Consultancy for communities, practitioners and policy-makers
Our Members and Associates carry out MigrationWork projects.
Biography and contact details for Richard Stanton
work+44 (0)1273 328059
cell+44 (0)7985 455269
With an MA in International Relations from Sussex University, Richard worked as a researcher on issues ranging from international development to local government finance. For nine years he was also an elected member of a city authority. Research for London boroughs in the 1990s led him to look at reception services for asylum seekers and then at wider migration issues.
From 2000 to 2008 he led work for the Mayor of London on immigration and asylum policy. Besides advising on immigration policy and its impact on London, Richard was responsible for developing a strategic approach to the integration of refugees and other migrants in Europe’s most diverse city.
Areas of expertise
Preparing strategies for migrant integration at local level which engage communities, link services and coordinate agencies.
Analysing data especially on population, employment and funding.
Comparative international research.
Policy work: analysis and development of migration and integration policy at all levels from local / national to EU.
Comparative study of systems for funding local capital investment (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 1996), helping to pave the way for steps by the UK Government to devolve more control over investment to local authorities.
Destitution by Design report (2003) for Mayor of London on Section 55 – penalising ‘late’ asylum seekers – which fed into legal action establishing their right to state support.
Led work to set up the Mayor’s Board for Refugee Integration in London (BRIL 2006), later the London Strategic Migration Partnership, and drafted London’s first integration strategy.
Helped (2009-12) to develop peer review methodology for EU-funded networks IMPART and MIXITIES, enabling European public authorities and NGOs to work more effectively on migrant integration.
Theatre and contemporary dance, poetry, cafés and hill-tops.
Biography and contact details for Sue Lukes
work+44 (0)20 7359 1455
cell+44 (0)7715 008536
Sue Lukes has worked freelance since 1996, but started in refugee resettlement in 1974 as a volunteer. Having gained a degree in Modern History (specialising in 17th century Wales) from Somerville College, Oxford, she found work running a resettlement and community development programme with Latin American refugees. From 1983 she worked in housing, variously running housing aid, information, research, policy and legal services in London, latterly for Shelter. She has worked with many academic institutions and was an Industrial Fellow at Manchester University’s Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity. She was elected councillor in May 2018 and was appointed Islington Migrant Champion in July 2018, and then went on to become Executive Member for Community Safety.
Areas of expertise
Sue offers training, consultancy and research principally around migrant and refugee integration. She is an acknowledged expert and trainer on housing and migrants’ issues, rights and options, and editor of Housing Rights Information. She has a longstanding interest in advice delivery and ethics, particularly for migrants including the undocumented. She has worked on and headed many evaluations, reviews, research projects, and set up and now advises the Strategic Legal Fund.
Developing new models of refugee resettlement and later housing aid delivery based on the emerging refugee and migrant community sector
A report on the equality implications of being a migrant in Britain published by EHRC (research report no 19)
She chairs Hear me Out (Music in Detention), has been on boards of housing associations and voluntary groups, is vice chair of her local synagogue, offers advice and training to a range of community organisations, ran the Chile Committee for Justice that organised around the extradition of Pinochet and occasionally helps with holocaust education (her father arrived with the Kindertransport in 1939). She is bilingual in Spanish and English.
Biography and contact details for Anna Reisenberger
Anna studied at Sussex and London Universities and has postgraduate and professional qualifications in teaching, education policy and management.
Areas of expertise
She works as a consultant in training and development, peer reviews, research and evaluation. She has expertise on refugee rights and the integration of new migrants in both the UK and Europe, recently focusing on improving migrants’ access to the labour market and to language learning.
Making a difference to adult learners as a teacher, Vice Principal and national policy lead, authoring guides on equal opportunities, access and quality in adult and further education, which are still in use.
Leading campaigns to improve the rights and opportunities of asylum seekers and refugees across the UK as Director of Policy and Development and acting CEO of the Refugee Council.
Setting up national projects on inclusive schools, integration, refugee teachers, refugee enterprise and community development.
Printmaking, photography, sailing, world music, and acting as trustee for voluntary organisations working with migrant women in London and Uganda.
