme and is a board member of Policy Network, the Centre for Cities, the Institute for Government and the Centre for European Reform. She is also a critic and broadcaster on arts and culture.


Strategy board terms of reference

The strategy board will:

  • – meet three times each year;
  • – approve Progress’ overall political strategy;
  • – approve the appointment of Progress’ chair, vice-chair and honorary president for a full parliamentary term;
  • – approve any endorsements made by Progress in internal party elections;
  • – have a representative on any interview panel constituted to appoint a new director of Progress;
  • – have the right to co-opt up to three additional members.

Once approved, the honorary president, chair, and vice-chairs. The director of Progress will be the secretary to the board. Staff nominated by the director will also be able to attend meetings, as will the directors of Progress Ltd.

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