RWM have announced that Dr Guy Esnouf will be their new Director of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement.
Until recently he was the Director for Communications & Corporate Responsibility at leading UK energy provider nPower, until that company’s acquisition by E.ON
Dr Esnouf has held senior communications posts in a number of industries, including power & utilities, information technology, pharmaceuticals, as well as national politics. RWM Chief Executive Karen Wheeler says he brings significant experience of community consultation, media management, and public relations for major infrastructure projects.
This is a critical strategic appointment for RWM, as the organisation prepares to engage with communities. The consent-based approach to finding a community willing to host a geological disposal facility presents unique communications and engagement challenges. Although RWM remain hopeful of progressing discussions with interested communities this year, the Covid-19 crisis has significantly altered the external environment. Not only in terms of being able to engage effectively with communities during a time of social distancing, but whether there is even an appetite within communities and local authorities to discuss radioactive waste disposal when there are more immediate and pressing social and economic problems to address.
A complex and contentious project has not been made any easier by Covid. In a recent media interview Guy Esnouf said he once had the “second toughest comms job” in Britain — he might now have the toughest communications job in Britain when he starts work at RWM, expected on 1 June.
RWM’s current Interim Communications Director, Debbie Huston, will return to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in June, after a short handover period.