APCO moves in for Foreign Office media chief Simon McGee
Lobby journalist-turned civil servant takes first agency role.
Boris Johnson’s press secretary has joined APCO as an executive director in the agency’s Global Solutions practice.
Simon McGee heads into public affairs after approaching three years as press secretary to the foreign secretary and head of news at the Foreign Office. He took up the FCO job in 2015 when Phillip Hammond was foreign secretary.
McGee has also worked for the Department for International Development and the Department for Transport and has led HM Diplomatic Service's worldwide media operation. Prior to joining the civil service in 2011, he worked as a journalist for the Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday and The Yorkshire Post.
The senior spin doctor is the first heavyweight public affairs hire for a while at APCO, which used to employ senior industry Darren Murphy and Razi Rahman. It comes 18 months after former Insight Consulting Group managing director James Tyrrell was named as the new chair of APCO’s UK health care practice.
Based in APCO’s London office, McGee will help lead the Global Solutions practice internationally, working in partnership with Frank Lowenstein, who recently joined to head up the practice from Washington D.C.
"APCO’s mission helping clients to succeed in high stakes international challenges, combined with the immense talent of its people and its relentlessly positive culture, are what drew me to joining,” said McGee.
"I am thrilled to have been invited to help lead the APCO Global Solutions practice and cannot wait to put my skills, experience and effort into delivering the very best outcomes for our clients. Helping clients successfully navigate reputational challenges, investment opportunities, crises and complex geopolitical issues is at the core of what we do at APCO."
APCO global CEO Brad Staples said: "Simon brings deep insights into the workings of government communications, extensive media relationships, a proven track record of building international communication networks and the valuable perspective of a former parliamentary lobby correspondent. We are delighted to welcome him to APCO and look forward to seeing the Global Solutions team grow further under his and Frank’s leadership."