Canadian-born Catherine St Laurent, who lives in Seattle, was head-hunted by the couple from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to become Harry and Meghan's 'chief of staff'
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CATHERINE ST-LAURENT

ROLE: FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SENIOR ADVISER

Canadian-born Catherine St Laurent, who lives in Seattle, was head-hunted by the couple from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to become Harry and Meghan's 'chief of staff'

Canadian-born Catherine St Laurent, who lives in Seattle, was head-hunted by the couple from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to become Harry and Meghan’s ‘chief of staff’

Canadian-born Catherine St Laurent, who lives in Seattle, was head-hunted by the couple from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to become Harry and Meghan’s ‘chief of staff’ and executive director of Archewell, their new non-profit organisation, last April. 

But it emerged in March she had left the post with insiders saying she ‘wanted out’ after performing tasks outside of her contract and having to ‘fulfil a great many functions for the Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39.’

She has now said working for the couple was an ‘incredible experience’ in an interview with The Cut, saying: ‘They are incredibly talented and creative leaders. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do that, to be able to be with them on their journey.’

She is now working as a senior adviser for the couple.

GENEVIEVE ROTH 

ROLE: SENIOR STRATEGIC ADVISER

Alaskan-born Genevieve Roth is the Founder and President of Invisible Hand, a social impact and culture change agency

Alaskan-born Genevieve Roth is the Founder and President of Invisible Hand, a social impact and culture change agency

Alaskan-born Genevieve Roth is the Founder and President of Invisible Hand, a social impact and culture change agency.

More recently, the mother-of-one was made the Senior Strategic Advisor to Archewell, the organisation founded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

She is the former Features Director of Marie Claire Australia and before that, held editorial positions at GQ and Esquire.

She left her job in magazines to serve as the director of creative engagement for the 2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign.

The mother-of-one, whose husband is black, often speaks out about racism in America, and has written at length about the ‘racism in her own marriage’.

In an article for Primer, she wrote: ‘Race is an issue in our marriage because as a white woman of privilege, I have racist tendencies written in at a cellular level, and that can really gum up the works.’

And in an article for Good Housekeeping, Roth wrote about the notion of white privilege and her heightened understanding of it after marrying her husband, Jordan.

Roth also worked as the executive director of special projects at Glamour magazine, and the producer of the Glamour Women of the Year Awards.

In 2014, Roth helped launch The Girl Project, Glamour’s ‘global philanthropic initiative’ supporting girls’ education.

Roth describes herself as an ‘expert on the intersection of narrative change, women’s empowerment, and social justice.’

Her agency Invisible Hand has created campaigns for clients including Archewell, PBS, The Obama Foundation, The XQ Institute, and The Girl Effect.

A graduate of Emerson College and the Columbia Journalism School Publishing Course, Roth also worked with The White House and Let Girls Learn, a US government initiative launched by former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle.

She was a 2018 Shorenstein Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

JAMES HOLT

ROLE: CHIEF EXECUTIVE  

James Holt previously led communications for the Royal Foundation, the charity headed by the Cambridges

James Holt previously led communications for the Royal Foundation, the charity headed by the Cambridges

James Holt previously led communications for the Royal Foundation, the charity headed by the Cambridges.

Holt has worked at Kensington Palace for several years – as well as for the Liberal Democrats – and is passionate about many of the causes championed by Harry and Meghan.

He acted as Harry and Meghan’s UK spokesman and will now take on the role of executive director of the Archewell Foundation.

Holt, a BA Journalism graduate from the University of Lincoln, rose to the position of Head of Media for the Liberal Democrats in 2010 – and stayed in the role until August 2013.

He worked as Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister – Nick Clegg – from June 2013 to January 2014, and moved up to become Head of Government Communications for the Deputy PM until September 2014.

He took on the voluntary position of Director of Communications for Pride in London between March 2016 and November 2017.

In October 2017 he took up the role of Senior Communications Officer for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – staying in the role for one year.

He then became Head of Communications at The Royal Foundation for one year, until September 2019.

 BEN BROWNING

ROLE: HEAD OF CONTENT 

Just days after Meghan and Harry's bombshell two-hour Oprah Winfrey special, the couple announced they were hiring producer Ben Browning to head up their film and television ambitions in the US

Just days after Meghan and Harry’s bombshell two-hour Oprah Winfrey special, the couple announced they were hiring producer Ben Browning to head up their film and television ambitions in the US

Just days after Meghan and Harry’s bombshell two-hour Oprah Winfrey special, the couple announced they were hiring producer Mr Ben Browning to head up their film and television ambitions in the US.

He has taken on the role of head of content for Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio after being recommended to the couple by a mutual entertainment industry contact.

Mr Browning has previously worked on films including The Big Sick, Arrival, Room and Late Night and is set to head up Archewell’s work with Spotify and Netflix.

Most recently, Mr Browning worked on Promising Young Woman, starring Carey Mulligan, which was nominated for five Oscars.

