Experienced and creative media professionals offering bespoke training, mentoring and strategic communications across a variety of platforms

We possess an excellent global network of contacts and associates in the media, diplomatic and humanitarian sectors.

What we do

With several decades of combined experience in foreign affairs and investigative journalism, we offer cross-disciplinary skills: training and mentoring media companies and journalists across the globe; assisting organisations to improve their media and communication skills, and intelligent information gathering and high-impact strategic projects


Strategic advice and hands-on practical assistance in improving editorial output, journalism skills and communications capacity in today’s fast-changing media environment.


Planning, thinking and executing media strategy for high profile individuals and public organisations, across traditional, digital and social media.

Risk Strategy

Drawing on decades of combined experience as investigative, political and policy reporters and an extensive global network of foreign correspondents to provide insightful and effective project leadership.

Who We Are

Foreign Desk Ltd is led by four former foreign correspondents and communications experts, with a widespread list of associates drawn from top tier newspapers, television, government and NGOs. They include former BBC bureau chiefs, leading foreign correspondents, digital and social media editors, special advisers to government ministers and top level international public affairs officials.

Whit Mason

Whit has extensive experience working at the intersection of communications, conflict and political change. He started and edited two newspapers in Russia and was a staff writer for Asiaweek in Hong Kong. He has advised or led communications teams for major international agencies, such as UN in southern Afghanistan and Kosovo, Internews in Azerbaijan, and the PM's office in Ukraine.

Dean Nelson

Dean served in India as South Asia editor for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times for ten years, and was formerly editor of the Sunday Times Insight team in London and editor of the Sunday Times Scotland. He has extensive experience as a risk analyst in Asia. He is the author of 'Jugaad Yatra - Exploring the Indian Art of Problem Solving', published in 2018, and 'Doing Business in India'.

Damien McElroy

International correspondent serving as London bureau chief for the Gulf-based media operation, The National. Leading a team providing global coverage and overseeing European news as well as digital operations. Gives Foreign Desk the freshest possible insight on key personnel and trends in the industry. Previously deputy foreign editor at the Sunday Times and foreign correspondent for the Telegraph

Alex Spillius

Alex served as Southeast Asia Correspondent, assistant foreign editor, Washington correspondent and Diplomatic correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He was a senior media adviser to Prince Ali of Jordan’s FIFA presidential bid, and to the European Movement’s UK referendum campaign. He has spoken at Council of Europe and Chatham House events on the future of journalism.

Our Work See all

Habitat for Humanity

Foreign Desk played an integral part in Habitat for Humanity winning selection for the prestigious Financial Times Seasonal Appeal 2018-19, which will see the charity’s work around the world featured in prominent articles for the distinguished publication’s global audience of two million. We are providing strategic advice and practical assistance on expanding the international profile […]

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Global Canopy

Foreign Desk provided new strategic communications guidance for the Oxford-based Global Canopy as part of its embrace of a more broader audience. We have engaged with top tier media for coverage of GCP’s Trase initiative, a powerful new sustainability tool that enables governments, companies and investors to address the environmental and social impacts of supply […]

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The Nation, Pakistan

Foreign Desk advised the publisher and editor of the Nation, trained its staff and led them to their first major scoop in several years. Three Foreign Desk trainers worked with small groups in the paper’s Lahore and Islamabad offices and conducted intensive, desk-based training in good copy style, sharper story structure, best news-gathering practice and […]

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Testimonials See all