Foreign Desk is a global network of experienced, high quality media professionals offering journalistic skills in new and varied contexts.

Its directors possess several decades of combined experience in high profile foreign and investigative reporting roles and communications campaigns.

What we do

We apply the principles and practice of quality journalism to other, connected areas of activity. With 170 people in more than 50 countries, our network offers ground-level expertise and insight which can be applied to strategic communications advice, conducting discrete research and investigative projects, speaking at private or public events, or creating written, visual or broadcast content. Our services are used by international organisations and agencies, media companies, and the risk and due diligence industry.

Content production

Providing written, visual and broadcast content and consultation across a variety of platforms; and offering our directors and correspondents as hosts and experts for events.


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

Research & risk assessment

Using our unrivalled on-the-ground presence to provide probing investigation and analysis for international law firms, due diligence requirements and corporate inquiries.

Who We Are

Our four directors have worked in prominent reporting, editing, management and communications roles for the Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The National and several United Nations agencies. Our network members are mainly journalists, and include BBC bureau chiefs, leading foreign correspondents, and expert digital and social media editors, as well as senior international public affairs officials and government special advisers.

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