Richard Forster - Managing Director
Richard has been an editor and journalist for 20 years having trained at Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC where he was Group Publisher managing teams in New York, London and Hong Kong. He has written for the Financial Times, Euromoney, Corporate Finance and Project Finance and has launched publications for the Inter American-Development Bank and Asian Development Bank. Content marketing clients include Citibank, Mastercard, Visa and Fieldstone Capital.
In 2010, PFD launched Cities Today as the first global communications platform for city leaders. Richard has led teams working on public sector content marketing for PwC, IBM, Philips, Siemens, Ericsson, Schneider Electric, Deutsche Telekom, JLS and Uber.
Willem Fast - Partnerships Director
Willem joined PFD in 2010 as Director of Strategic Partnerships, and has over 15 years’ experience in working with local governments, the public sector, and bilateral and multilateral organisations. Currently balancing a portfolio of both Global 500 and SME city solution providers, he helps his clients scale their business development with cities and local governments, particularly in Urban Mobility, IoT and Digitalisation, and smart cities.
Willem has held a number of leadership roles at UBM, Autonomy, Hewlett Packard and Oracle. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Amsterdam, and speaks Dutch, English, German and Spanish.
Sarah Wray - Editor
Sarah leads the editorial team at Cities Today and specialises in writing about the impact of technology in cities, particularly with regard to the use of data, digitalisation and transport innovation.
She was editor of Smart Cities World before joining Cities Today and was previously part of the TM Forum team where she was the editor of Inform, a research and content hub for the telecom industry. Sarah has also written for publications including Smart Cities Dive, Mobile World Live, Mobile Europe and Computer Weekly.
Christopher Carey, Mobility Editor
Christopher is a graduate of Queens University Belfast and holds an MA in International Relations and a BA in History and Politics. He previously worked at the EU Council and the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi before training as a journalist with News Associates London.
Folkert Leffring - Digital Media Manager
Folkert Leffring is a multilingual marketing professional with over a decade of experience in the international media industry. He focuses on lead generation for public sector vendors through integrated inbound campaigns and has worked with multinationals as well as scale-ups and start-ups.
Folkert holds a Bcom Marcom degree in International Business and Languages from the Utrecht Business School and a Digital Marketing degree from ESIC Business School.
Rachel Southcott - Account Manager
Rachel has more than 6 years’ experience of digital marketing working with firms in financial and professional services. Prior to working with PFD, she was an Executive Marketing Director at a fintech startup where she recruited and led a team of 5. She specialises in online lead generation, SEO, PPC, and social media.
Rachel uses HubSpot to create inbound marketing campaigns that generate qualified leads. She works with the editorial team to attract, nurture, and convert leads using different platforms, high-quality content, and automated email workflows. She focuses on data-driven strategies to deliver measurable results for clients.
Emma Curties - Head of Events & Research
With over 12 years’ experience in event management, Emma is a first-class event manager who has a wealth of experience both in house and agency side. Her experience has given her a comprehensive understanding of the client’s needs and she thrives on providing logistical support to each event with her detail-oriented style. She has planned and executed custom events for leading companies such as AstraZeneca, Nissan and EDF and in the public sector working with city governments in New Orleans, Lisbon, Philadelphia and London.
Mak Mengal - Senior Partnerships Manager
Mak has worked on content marketing for blue chip corporates including Siemens, HERE, Mastercard, Deutsche Telekom, EY, Novo Nordisk and Nokia. He brings a wealth of best practices and digital marketing skills to content clients including inbound marketing skills, social media expertise and the use of data analytics, tools which companies routinely employ in their client relationship management. At PFD, Mak assists organisations to deliver their marketing and business development goals through account-based marketing and thought leadership campaigns.
Oliver Hendry - Partnerships Development Executive
Oliver joined the PFD team as a Partnerships Development Executive to develop relationships and strategic links between public sector leaders and private sector partners of the agency. He has strong links with city leaderships, with whom he has written reports focused on public-private collaboration in the development of city technology. He graduated from University of Edinburgh with a Master’s Degree in History, with a focus on political history.
Richard Boal - Creative Director
Richard has been a graphic designer for 17 years and drives business growth through content marketing and branding campaigns. His team designs advertising artwork, magazines, apps, e-books, event materials, brochures, website materials, white papers and reports, and he has worked on content marketing for Philips, Siemens, Citi, PwC, Ericsson, NEC and IBM. Richard has worked in both design studios and for publishers having studied Art, Design & Technology in the UK and Spain.
Manuel Manrique - Research Coordinator
Manuel Manrique studied social communication at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte obtaining a master’s degree from the School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo. A trained journalist by profession, he began his career in the editorial of offices of the newspapers, the Folha de São Paulo and the Estado de São Paulo. His excellent relationships with Latin American cities are based on 15 years of work as Editorial & Information Officer based in Rio de Janeiro at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of UN-Habitat. He is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Bob Bennett - Chair, Cities Today Institute
Bob Bennett is the former Chief Innovation Officer of Kansas City and chairs the Cities Today Institute. A visionary leader responsible for putting Kansas City on the map as a trailblazer in urban innovation, Bob brings insights and a powerful network to PFD to deliver on the goals of our public sector clients.