About ‘Partners in Prosperity’

Partners in Prosperity is a blog discussing UK – US economic, business, and prosperity ties from the British Embassy in Washington and our Consulates across the US. Our bloggers come from various backgrounds.

Robin Twyman

Robin TwymanRobin Twyman took up his posting as Consul for Business and Government Affairs at the UK Government Office in Seattle in January 2013. He was previously First Secretary (Trade Policy, Business Affairs and Agriculture) at the British Embassy in Washington.

Born in Canterbury, Kent, in 1968, Robin joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1987. His diplomatic career has seen him serve overseas tours in Harare, Zimbabwe (1989-1992), and Geneva, Switzerland (2001-2006), plus short overseas tours in Mozambique, Mauritius, Russia, Abu Dhabi, Israel, Jordan, DR Congo, Albania, Zambia, Qatar, Nigeria, Syria, and Yemen.

Robin’s assignments have covered a wide range of duties. In Geneva, Robin was a UK delegate to the World Trade Organisation, where his portfolio included the Doha Trade Round’s agriculture negotiations, and trade disputes. Whilst there, he was elected to serve as a chair on one of the WTO’s sub-committees. In the FCO in London, Robin has been a Foreign Office Press Officer (1999-2001), Horn of Africa desk officer, a manager for the UK’s Afghanistan Counter Narcotics programme, and headed up the UK’s South Atlantic Overseas Territories team.

Follow Robin on Twitter — @RobinTwyman


Peter Matheson

Peter MathesonPeter Matheson has been Economic Counsellor at the British Embassy since the beginning of May 2009. Before arriving in DC, he worked on the macroeconomics side of the UK Treasury. Principally advising Government Ministers on the economic forecast and related macroeconomic developments. He also worked for a period for the Scottish Government on economic issues.


Jessica Shipley

Jessica ShipleyJessica works on UK and US domestic climate change policy, analyzing developments in the US and advancing UK expertise in climate security and low carbon growth.  Previously, she worked as a Fellow for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a leading environmental think tank in Washington, DC, advising policymakers on low carbon policy and technological solutions to climate change.  She holds a masters in public policy from UC Berkeley.


Spencer Mahony

Spencer MahonySpencer Mahony took up his posting as HM Consul and Regional Director, East Coast USA for UK Trade and Investment in December 2010.

Prior to his current appointment, he spent three years as Head of UK Trade and Investment in western India based in Mumbai. He covered four states accounting for over 40% of India’s GDP and managed relations with many of India’s largest investors in the UK, including the Tata Group of companies.

On secondment to the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry he directed a joint UK government and industry investigation into how the UK retains its position as a world class destination for biomedical research.

At the Department of Business, he held policy positions in energy security, regional economic development and the department’s strategy unit. He participated in EU employment law negotiations and transposed EU legislation into UK law. He was Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Minister of State for Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women and Equality.

He has also worked at the British Embassy in Beijing and was a member of the JET programme.


Melinda Goforth

Melinda’s background includes roles in public affairs, government relations, trade and economic development. Prior to her role with the Embassy, Melinda served as Race Director for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Puget Sound, and as Director of Partnerships for in the Washington Office of Habitat for Humanity International. She served as a staffer to the US Senate Judiciary Committee under Vice President Biden’s tenure as Ranking Member.

Melinda earned her bachelor’s degree at Santa Clara University and her master’s at The London School of Economics. A native of Seattle, she enjoys dancing, golfing and American football.


Dan Gallagher

Dan has been First Secretary (Economics) at the British Embassy since the beginning of July 2011. Before arriving in DC, he worked for nine years on the macroeconomics side of the UK Treasury. He worked as Private Secretary to the Chief Economic Adviser and advised Ministers on house prices and household consumption; the UK economic forecast; inflation; and the labour market. Dan received a Masters degree in economics from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2008.


Scott Nolan Smith

Scott Nolan Smith Scott is the Head of Digital Diplomacy at the British Embassy in Washington. He joined the embassy in 2011 bringing with him a background in journalism, digital strategy, politics and public policy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy from Norwich University. Scott is a Gov 2.0 and foreign policy junkie with a passion for international communications, coffee and the Seattle Sounders.


Thomas Whitehead

Thomas WhiteheadThomas Whitehead is a Senior Trade Policy Advisor at the British Embassy in Washington. His work focuses on international trade policy, transatlantic commerce, economic growth, competitiveness and innovation. He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and government from the College of William and Mary and a law degree from American University. Prior to law school he worked in the worldwide arbitration and dispute resolution practice of Steptoe & Johnson LLP in and at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. While in law school he worked with the Office of the United States Trade Representative. He is currently pursuing an LLM at Georgetown University, where he is a Fellow in the Institute for International Economic Law, and holds a certificate in trade regulation from the World Trade Institute in Berne, Switzerland. A Washington-area native, Mr Whitehead is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States.


Jane Ansell

Jane AnsellJane has been Second Secretary (Economics) at the British Embassy since October 2011. Before arriving in Washington, Jane worked for two years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. She worked on climate change and energy market economics, and later on European economic issues. Jane received a Masters degree in economics from the London School of Economics in 2009.