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. In 2018 he wrote 'Denied: The Rise and Fall of Climate Contrarianism', the only book about the UK's climate contrarian elite, its influence and its retreat. Richard frequently contributes to UK broadcast programmes and news media, including taking part in the BBC's 'Climate Change: The Facts' presented by Sir David Attenborough

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.

Dr Alison Doig

Dr Alison Doig

International Lead

With more than 25 years working at the intersect of the climate crisis, clean energy and sustainable development, Alison joined ECIU in June 2020, with a focus on the road to the COP26 climate negotiations to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Previously she led the climate change agenda for Christian Aid, including advocating for a fair and ambitious deal at COP21 in Paris in 2015, climate action in the Sustainable Development Goals and a shift in the UK and globally towards investment in low-carbon energy. She has also worked as public affairs officer with WWF-UK, and for Practical Action developing off-grid renewable energy projects in countries across the global south.

Her PhD from the University of Edinburgh was a study of rural energy systems in north India, and she is the author of a number of books and reports on clean energy and the climate crisis.

Sepi Golzari-Munro

Sepi Golzari-Munro

Deputy Director (Strategy) - on maternity leave from June 2020

Sepi joined ECIU in October 2018 as Deputy Director (Strategy). She brings over a decade of experience engaging closely with political and policy processes in the UK and internationally, and across Government, private and civil society sectors.

Prior to joining ECIU, she led the UK programme at climate change think tank, E3G; worked as an adviser to organisations as diverse as investment management firms and charities; and spent 7 years as a Whitehall official, serving under Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour ministers and across a variety of departments, including the Department of Energy and Climate Change. She also spent 2 years as Visiting Academic at King’s College London, Faculty of Law and has worked as Legal Researcher to former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Stephen Sedley.

Sepi holds an LLM from McGill University and an LLB from King’s College London. She is a Board Member of UK100 and sits as a Co-Optee on the JRCT Sustainable Futures Committee.

Kathy Grenville

Kathy Grenville

Media Assistant

Kathy joined the ECIU as a Media Assistant after completing her Masters in Science Communication at Imperial College London. Whilst studying, Kathy was involved in producing podcasts for I,SCIENCE and editing their magazine. Kathy has completed other internships at the Royal Institution and IBM. Prior to her Masters, she studied sociology at the University of Bath.

Alasdair Johnstone

Alasdair Johnstone

Parliamentary Engagement Officer

Alasdair joined ECIU (initially supporting the work of the Climate Assembly UK) after having built up over five years’ experience of working in Parliament, most recently for former Environment Minister Richard Benyon.

Prior to that he has worked in different capacities for three other MPs and for a start-up tech firm following his graduation from the University of Birmingham.

Zoe Kaplan

Zoe Kaplan

Finance and Operations Manager

Zoe joined ECIU in June 2020 as Operations and Finance Manager.

A chartered accountant, she brings over 25 years of experience within industry and non-profit organisations, in sectors ranging from windfarm and property development to technology and healthcare services.

She holds a MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, as part of which she researched the market impact of the energy certification of commercial buildings. She studied economics at the University of Manchester.

John Lang

John Lang

Analysis and Communications Officer

John joined ECIU following a five-year stint in management consultancy.

A qualified barrister and solicitor from New Zealand, John runs the environmentalist, a climate change and digital media blog, and Consult Climate, a sustainability consultancy.

He holds a Master of Laws in environmental science and policy from UCL and completed his undergraduate history and law degrees at the University of Otago.

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Head of Analysis

Jonny joined the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit in 2016. Before this he was employed at S&P Global Platts and as a Postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London. Jonny holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Imperial and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of York.

Jess Ralston

Jess Ralston

Analyst

Before joining the ECIU in April 2020, Jess worked for Ecuity Consulting LLP where she specialised in energy policy and communications and the Sustainable Energy Association where she held a policy advisor role particularly for energy efficiency and low carbon heating. She holds a BSc in Geological Sciences from the University of Leeds and MSc in Oceanography from the University of Southampton.

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.

Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith

Head of Engagement

After some time working in the advertising industry, Lindsay’s first role in the climate space was for WWF-UK, leading their climate change communications. Since then, her main roles have revolved around bringing together a breadth and depth of stakeholders, from health and faith, to business and development groups, for various means. In 2018 she worked with The Climate Coalition on their strategic and all-society approach to securing a legally binding net zero target. Following from the success of the campaign, she worked as a consultant for the European Climate Foundation, bringing together health and climate voices to build a strategic approach to securing strong clean air laws in the UK.