Just months before Big Brother Watch’s fifth anniversary, we can today announce the new leadership team, following the departure of Nick Pickles, who left the campaign in May to join Twitter as UK Public Policy Manager.
Emma Carr is to take up the role of Director, whilst Renate Samson is to become Chief Executive.
Emma Carr joined Big Brother Watch (BBW) in February 2012 as Deputy Director and became Acting Director in May 2014. Over the course of the last two and a half years Emma has worked hard to challenge policies that threaten our civil liberties, privacy and freedom: making an active contribution to the organisation’s research, frequently appearing on national and international television and radio programmes, and actively spreading the ethos of the organisation at conferences around the world. As BBW’s new Director, Emma will be overseeing BBW’s research, media and campaigns. Emma takes up the post of Director with immediate effect.
Joining Emma is Renate Samson in the new role of Chief Executive, in which she will oversee BBW’s operations, parliamentary outreach and new projects. The first of these will be a new educational outreach programme, designed specifically for those in higher education. Further details about this project will be announced in due course. Renate has spent the past four years as Chief of Staff to David Davis MP, working on every major civil liberties debate during this Parliament. She comes to BBW with a wealth of contacts and knowledge which will be vital as the campaign expands over the coming years. Renate will start later this year, after the party conference season.
BBW’s researcher, Daniel Nesbitt, will also be taking on the role of Research Director. Daniel has been with the campaign for eighteen months, during which time he has produced a high calibre of research and started appearing as a spokesperson for BBW in the media.
We will also be looking to recruit a new member of staff later in the Autumn, which will be advertised to the BBW mailing list, and elsewhere.
Matthew Elliott, Founder of Big Brother Watch, said: “I am delighted that we’ve managed to line up such a great duo to lead Big Brother Watch. The combination of Emma Carr’s experience with the campaign and Renate Samson’s involvement with the civil liberties battle in Parliament will give the campaign a strong foundation for expansion in the years to come.
“The Chief Executive/Director set-up has worked well at the TaxPayers’ Alliance – a campaign on which BBW is closely based – and I am confident that it will be equally successful at BBW.”
Emma Carr said on her appointment as Director: “I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Director as we reach the organisation’s half decade milestone. I am hugely looking forward to continuing to work with Matthew and the rest of the dedicated Big Brother Watch team, whilst working alongside Renate in her role as Chief Executive.
“The challenges that face us are not going to dim in the years ahead, whether it be the way the government demands access to our online communications data, the growing use of surveillance camera systems, or the overzealous use of surveillance powers by local officials. I can guarantee that the campaign will continue to challenge policies that threaten our liberty and privacy and promote greater surveillance transparency.”
Renate Samson said on her appointment as Chief Executive: “It is with great pleasure that I am joining Big Brother Watch as the campaign’s first Chief Executive. I have followed the growth and success of Big Brother Watch since its launch five years ago. As Chief of Staff to David Davis, I have worked on a number of campaigns with Matthew Elliott, Alex Deane and Nick Pickles. It is testament to their hard work that BBW has now established itself as the leading civil liberties group.
“We continue to face extraordinary challenges from the rapid advancement of technology and ongoing concerns for national security. It is essential that Big Brother Watch continues to educate and inform the public and parliament on issues of surveillance, security and liberty to ensure that our fundamental right to privacy isn’t diminished during these often uncertain and overwhelming times. I am looking forward to working closely with Emma and the team, to continue to promote existing campaigns and to create new opportunities for greater awareness of these hugely important issues.”