Mr Browning said in a statement to Forbes: ‘From the moment they shared their vision for Archewell as a global production company that will spotlight diverse voices and share uplifting stories, I knew I wanted to help with this unique opportunity.

‘It’s a thrilling company to be starting.’

REBECCA SANAES

ROLE: HEAD OF AUDIO 

The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex , 39, who are currently living in their $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara, have taken on producer Rebecca Sanaes to oversee their podcast business

The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex , 39, who are currently living in their $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara, have taken on producer Rebecca Sanaes to oversee their podcast business

The interview comes as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hired a Head of Audio to produce their Archewell podcast – after giving Spotify just 35 minutes of content so far for their £18million deal.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who are currently living in their $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara, have taken on producer Rebecca Sanaes to oversee their podcast business, according to Deadline.

She was previously lead podcast producer for Pivot, New York Magazine and Vox Media’s show hosted by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway and will report to Archewell’s head of content, Ben Browning, when she joins the company in August.

Before joining Pivot, she worked in public radio, where she worked on episodes including Why Is Vermont So Overwhelmingly White.

In 2015, Rebecca received the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting HIV/AIDS Fellowship.

NISHIKA KUMBLE

ROLE: HEAD OF SCRIPTED TV 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have continued their hiring spree at Archewell as they brought on a new Head of Scripted TV Nishika Kumble to work on their Netflix shows

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have continued their hiring spree at Archewell as they brought on a new Head of Scripted TV Nishika Kumble to work on their Netflix shows

It was announced in August 2021 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were continuing their hiring spree at Archewell as they brought on a new Head of Scripted TV to work on their Netflix shows.

The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 40, have taken on producer Nishika Kumble to oversee their scripted TV programmes with the streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

She was previously VP development and production at Hollywood actress  Rashida Jones’ Le Train Train Productions and worked as a producer on the TV series Fargo.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kumble will ‘work closely’ with Netflix to ‘create and develop new scripted fare from diverse voices that informs, elevates and inspires.’ 

CHANEL PYSNIK

ROLE: HEAD OF UNSCRIPTED

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle added another new hire to their growing roster of Archewell employees in July: a former Disney+ executive who has been brought on to oversee their production company’s unscripted projects for their incredibly lucrative partnership with Netflix. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hired former Disney+ executive Chanel Pysnik to head up nonfiction content for Archewell Productions in July

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hired former Disney+ executive Chanel Pysnik to head up nonfiction content for Archewell Productions in July

News of the couple’s new hire was revealed by Deadline – it is likely that LA-based Princeton graduate Pysnik will concentrate on boosting the couple’s roster of unscripted and nonfiction projects. 

This could well mean that she will play a key role in the couple’s first Netflix project – Heart of Invictus, a documentary series about the Invictus Games starring Prince Harry, 36 – which was announced in April of this year and would fall under Pysnik’s remit as Head of Unscripted.    

While it is unclear how Pysnik landed the role at Archewell, she does have an acquaintance in common with Prince Harry: British soccer star David Beckham.

One of Pysnik’s most recent projects for Disney+ was securing a new unscripted series with the sports star, who has been close friends with Harry for years – and attended the Sussexes’ wedding with his wife, Spice Girls singer-turned-designer Victoria, in May 2018.   

While his series for Disney – entitled Save Our Squad – was only announced in April and has yet to be released, Pysnik reportedly played a role in its creation, and will likely therefore have worked closely with the 46-year-old father-of-four during that time. 

The Sussexes have also hired Los Angeles-based Toya Holness (pictured) as press secretary

The Sussexes have also hired Los Angeles-based Toya Holness (pictured) as press secretary

TOYA HOLNESS

ROLE: GLOBAL PRESS SECRETARY

The Sussexes also hired Los Angeles-based Toya Holness as press secretary In November 2020. 

A keen football player, she has worked for the celebrity agency William Morris Endeavor, New York City education department and the video creation company Deluxe. 

 

 

 

CHRISTINE WEIL SCHIRMER 

ROLE: HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS 

She is considered one of Silicon Valley’s top PR gurus and was hired by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to boost their global image In November. 

Christine Weil Schirmer (pictured) graduated from the same US university as the Duchess

Christine Weil Schirmer (pictured) graduated from the same US university as the Duchess

Christine Weil Schirmer, the couple’s new head of communications, also shares a deeper bond with the Duchess – they both graduated from the same US university.

Ms Schirmer, a married mother-of-one who has been lauded for her work with tech companies such as Apple and Pinterest, attended Northwestern University between 1996 and 2000, graduating with a journalism degree.

The 42-year-old was raised in Long Island, New York, to parents Ken and Christine, both librarians, before moving to the San Francisco Bay area as her career took off.

The Duchess has spoken about her time at Northwestern in Illinois, from 1999 to 2003, where she majored in theatre and international studies. 

She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority – a social society for women.

A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘That sorority was mainly made up of the pretty girls from high school. 

‘Meghan was heavily involved in the social aspects of the group. It’s quite possible that she and Christine crossed paths at Northwestern, at the very least the university gives them a shared bond.’

 

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