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Our experts

The IoD's Policy team oversees the development of the organisation's advocacy work on a full range of issues affecting business from trade to taxation, enterprise to education. 

Here you will find the profiles of the key individuals in the policy and press team. We are always keen to hear the views and experiences of IoD members, so please get in touch with us. 


Allie Renison IoD expert

Allie Renison, Head of EU & Trade Policy

Allie Renison is Head of EU and Trade Policy, and leads on devising recommendations and representing the voice of members on EU policy matters both to Westminster and Whitehall and with European institutions. She provides the link between business and Government on increasing international trade and has authored a number of reports on trends in both trade and trade policy, as well as running a number of trade missions for IoD members around the world every year. She also routinely provides advocacy for the IoD on a range of regulatory issues in Brussels.

Allie joined the IoD in April 2014. Prior to this, she was Research Director at Business for Britain, the campaign focused on renegotiating the UK's relationship with the EU. Allie has previously advised a number of parliamentarians in both Houses on EU legislative issues, with particular focus on trade and employment policy areas. She holds a Masters Degree in the political economy of emerging economies in the post-Soviet space. 


Lisa Townsend

Lisa Townsend, Media and Communications Lead

Lisa joined the IoD in February 2021 to lead our PR, media and communications. 

Lisa was previously Director of the Public Affairs team at WA Communications and, prior to that, Head of Public Affairs at Octopus Group, an investment management company. She also spent around ten years in a variety of roles in Parliament, working as Chief of Staff and speechwriter to a number of MPs and Peers.


joe website

Joe Fitzsimons, Head of Education and Skills Policy

Joe joined the Policy Unit in December 2019. In his role, he seeks to promote higher standards in education and a skills system that genuinely prepares people to meet the needs of the business community.

Joe initially joined the IoD in September 2015, starting as a graduate executive at IoD Student before proceeding to lead the department. In this role, he oversaw the Institute's university partnerships and student engagement across the UK, supporting over twenty educational institutions to improve their student engagement and development through training, events and mentorship.

Joe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from London South Bank University and is currently completing his Executive MBA at Nottingham Trent University. He also sits on the curriculum advisory board for the school of Business and Enterprise at London South Bank University.


Roger Barker IoD expert

Dr Roger Barker, Director of Policy and Corporate Governance

Dr Barker previously served as the IoD’s Head of Corporate Governance. He is a UK Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (the EU advisory body), Honorary Associate at the Centre for Ethics and Law at University College London and a visiting lecturer at Saïd Business School, Oxford, and Cass Business School, London.

Dr. Barker is the holder of a doctorate from Oxford University and the author of numerous books and articles on corporate governance and board effectiveness, including: ‘Corporate Governance and Investment Management: The Promises and Limitations of the New Financial Economy’ (Edward Elgar, 2017), ‘The Effective Board: Building Individual and Board Success’ (Kogan Page, 2010), and ‘Corporate Governance, Competition, and Political Parties: Explaining Corporate Governance Change in Europe’ (Oxford University Press, 2010). A former investment banker, Dr. Barker spent almost 15 years in a variety of equity research and senior management roles at UBS and Bank Vontobel, both in the UK and Switzerland.


Tej Parikh IoD expert 

Tej Parikh, Chief Economist

Tej holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University College London, and a Master’s degree in International and Development Economics from Yale University.

Prior to joining the IoD, he worked as an economic analyst at the Bank of England in roles across monetary and financial policy. Subsequently, he moved to Cambodia where he was a journalist focusing on economic and private sector development for a national newspaper. He has since been a freelance political risk consultant and journalist, covering Europe and Asia in particular.

He has published for numerous international media outlets including Foreign Affairs, the Guardian, and The Diplomat, and is currently an active member of London’s Great Debaters Club.