Biography and contact details for Marian Mackintosh
work+44 (0)1225 427016
cell+44 (0)7905 369288
Marian has a PhD and an MSc in Demography and 25 years of experience working in demographic, social and economic research. She has been an employee of public, private, academic and voluntary organisations and is now self-employed. Her career has included working for the London Research Centre and also the Greater London Authority (GLA) where she was responsible for the demography and statistics of migrant groups.
Areas of expertise
Marian has excellent data analysis skills, acquired through the analysis of a large number of surveys and complex datasets. She also has the ability to be creative and develop new methodologies to improve the information available on migrant communities.
Designing a population projections model projecting populations of ten ethnic groups in the 33 London boroughs.
Developing new methodologies to estimate the number of refugees and language speakers in different areas.
Author of more than 20 reports analysing the social and economic conditions of migrant and ethnic minority groups.
Tennis, travelling and reading.
Bastian Vollmer FRSA
Biography and contact details for Bastian Vollmer FRSA
Educated at Cambridge University and the University of Amsterdam, Bastian was a research fellow at Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), at the University of Oxford for almost 10 years where he still is a research affiliate. He is now a Professor of Social Sciences at the Catholic University Mainz, where he leads the BA study program on migration and integration. In 2018, he became an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Areas of expertise
His expertise is wide-ranging but the analysis and evaluation of migration and border-related policy making and its implementation are his core areas. How policy making addresses dynamics of migration and how these policies affect individual population groups, communities and society as a whole are central questions in his research. His main research interests are migration processes (particularly irregular and transit migration); discursive formations of policy-making; control mechanism and securitization regimes of migration. In more recent years he has shifted his focus on border theories and discourses in the UK, the EU and beyond.
Qualitative and quantitative research, including ethnographic fieldwork, in-depth expert interviews, large-sale surveys and framing/discourse analysis
He has carried out research in several EU states on migrant employment and other migration issues
He has conducted studies on imaginations and aspirations of migration in countries such as Morocco, Senegal, Turkey and the Ukraine
His current work and upcoming book is entitled “Borders Revisited – Changing Meanings in a Global Age of Migration”
Biography and contact details for Stephen Lord
work+44 (0)20 7272 7995
cell+44 (0)7800 523 920
Steve trained as an economist, gaining a degree and masters from LSE. He undertook research at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University before becoming a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Keele. He subsequently worked for a variety of organizations, including the Local Government Association and London Councils, where he specialised in the areas of public expenditure and local government financing.
Areas of expertise
Steve has a detailed knowledge of local government and public sector funding, and has extensive experience of carrying out and commissioning economic and statistical analysis and modelling. He has undertaken a wide variety of research on economic and social issues.
developed a consultancy and has undertaken research for numerous organisations, including Local Government Futures, London Councils, the East of England Strategic Leaders Group, and other groups of local authorities;
responsible for managing and directing local government involvement with central government departments on needs assessments and the distribution of grants;
commissioned research projects on possible reforms to the funding of London local authorities.
Watching Arsenal, cinema and travel.
Biography and contact details for Maknun Ashami
work+44 (0)20 7354 8900
cell+44 (0)7939 151 141
Maknun has a PHD in Political and Social Sciences from the University of Cambridge. His first degree is in Economics. He is now a consultant who also teaches the Migration and Refugees module on Birkbeck’s Development Studies programme.
Areas of expertise
He has considerable knowledge of the UK’s voluntary sector and experience of and expertise in work with refugees, migrants, black and minority ethnic communities and on issues of poverty and development funding. His research interests include diaspora, remittance, and EU and UK refugee and migration and integration policy. His current research interest is in the area of young undocumented (irregular) migrants in the EU and UK.
Has sat on a number of grants and research committees.
Has worked with Comic Relief, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Trust For London and other Charitable Trusts and local authorities, assessing, monitoring and evaluating funded grants, drawing up community profiles and undertaking research into varieties of issues.
Biography and contact details for Fran Smith
work+44 (0)20 7091 0539
Fran has a degree in sociology, a postgraduate diploma in housing and a masters degree in refugee studies. She began working in the refugee sector in 1993 as a legal representative for Refugee Legal Centre. Since then she has worked for Refugee Housing Association in a community liaison role, and for the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner where she was Policy Manager leading on initiatives to support advice agencies.
