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Joseph Rowntree Foundation boosts policy team with two new Principal Policy Advisers

Date published:

JRF is announcing the appointment today of Abby Jitendra and Dan Tomlinson. Both are tasked with shaping and executing high impact programmes of ideas and policy work aimed at influencing the direction of public policy in the years ahead and charting a course towards a poverty free society.

They will each lead thematic programmes in their own right, as well as supporting the work of other organisations who share our ambitions and goals, through JRF’s external funding.

Abby will reinvigorate JRF’s work on ‘care, family, and relationships’, while Dan will lead on ‘work, technology, markets and risk sharing’. They join existing JRF Principal Policy Adviser Katie Schmuecker, who leads our work aimed at ending destitution and deep poverty.

These appointments mark a step change in JRF’s ambition - under a new strategy - to be a place that generates and cultivates new ideas and policy proposals that can shape the national conversation and influence power and decision making at the highest levels. In doing so we are committed to working alongside those with direct experience and building common cause with those pursuing and experimenting with real world alternatives.

Graeme Cooke, JRF Director of Insight and Policy commented:

“In recent weeks, JRF has stood up for millions of families struggling to afford the essentials as we, alongside many others, have pressed the government to uprate benefits properly, in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“This is vital work, but we also have a responsibility to get to the root causes of why so many people are barely surviving right now. The task before us is to try to shift the terms of our social and economic settlement so that everyone enjoys the basic ingredients of a secure life and the chance to thrive – enough income, a place to call home, something to fall back on, a decent job and the care of loved ones.

“I’m delighted that Abby and Dan are joining JRF to pick up this challenge – and to work with our partners to build and advocate for ideas that can drive action and change”

Abby Jitendra, JRF Principal Policy Adviser said of her appointment:

“Care is so central to our lives and yet it’s undervalued and expensive. I really admire JRF’s ambition to tackle these deep rooted drivers of poverty, and can’t wait to be a part of it and set some long term change in motion.”

Dan Tomlinson, JRF Principal Policy Adviser added:

“Economic insecurity is a feature of work and life for too many people in the UK today. I’m joining JRF to help demonstrate the scale of what needs to change and to put forward policies - and back people and organisations - that can match the scale of the problems in Britain’s economy today.”


Abby Jitendra joins JRF after four years at Citizens Advice, where she was most recently a Principal Policy Manager, running a team of 11 researchers standing up for consumers in the energy market and leading Citizens Advice’s advocacy strategy around the 2021-22 energy market and cost of living crisis. Prior to this she worked at the Trussell Trust and Home Office.

Dan Tomlinson joins JRF after seven years at Resolution Foundation, where he was most recently a Senior Economist working on their Economy 2030 Inquiry and before that led at various points Resolution Foundation’s work on job quality, unions, firms, housing costs and taxation and public spending. Until 2022 he was a ward councillor in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.