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About us

Global Leadership

Serving our clients around the world

Our global leadership are collectively focused on serving our clients and supporting our teams to help solve the next generation of public policy challenges.

Eric-Salama

Eric Salama

Global Chair

Eric knows the Verian business intimately, given its previous history as Kantar Public and his 18-year history as the Global CEO of Kantar, where he grew the business from the ground up into an operation turning over $4bn in annual revenues. Alongside his role at Verian, Eric is also a Board member at Morning Consult and a Board advisor at Phoenix Court VC.   
 
Eric has previously served as an advisor to the UK Government on e-commerce and business, and as a non-executive at DFID (The Department for International Development) and has played an integral role in helping many brands expand both locally and internationally. 

David-Milliband

David Miliband

Non-Executive Director

David Miliband is President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, a New York-based humanitarian non-governmental organisation. 

From 2007-2010 he was UK Foreign Secretary, and from 2001 to 2013 MP for South Shields. He was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit from 1997 to 2001, Minister for Schools 2002 to 2004, and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2006 to 2007.

Commenting on his appointment as Non-Executive Director to the Global Management Board at Verian, David added: “I love the purpose that sits at the heart of this business - delivering better outcomes for individuals, governments, society as a whole, and particularly for those whose voices may not otherwise be heard.”

Matthew-Postgate

Matthew Postgate

Non-Executive Director

Matthew Postgate has over 25 years’ experience managing the impact of digital technology. Previously, Matthew was the BBC’s Chief Technology and Product Officer with responsibility for building the corporation’s world leading mobile services. Notably, Matthew was also part of the leadership team that conceived and launched BBC iPlayer. He currently works in climate technology and is lead NEM at UK Strategic Command within the Ministry of Defence. As well as his Global Board role at Verian, Matthew is also a Non-Executive Director of Arqiva and M2A Media. Matthew is also a member of the Raspberry Pi foundation and a Fellow at the Zinc start-up incubator.

On his appointment as Non-Executive Director to the Global Management Board, Matthew commented: “I’ve been involved in the benefits that technology innovation and transformation can bring when truly aligned to human needs and challenges for over 20 years.”

MH

Dr Michelle Harrison

Global Chief Executive Officer

United Kingdom

Michelle has 25 years of experience as an international advisor and consultant to governments and multilaterals.

As the CEO of Kantar Public, she has led its evolution to Verian, to partner clients on the next generation of public policy challenges.

Previously Michelle was the founding CEO of WPP's Government and Public Sector Practice, which pioneered a paradigm shift in applied behaviour change and communications for public policy and scaled across every continent. 

She is a platform speaker and media commentator, and known for The Reykjavik Index, listed as 'best of Davos' at its launch in 2019.

Zarina-Ward

Zarina Ward

Global Chief People Officer 

United Kingdom

Zarina is Global Chief People Officer and a member of both the Executive Board and the  Management Board. 

She has deep experience and a strong track record of delivering results on a global basis,  embracing the nuances and complexities of designing and implementing effective people strategies across multiple markets. 

Zarina is passionate about Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) - not only fueled by lived experience - but in a quest to further her own deeper understanding of intersectionality and the complex forces that work to either propel, or hinder, high-performing and inclusive cultures.  

At Verian, Zarina leads on DEI globally to ensure it is a core pillar and driver for growth as part of our commitment to being a fully purpose-led business. 

Mark-HJ

Mark Hinton-Jones

Global Chief Financial Officer 

United Kingdom

Mark is Verian's Global  Chief Financial Officer and a member of both the Management and Executive Boards.

As CFO, Mark is focused on ensuring that Verian's global operations are efficient, effective and that through our work, we are delivering clear value back to our clients.  Mark ensures that from a financial and operational perspective, we are fully aligned to our purpose.​

Mark joined from VMLY&R Health where he held the position of Global Chief Operating Officer (COO). He brings 20 years of experience in professional services, having worked in various senior positions including as International COO of WPP’s Health Practice, Finance Director of GreyHealth group, and CFO and Managing Director of Kantar Health

Lucy-Birch

Lucy Birch

Global Chief Marketing Officer

United Kingdom

Lucy is Verian's Global Chief Marketing Officer and a member of the Executive Board.

In her role as CMO, Lucy’s focus is on Verian’s brand and marketing strategy, supporting our client delivery teams around the world and overseeing the launch of new services, technology products and expansion into new markets.  She is passionate about exploring and understanding the power of neurodiversity to deliver better outcomes for business and society.   

She joined from PwC where she led Strategic Marketing globally, having previously also transformed, built and led an award-winning Marketing and Brand function for PwC in the UK.   

Kathryn-Cooper-1

Kathryn Cooper

Global Head of Behavioural Change and Communications

United States

Kathryn joined Verian’s Global Executive Board as Global Head of Behavioural Change and Communications to build on Verian’s heritage of delivering ground-breaking behaviour change programmes. Previously she served as Executive Director at WPP’s Government and Public Sector Practice setting up operations in Australia and New Zealand, and ultimately moving to the US to deliver growth in the Federal Government market. 