Produced reports on refugee integration and legal advice for asylum seekers for the Mayor of London and, as a consultant, she evaluated various Home Office funded refugee projects.
Overseas experience reviewing work on the Right to Food in India and worked as an Immigration Program Officer for the Canadian High Commission in London.
Yoga, cycling, film.
Biography and contact details for Ceri Hutton
work+44 (0)7899 996374
Ceri has a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and is a graduate of Common Purpose. She has been the CEO of a legal centre for people with HIV/AIDS (with many asylum seeking clients) and has worked with a variety of human rights organisations and initiatives.
Areas of expertise
Ceri has an awareness and in-depth understanding of human rights frameworks and services for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. She has worked with many projects and programmes to review and evaluate them. Her areas of expertise are evaluation, strategic review and stakeholder consultation, and she also is a sought after facilitator.
Chaired the UK Forum on HIV and Human Rights for five years at the height of the AIDS Crisis in the UK.
Researched and co-authored report The Destitution Trap for Refugee Action, and led on several complex reviews and evaluations of initiatives for refugees in the UK.
Mountaineering, creative writing, theatre and walking her numerous dogs.
Biography and contact details for Rachel Marangozov
Rachel has worked for over a decade on labour market integration, particularly in relation to refugees, economic migrants and minority ethnic communities. During this time, she has worked at IPPR and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and has held expert/ advisory roles for the UK Parliament, the European Commission and the Scottish Government.
Her expertise in this field is recognised at both the UK and European level as well as in the mainstream media. Rachel holds MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge.
Areas of expertise
Rachel’s areas of expertise lie in the field of labour markets and migrant/ minority ethnic communities at both the UK and EU level. This includes a broad range of issues around progression, labour market discrimination, and impacts of migration on public services and specific sectors of the economy. She has a robust understanding of ‘what works’ having evaluated a number of Government pilots and programmes relating to disadvantaged groups in the UK labour market and having developed benchmarking toolkits at the European level.
Rachel’s professional achievements have included:
Member, Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population (current)
Specialist adviser, All Party Parliamentary Group on Integration
Specialist Adviser, Parliamentary Inquiry into Migration and Social Cohesion
Expert, European Commission’s ESF Thematic Network on Migrants (2009 – 2012) and (2017-2019)
Fellow, London School of Economics (LSE)
Marangozov R, Williams M and Buchan J (2016), The labour market for nurses in the UK and its relationship to the demand for, and supply of international nurses in the NHS. IES publication for the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
Outside of her freelance work, Rachel enjoys time with her young family and has a hand in a number of voluntary and charitable activities.
Biography and contact details for Richard Williams
Richard joined the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) as EU Representative (2004-2007) from the Refugee Council, where he led on EU and international policy. He moved to the voluntary sector from broadcast journalism, by way of a life-changing year at the School for Social Entrepreneurs in 1998. He speaks fluent French and German, with a BA in Modern Languages from Oxford University.
Areas of expertise
In his recent work, Richard has developed expertise in European policy and practice in integration policy, responsibility sharing for asylum and forced returns, as well as in UK and EU policy on refused asylum seekers and other undocumented migrants.
He is completing a real-time evaluation of EPIM, a three-year €3m funding programme for migrant integration projects across Europe.
In Brussels he led a network of advocates from ECRE’s 80 member organisations and was the main NGO contact on asylum issues for EU institutions and media.
Richard is an adviser to the Oxford University publication Forced Migration Review. He enjoys Brighton’s arts scene, dog walking and skiing.
Biography and contact details for Simon Güntner
cell+49 (0) 40 42875 7086
Simon is a Professor of Spatial Sociology at the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Planning at Technische Universität Wien. He holds a Diploma in Social Sciences and Social Work, an MSc in International Urban Planning and a PhD in Sociology. From 2000-2005 he was a research fellow and lecturer at Technical University Berlin, from 2006-2009 he held the position of Senior Policy Officer for Social Affairs at EUROCITIES, the network of Europe’s large cities, based in Brussels. From 2009 to 2018 he was Professor for Social Science and Social Policy at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW).
