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Ross Hawkins

Ross Hawkins joined Hawthorn from the BBC, where he was a political correspondent, working for its flagship programmes on television and radio. After beginning his career as a newspaper reporter, he spent almost twenty years in broadcasting, covering general election campaigns, Parliament and the impact of political decisions on industry.

He advises on public affairs and corporate communications. Ross graduated from Oxford University.

Mark Burr

Mark Burr leads the Public Affairs team at Hawthorn, covering government relations, political engagement and campaigns, policy development and messaging, and regulation. He advises individuals and corporates on how to achieve positive policy outcomes and navigate and understand the political climate, putting this insight to effective use on behalf of clients.

Mark uses political intelligence, insights, and his extensive networks to develop and drive political strategies. He builds effective and creative campaigns and enjoys using a variety of political and media techniques.

Prior to joining Hawthorn, Mark worked at another consultancy, and before that, he ran News Corp and News UK’s EU and UK public affairs and government engagement.

Mark has a keen interest in understanding what motivates people to change their minds and how the media and technology are transforming the world.

Outside of work, Mark loves cycling, running, and tennis, and he is an avid reader of crime and spy novels.

Sarah Sands

Sarah Sands joined Hawthorn from the BBC, where she was editor of the Today programme, Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme. She was previously editor of the London Evening Standard, the first woman to edit The Sunday Telegraph and deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph.

Sarah is the Deputy Chair of the British Council, was Chair of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for G7 for 2021 and is on the council for 2022. She is a Trustee of the Science Museum, Partner at Hawthorn Advisors and Board Member of Channel 4 and the Berkeley Group. She is a Patron of the National Citizen Service, an Associate at the IWM and former Trustee of Index on Censorship.

Sarah is an honorary fellow of Goldsmiths College, University of London, Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge and a visiting fellow to the Reuters Institute.