London & Partners CEO
Laura Citron is CEO of London & Partners, the international promotional agency for London. She leads the organisation to grow London’s global reputation and to attract business, tourists, students, events and talent to London.
Laura has spent her career at the intersection of business, policy and communications. Prior to London & Partners, she was Managing Director of the Government & Public Sector Practice at WPP, the world’s largest marketing and communication services business. She taught communications for behaviour change at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
Before joining WPP, Laura spent several years as a UK public servant in London and Brussels. She has also lived and worked in Russia and Germany. A proud Londoner, Laura has a postgraduate degree in Economics from University College London
I don’t think anyone grows up thinking that they are going to promote their home town for a living. I came to London & Partners from WPP where I had been running Global public sector Business for several years and before that had a career in the public sector starting at the Bank of England. So, for me London & Partners is a culmination of many other things I’ve done all rolled into one.
I’m very interested in the blurring of professional and personal lives, and what that means for the way people – especially millennials – have a relationship with London. That’s especially important for us, as London & Partners works with tourists, students, talent and entrepreneurs – often the same people having different relationships with the city over their lifetimes. We know that young people are motivated not only by money and career status, but also by making a difference, a sense of purpose, balance and wellbeing. London isn’t just a great place to grow a business or career – it’s also a fantastic place to pursue your passions and meet like-minded people from around the world – whether you are here for a week or ten years.
Luckily for me, everyone I work with absolutely loves London – so that’s motivating! Many of us, like me, are Londoners born and bred, but many are not. I think that mirrors one of the city’s greatest strengths: being a Londoner is not a birthright – it’s about belonging – anyone can be a Londoner. Other than that, I try to create an environment where everyone can bring their whole selves to work. I have a 1-year old daughter and I try to be honest about the challenges of being a working parent. I hope it makes it OK for everyone to admit they have a life outside the office.
There are so many jobs and careers that I had never heard of – I doubt most people who are school or university now has ever thought of working for an organisation like London & Partners. I definitely hadn’t. So, I think my biggest piece of advice is to think as broadly as possible and try not pigeon hole yourself when you are too young. You’ve probably never even heard of your ideal job yet.
I make a chocolate chestnut cake that usually disappears.
Not sure why I’m admitting this, but I have always wanted to watch Eurovision live. I’ve got tickets to Tel Aviv this year and can’t wait.
I’ve heard an old Jewish saying that says: “It is not your duty to complete the work, but nor are you free to desist from starting it.” I think that’s great, as just because you can’t fix something that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Promoting a city like London can feel like an infinite task, so this is comforting!
Can I say London?! But I never get tired of going to Istanbul. And running the risk of sounding like Theresa May here: there’s nothing like a walk in the Alps to clear the mind.
I love hats. I have a fabulous dark green one at the moment which I found on Portobello Road.
Favorite Style Icons:
Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Lisa Simpson (if only I could play the sax too).
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: Pick up my daughter in time to go to the park before it gets dark
Thought of the Day: Leftover love hearts from Valentine’s Day party are a bad mid-morning snack
Tip of the Day: The tropical green tea in Pret is actually really nice
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
That I can still go for a walk and be surprised every time.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Breakfast at the Wolseley for a special occasion, but my local turkish deli does fantastic spinach and feta borek. That’s a weekend treat.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Waking up and trying to sneak out of the room without waking up my husband.
12:00 PM – Lunch with a business that’s expanding into London
7:00 PM – Wrangling a toddler and her ducks into a bath. Or at the opening of a new exhibition.
11:00 PM – Asleep, with any luck
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Decaf Earl Grey with Milk
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Whatsapp and citymapper probably!
We use WhatsApp more now as an organisation, to share London’s success stories. So please feel free to join London’s Global Good News Room by adding +44(0) 7553 374546 to your contacts and message us your name.
What should everyone try at least once?
Living outside the place they were born.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Alfie’s Antiques market on Church Street, London. Or in a good book.