Areas of expertise
Urban development and migration, social policy and social cohesion
At EUROCITIES, he developed and led the “Inclusive Cities for Europe” partnership with the European Commission (DG Empl) to involve cities in the EU Social Inclusion Process.
Engaged in numerous European and national research and mutual learning projects on migration, urban development and social cohesion.
Simon plays the guitar in a band and enjoys swimming, going to the cinema and reading good books.
Biography and contact details for Sarah Kyambi
Consultant immigration policy expert experienced in producing policy relevant research for local, regional and national government and third sector organisations. Affiliated to the University of Edinburgh (see profile).
Current areas of particular interest include the impacts of brexit on immigration policy and developing differentiated immigration systems.
Biography and contact details for Nancy Kiousi
cell+30 6932 255 635
Nancy has a Masters degree in human rights from the School for Advanced Study, University of London. She has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for human rights protection and humanitarian response. She has worked in international projects supporting at risk human rights defenders and also supported projects as a consultant. She has been part of humanitarian operations in the refugee crises in Greece since 2016.
Areas of expertise
Nancy has strong skills in communication, research, M&E reporting, fundraising as well as significant experience in building inter-agency cooperation, designing and overseeing Shelter and NFI interventions and CCCM.
Written and published several reports on human rights issues
Given talks about the economic reforms in Greece and the human rights situation in the West Bank, Palestine.
Part of an inter-agency working group that aimed to make vital information for asylum seekers more coherent and accessible; consolidated information and created a series of communications materials for refugees and organisations in northern Greece.
Cooking and travelling with her family.
Director and Chair of the MigrationWork Trust
Biography and contact details for Bella Kosmala
With over a decade in the migration sector, Bella brings policy expertise at regional government level, front-line experience working in migrants‘ rights charities and her own lived experience of being a migrant in the UK.
Bella has a degree in Politics and Anthropology from University of Glasgow and an LLM in International Law from University of Sussex. She has worked with a number of migrants’ rights organisations such as Hackney Migrant Centre, Migrants’ Rights Network and New Europeans UK.
Bella developed and led on the Mayor of London’s programme supporting European Londoners through the Brexit process through the Citizenship and Integration Initiative. She also managed the Strategic Legal Fund for vulnerable young migrants at the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) and set up the Greenwich Migrant Hub – a drop-in centre for vulnerable migrants. She is currently the Chair of the MigrationWork Trust and the Chief Exec for the specialist legal charity Here for Good.
Areas of Expertise
Bella is an experienced project manager and policy professional in both a third sector and public sector context. She has a particular interest in EU citizens‘ rights and integration.
Biography and contact details for Jo Wilding
Jo is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, specialising in immigration and asylum law and unlawful immigration detention.
Previously she spent several months in Iraq, before, during and after the 2003 invasion, interviewing civilian casualties, writing and reporting in various media and running a small circus working with traumatised children.
Areas of Expertise
Immigration and asylum law;
Unaccompanied child migration and public policy;
Designing and delivering training on the above;
Legal and report writing, including interviewing.
Contributor to eighth edition of Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice;
Contributor to (forthcoming) fifth edition of Jackson’s Immigration Law and Practice
Presenter / narrator of “A Letter to the Prime Minister: Jo Wilding’s Diary From Iraq”,  Dir: Julia Guest, Year Zero Films (Winner of Best international documentary, Al-Jazeera Film Awards, 2006)
Inside Out (BBC South West): two 15 minute documentary packages dealing with sanctions in Iraq and the war in Iraq in 2003 and 2004
Wilding, J.  “Don’t Shoot the Clowns” (New Internationalist) ISBN 1-904456-48-0: A non-fiction book about my time in Iraq documenting civilian casualties of the war, running a circus project with traumatised children and escorting ambulances during the first (April 2004) siege of Fallujah.
Wilding, J. , “Fallujah”, in “Tell Me No Lies: investigative journalism and its triumphs” edited by John Pilger (Jonathan Cape) ISBN 0-224-06288-3
Cycling, kayaking, gardening, walking, rock climbing, trapeze, writing, learning to sail and being mum.
