Our Advisory Committee draws on a wide pool of highly talented individuals to provide intellectual vitality and advice to our organisation.
Billy is former General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union. He also serves as vice chair of Trade Union Liaison Organisation and vice chair of the National Policy Forum of the Labour Party. Billy is a member of the TUC Executive Committee, TUC General Council and is spokesperson for the TUC on Europe. He was an active supporter of the Yes Campaign during the 2011 referendum on the Alternative Vote.
Deborah has more than twenty years experience of providing clients with research based strategic advice. In that time she has worked with global businesses, major charities, international governments and senior politicians. Before co-founding Britain Thinks, she jointly ran the Chime Research and Engagement Division. She was also pollster to Gordon Brown, firstly as Chancellor of the Exchequer, then as Prime Minister.
Jonathan Porritt CBE
Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, Jonathan is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member; chairman of UNED-UK (1993-96); chairman of Sustainability South West, the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development (1999-2001); a Trustee of WWF UK (1991-2005), a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency (1999-2008).
Leading authority on comparative politics and electoral and democratic reform in the UK and around the world. He is a Reader in Comparative Politics at Reading University. His first book, The Politics of Electoral Reform: Changing the Rules of Democracy was published by Cambridge University Press in early 2010. His second book, A Citizen’s Guide to Electoral Reform was published by in 2011.
Esther is a lay member of the Press Complaints Commission. From 1999 to 2009 she was a non-executive director of The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) and was appointed a Fellow of SCDI for outstanding service. She was a founder member of the Scottish Further Education Funding Council where she was Vice Chair from 1999 till 2001 and Chair from 2001 until the Council was wound up in October 2005. From 2000 until 2004, she was Chair of NHS Fife and served as a member of Court at the University of Dundee from 2001 till 2007. From 1994 until 1999, Esther was actively involved in the campaign to secure Scotland’s Parliament, as Co-ordinator for the Scottish Constitutional Convention and, at the invitation of the then Secretary of State for Scotland, Donald Dewar, on the Consultative Steering Group that developed standing orders for the Parliament.
Esther has a long standing commitment to the social and economic development of Scotland, developed during her appointments with the Scottish Development Agency, the SCDI and the Scottish Community Education Council where she was Chief Executive from 1990 to 1993.