Richard first joined IPPR in 2002 as media manager, having previously worked as senior press officer at the Department of Trade and Industry. He left in 2004 to be special adviser to the education secretary, and rejoined IPPR after working on the 2005 general election campaign. He left again in 2008 to be communications director of creative partnerships at Arts Council England and later special adviser to the international development secretary and general election coordinator Douglas Alexander.
He rejoined IPPR again in 2010 as head of news, after heading the Open Left project at the thinktank Demos. He has over a decade of experience in strategic communications and is one of the founders of the WonkComms global network. He gradated with an MA in critical theory from the University of Sussex.