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Duncan Stephenson

Duncan Stephenson, Policy and External Affairs Director

Duncan is CTSI's Policy and External Affairs Director, having joined the Institute in April 2022.  He has overall responsibility for the Institute’s policy, campaigning and communications activities.  

Duncan has over 20 years’ experience including leading the policy, campaigns and communications for two national, member-based charities. Most recently, he was Director of External Affairs (and Deputy CEO) at the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), where he established and led a highly successful, department, to create award-winning campaigns, develop policy which influenced legislation and practice, built strategic partnerships worth millions, and ultimately transformed the media and political profile of the charity.

Duncan has led a considerable number of successful and impactful campaigns and profile-raising initiatives on a variety of issues including, advocating for drug policy reform, promoting a range of measures to tackle obesity, raising awareness of gambling related harms and challenging vaccination misinformation.

Prior to joining RSPH, Duncan led the parliamentary and stakeholder relations team for the Care Quality Commission, during a period of change. As Head of External Affairs at the YMCA, Duncan headed up a national campaign on body image, including establishing the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image which led to the formation of the national BeReal campaign. He also created a number of national health and wellbeing programmes working in partnership with NHS, DWP and Department of Health. 

Duncan started out his career working for industry – at Unilever UK he led thought leadership on a variety of issues such as food labelling, marketing and advertising to children and product reformulation and supported EU lobbying on issues including the Biofuels Directive.  Outside of work Duncan is a trustee for the People’s Health Trust, and to relax he enjoys weight training, swimming and occasionally dabbles in magic.

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