Gerry has certificate in applied advice work and a master’s degree in refugee studies. She began working with refugees and asylum seekers in 1998 as an advice worker with Refugee Action and then moved on to manage one of their advice services. She has also worked as a protection assistant with UNHCR and more recently ran the women’s project at the Asylum Support Appeals Project.
Areas of Expertise
Gerry holds an expertise in asylum support law and represented asylum seekers at the Asylum Support Tribunal for over eight years. She has strong background in training and second tier advice, as well as producing fact-sheets and bulletins on asylum support law. She has undertaken qualitative research on the asylum support system, including researching the barriers faced by women when lodging appeals to the Asylum Support Tribunal. Gerry currently manages the Strategic Legal Fund for Vulnerable Young Migrants.
Biography and contact details for David Garratt
Since graduating in philosophy, Dave has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years. After 5 years as a caseworker and manager in front-line homeless services, Dave moved to the refugee sector in 1999. Dave spent over a decade running operations for Refugee Action, delivering a range of services across the UK for asylum seekers and refugees, including reception, advice, support, destitution, awareness and integration. In 2010 Dave became Refugee Action’s CEO, developing the charity’s governance, strategic focus, policy work and income generation, and establishing key sector-wide and Government relationships.
Areas of expertise
Since moving to freelance work in 2015 in order to spend more time with his young family, Dave has worked both in the refugee sector, providing support around strategic and operational planning, and across many other social care sectors, on all aspects of governance and strategy, primarily focusing on merger facilitation and support.
Dave is a board member of the Asylum Support Appeals Project (STAR) and Chair of Student Action for Refugees (STAR)
Biography and contact details for Tamsin Koumis
Tamsin has recently completed a Social Enterprise fellowship with Year Here. In 2016, she co-founded Dunkirk Legal Support Team – a grassroots advocacy association in Dunkirk refugee camp. In 2014 she completed a Social Anthropology BA at SOAS, University of London. This is where she first started volunteering with migrants, as a visitor to Yarls Wood IRC with SDS. She has also volunteered at Hackney Migrant Centre and with AVID.
Areas of Expertise
Tamsin runs a project giving EU Londoners access to reliable information around Brexit. She is trustee of Humans for Rights Network, a new project focusing on improving systems of reporting of human rights abuses. She is interested in advocacy and participation. She has also worked on a participatory textiles arts project working with asylum seekers and refugees.
Biography and contact details for Dirk Gebhardt
Dirk Gebhardt is an associated senior researcher at GRITIM-UPF Barcelona. He works on local immigrant integration and wider urban policies through comparative research, teaching, evaluations and hands-on projects with city councils and NGOs.
Areas of expertise
The role of local governments in providing access to rights, status and identity for immigrants and minorities
Civic integration programmes
Labour market integration
Housing and segregation
Conducting policy evaluations
Organising mutual learning for practitioners
Worked in intercultural neighbourhood-based programmes in Berlin
Organized mutual learning between European city councils on immigrant integration as policy advisor for Eurocities
Worked as evaluator and topic coordinator for the Urban Innovative Actions programme
Helped developing a campaign for fostering electoral participation of immigrant citizens with Barcelona city council
Dirk plays tenor saxophone for “Banda Patilla”
Biography and contact details for Azar Sheibani
Azar Sheibani is a senior lecturer in Community Development at London Metropolitan University. She has taught on several courses and across various disciplines. She has been at London Metropolitan University since 1995. Her research interests include refugee reception and integration, gender and migration, and transnational communities.
For the past 22 years, she has combined academic and research work with her practitioner role in the voluntary and community sector. She has twenty nine years’ experience in this field and has taken on various roles in the voluntary sector including setting up various community organisations and umbrella bodies and serving on a range of boards and advisory committees. She is currently an Advisory Panel member for Migration Work and a member of Asylum aid’s Women’s Project Advisory Committee.
