The Team

Richard Black

Richard Black

Director

Richard Black studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University before joining BBC World Service in 1985 as a studio manager. He subsequently worked there as producer and presenter on a wide range of programming including current affairs, science, health and sport, and as Science Correspondent. He also ran an independent radio production company specialising in health and medicine. As BBC Environment Correspondent, his reporting assignments included many UN summits including five UNFCCC meetings and Rio+20. He reported from the field on issues such as carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, amphibian conservation, whaling, forestry, aquaculture and earthquake prediction. From 2012 Richard was Director of Communications for the Global Ocean Commission prior to setting up ECIU. 

Clare Brennan

Clare Brennan

Operations Manager

Before joining ECIU Clare worked as Director of Operations at the Global Ocean Commission. Clare joined the Commission from the Mayor of London’s office, where her role as Senior International Relations Officer entailed providing advice and support to the Mayor as a means of delivering and shaping his international policy agenda. Clare also spent a year seconded to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Secretariat as Senior Coordinator, building relationships with cities to help facilitate the exchange of climate change best practice policies. Clare has over 20 years’ experience in international affairs, working in city governments, and on environmental and educational projects.

Peter Chalkley

Peter Chalkley

Deputy Director

Peter Chalkley joined the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit from communications consultancy Fishburn. He has built up 10 years of experience advising a broad range of corporate and public sector clients on communications strategy, media relations and stakeholder engagement. During this time he has worked across a variety of sectors and issues, from communicating the facts around employing members of the Reserve Forces to raising public awareness of key health issues.

Matt Finch

Matt Finch

Business and Economics Analyst

Before joining ECIU, Matt spent three years working for a number of civil society organisations, including CARE International's Climate Change centre of expertise, the Fleming Policy Centre and Green Cross France. However the vast majority - 10 years - of his working life has been spent in the private sector. His main achievement there was setting up a recruitment company from scratch and turning it into a £7m success, and for this he appeared in the Who's Who of Britain's Business Leaders. Matt has a Masters degree in International Politics from the University of Surrey and an honours degree in Business Studies from the University of Sheffield. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors.

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Energy Analyst

Jonny joined the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit from Platts, where he was responsible for analysing and reporting on European gas and electricity markets. Prior to this he was a researcher at Imperial College London, developing new materials for low-cost solar cells. Jonny holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Imperial College London and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of York.

Sam Richards

Sam Richards

Head of Strategy

Sam joined ECIU from Nissan’s External and Government Affairs team, where he led their electric vehicles work in the UK. He has worked in a range of roles in Westminster, from policy research for backbench MPs to speechwriting for a Cabinet Minister, and has experience of working on EU projects and in the US Congress. Sam graduated in PPE from Durham in 2012.

George Smeeton

George Smeeton

Head of Communications

Before joining ECIU, George worked as a media relations manager for WWF-UK, covering a range of issues including energy and climate change as well as food, transport, finance and economy, sustainable business and WWF’s corporate partnerships. He was also seconded to WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative (GCEI), and was media lead for their recent global campaign, Seize Your Power. Prior to WWF, George worked for communications consultancy Luther Pendragon, and before that in the parliamentary office of Bath MP Don Foster, where he was employed after completing a masters in politics at York University.