She believes in the power of leveraging behavioural science and rich insight to shape communications and other interventions to achieve more effective policy outcomes in the communities we serve – creating a healthier, safer and more connected world. A Georgetown University graduate with a BSBA in International Business, she values the diversity of cultural backgrounds our experts around the world bring to our work. 

Shaheena-Daredia

Shaheena Daredia

General Counsel

United Kingdom

Shaheena joined Verian in 2022 as General Counsel and as an advisor to Verian’s Global Executive Board.  In her role she leads the legal department in developing legal strategies and providing legal advice aligned with Verian’s purpose and to support our business in protecting clients, people, citizens and communities that we engage with through the course of our work.

She brings considerable experience having worked as both a corporate and commercial lawyer across various jurisdictions and industries.  She began her career in private practice and then grew her career as in-house counsel for global companies.  Shaheena has an academic background in sociology and law, and she brings with her a deep understanding of the complexity of our work with governments, multilaterals and other public realm organisations around the world.

Nicky-Klein

Nicky Klein

Global Chief Data Officer 

United Kingdom

Nicky leads the development and innovation of the Verian data ecosystem, delivering gold standard evidence to drive the policy lifecycle. Leading Verian’s global Data Solutions team, she is focused on the combination of people and technology to meet complex information needs. 

A pioneer in enabling data driven decisions in complex environments, Nicky is passionate about representing seldom heard voices and the use of emerging technology to drive citizen representation in public evidence.  Nicky joined the Verian Executive team as Chief Data Officer in 2020, having previously been Chief Data Officer at Direct Line Group (FTSE 100) and prior to that COO at dunnhumby

With over 25 years in the data industry, Nicky has been recognised as Data and Analytics leader of the year 2020 (Data IQ) and as one of the UK’s 20 Women in Data in 2018.

Bern-Kreleger-1

Bern Kreleger

Chief Technology Officer  

The Netherlands

Bern joined Verian as Chief Technology Officer and is a member of the Global Executive Board.

Bern is a solution-oriented and creative technology leader, with over 20 years' experience in the data and insights industry. He has a strong focus on the transformational opportunities that technology can bring, recognizing that technology and business strategy go hand-in-hand.

At Verian, Bern's role is to ensure that our clients and our colleagues can benefit from technological capabilities that drive quality, efficiency, innovation and growth.

Roelof Jan Molemaker

Roelof Jan Molemaker 

Chief Executive Officer for Continental Europe

Belgium 

Roelof Jan leads Verian's European business from Brussels. He leads a multinational team of renowned experts across Europe that enables clients to access best-in-class knowledge, insights and advice to shape their future public policies.   

He has a vast experience in advising public sector clients in both international and national projects on a wide range of themes, and has an outstanding track record as a policy advisor to the EU Commission, international financing institutions and national public sector clients. Roelof-Jan brings decades of experience to the leadership of our European business from consultancy and research firms, overseeing our teams across the continent providing industry-leading evidence, consulting and innovation across the region. 

Before joining Verian in 2019 he was leading the European Institutions market for Ecorys across the different countries.

Kathy-ODonoghue

Kathy O'Donoghue

Chief Executive Officer for Asia Pacific  

Australia

Kathy is CEO of Verian Asia Pacific (APAC). With over 20 years’ experience, she is a leading advisor to governments across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, specialising in the development and evaluation of behaviour change strategies in areas that tackle some of society’s most complex challenges (e.g. domestic and family violence, cancer prevention, mental health, disability, road safety, aged care).  

Kathy is Verian’s global thought leader in behaviour change, including the application of commitment theory and amplification strategies. Kathy leads the Verian Behaviour Change Academy globally, a residential professional learning programme for senior government communicators in Australia.

Ingo-Schier

Ingo Schier

Chief Executive Officer 

Germany

Ingo joined the Global Executive Board in September 2020 as Chief Executive Officer for Germany. At Verian, Ingo leads a top team of researchers and consultants, generating insights into human attitudes and behaviour, to improve the public realm. He also manages the Joint Venture of the leading German political polling business, Infratest dimap

In 2021, he set up the Public Innovation Data Hub, and is in charge of managing the partnership with start-up businesses to deliver AI-powered solutions to our clients. 

Ingo graduated from the University of Applied Sciences, Rheinland-Palatine, completed his MBA at the University of South Alabama, and an Executive Leadership programme at INSEAD. For three years he was a member of the Effie Advisory Board and Jury in Germany.

He joined from Nielsen where he was Head of the Executive Board in Germany, overseeing their market and media research businesses for over six years. 

Craig-Watkins

Craig Watkins

Chief Executive Officer  

United Kingdom

Craig has over thirty years’ experience of working for, and with the public sector. At Verian, Craig leads a world class team of researchers and specialist consultants focused on understanding human behaviour and using that insight and evidence to deliver data-driven problem solving to improve public policy making and society.   

Prior to leading the UK team at Verian, he was a senior civil servant in the UK government and is well used to navigating complex and politically sensitive environments. Following 25 years in the public sector Craig led business development for EY’s UK Government and Public Sector Practice.  

Craig has a deep interest in understanding human behaviour, unlocking social mobility and the power of education to change lives. As someone with an ADHD brain and coming from a dyslexic family, Craig is passionate about championing the power that diversity, in all its forms brings, to organisations and society. 

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