Areas of expertise
Azar heads up the Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit (RAGU) based at London Metropolitan University which was set up in 1995. RAGU currently works with refugee health professionals (doctors, nurses and midwives, dentists, pharmacists and other health professionals) and provides various services including advice and guidance, training and a placement programme. She has a successful track record in fundraising and has managed to secure funding for RAGU from various sources including government departments and European Union. She fundraised to set up a new MSc course in Community Development at London Met which enabled employees of refugee community organisations to attend the course free of charge.
Azar has been involved in the management of several national and transnational partnerships and research in the fields of refugee reception and integration, support and capacity building for the voluntary and community sector. She has served as an election observer for OECD observing elections in several countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.
Sandra Peňaloza T-Rice
Biography and contact details for Sandra Peňaloza T-Rice
Sandra has a Professional Diploma in Education from Bolton University and Masters degree in Social Anthropology from Manchester University. After seven years working in the private sector travel and tourism, she moved into the voluntary sector in 2008 starting as a volunteer coordinator for Commitment in Communities, since then she has worked for various Methodist Churches in Liverpool and Greater Manchester as Volunteering Consultant, and Churchgate Academy /Bolton University as Higher Education Tutor for Early Years BA (Hons) Programme. In addition for Church Action on Poverty as Self-Reliant-Groups Facilitator and Migrant Support as Co-founder and Projects Co-ordinator.
Areas of expertise
Sandra’s work is profoundly embedded in the communities, coordinating crucial services for the most vulnerable people from migrant backgrounds in Manchester. Her front line understanding of current and emerging issues around migration is an extensive and invaluable resource.
She has an in-depth knowledge on migrant workers’ rights, issues around long term unemployment for refugee and EU migrant workers. She also designed and implemented Volunteering schemes for Methodist Churches and groups and has worked recruiting and supporting volunteers from diverse cultural backgrounds.
She also has experience in management and reporting of projects funded by the European Social Fund and quality research.
Co-founder and manager of Migrant Support since 2011, contributing to become one of the most significant and widely recognised grassroots’ charity organisations supporting vulnerable migrants living in Greater Manchester which has attracted a high profile board of trustees all with linked to the organisations working with migrant communities.
Design and implement volunteering projects such as English for migrant and refugees, media, befriending and peer researchers run by volunteers from diverse communities benefiting approximately 300 unemployed migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to improve their opportunities to progress since 2011 in Greater Manchester.
Setting up and managing a successful private travel company in Latin America.
Designing and implementing incoming volunteering community, based in rural areas in Bolivia and designing the tourism strategy for Quime-Bolivia.
Volunteer-trustee of other voluntary organisations, traveling, films, gardening, painting, arts and crafts, Latin American cooperatives.
Biography and contact details for Fazil Kawani
Fazil Kawani has been Communities Coordinator at Asylum Welcomes since September 2020, before then he was also Director of Refugee Action Kingston, Executive Director of Integration, Head of Development Section, Director of Special Projects and Director of Communications at the Refugee Council. The Refugee Council is the leading charity in the UK working with refugees and asylum seekers. Prior to that, Fazil was managing a few successful Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs), including Southwark Refugee Project (SRP) and Kurdish Cultural Centre (KCC).
Apart from practical experience of working with refugees, Fazil also has personal experience of arriving here as a refugee when he was 18 years old. Fazil graduated as a Civil Engineer from East London University.
Areas of expertise
In 1992, he left Engineering to work with refugee communities to support refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Since then he has been working with many organisations and individuals for supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and refugee communities on asylum and immigration issues, including, protection, detention, destitution, integration issues. He has been involved in campaigning, lobbying, awareness raising, capacity-building support, managing organisations, fundraising and influencing funders, setting up and supporting refugee community organisations.
Through this experience, he has been working very closely with many voluntary organisations and statutory bodies, including refugee charities, Human Rights organisations, legal practitioners, faith groups, NGOs, local authorities and government departments.
He also has many years voluntary experience contributing to these issues through serving on many boards and advisory groups of voluntary and community organisations to support refugees and asylum seekers, including:
Trustee: Refugee Arrivals project (RAP) (1993-1997)
Trustee and Vice Chair: Refugee Council (RC) (1996-1999)
Chair: Refugee Working Party (RWP) (1996-1999)
Co-Chair: Asylum Rights Campaign (ARC) (2000-2004)
Management Committee member: London Detainees Support Group (LDSG) (1997-2000)
Management Committee member: Student Action for Refugees (STAR) (1998-2000)
Chair: Refugee Week (RW) (2000-2004)
Vice Chair: Kurdish Cultural Centre (KCC) (2005-2008)
Trustee: Refugee Housing Association (RHA) (1997-1999)
Executive Committee member: London Refugee Voice (LRV) (2005-2010)
Trustee: Migrant Resources Centre (MRC) (2007-2009)
Trustee: Kurdish Housing Association (KHA) (2001-2007)
Trustee: Klevis Kola Foundation (2010 – 2011)
Management Committee Member: Detention Advice Service (DAS) (2010 – 2011)
Biography and contact details for Myriam Cherti
Myriam Cherti is a National Programme Officer at the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM). Before joining IOM, Myriam was a Senior Researcher at Oxford University’s COMPAS. From 2009 to 2013, she was Senior Researcher at the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IPPR) where she led several projects, including “Beyond Irregularity,” a major research program on irregular migration. Before that, she worked as a project coordinator at the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, where she led a project on the oral history of the Moroccan diaspora in the UK. Her areas of expertise include irregular migration, migrant integration, diaspora politics and Moroccan migration. Myriam has also worked as a consultant and researcher on several European projects on the integration of ethnic minorities. Myriam holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences and a PhD in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex.
Biography and contact details for Ivelina Hristova
Ivelina is a multilingual social scientist with in-depth knowledge of labour markets, migration and integration. She worked for the UK Civil Service, the LSE Growth Commission, the Office of the President of Bulgaria, and the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Policy.
Ivelina completed her education in four European countries – the UK, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria. She holds an MSc with Distinction in International Migration and Public Policy from LSE and is continuing with an ESRC funded PhD there, both with a strong focus on economic migration. She is fluent in all four languages.
Areas of expertise
Ivelina has done research on skills, employment, labour market inequalities and integration, and national identity, often in the context of international migration and its implications for different industries.
She also initiated and managed two volunteering projects to aid pupils’ career orientation and support the labour market integration of inventors in Bulgaria, and is a founder of a Toastmasters International club in London.
ONS approved researcher with a strong quantitative background and experience in conducting stakeholder interviews
Conducted surveys and research with various policy related institutions in the UK and Bulgaria
Lectured on the importance of human capital and migration for growth and competitiveness in the Harvard-affiliated Center for Economic Strategy and Competitiveness, Bulgaria
Quality time with friends and family, sports, voluntary and charitable activities
Biography and contact details for Rivka Micklethwaite
Rivka Micklethwaite is a freelance researcher and evaluator in the refugee and migrant sector experienced in both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Rivka has been active in the refugee and migrant sector since her student days working with Oxford Migrant Solidarity to coordinate visits to detainees and mobilise students against human rights abuses in immigration detention, while completing a BA in Human and Environmental Geography at the University of Oxford. She has worked with MigrationWork since 2019 conducting research and frontline service evaluation, carrying out both qualitative and quantitative research and analysis. Most recently she has been part of the team delivering Refugee Action’s Insight Hub, which has been using sector-wide surveys to report on the impact of COVID-19 on the refugee and migrant sector since April 2020. In her spare time she is involved with renters’ organising.
Biography and contact details for Mark Russell
Mark Russell has worked in branding, communications and marketing across multiple sectors in a career spanning 25 years. He is also Chair of Trustees for CharityComms, championing communications best practice in the charity sector.
12 years in advertising and marketing agencies across diverse sectors and clients. 12 years in financial services as Head of Brand, national communications, customer insight, employee comms and sponsorship, as well as Insurance Marketing and Engagement Director. 4 years as a consultant specialising in business development, marketing and wider general management. Non-Executive Director, and Chair of Trustees for two national charities, latterly CharityComms, whose 500+ corporate members include some of the biggest and smallest charities in the UK. Ex-Chair of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association.
Areas of expertise
Branding, advertising, communications strategy and execution, internal communications, research and insight.
Board level strategy.
Proposition and product development.
Growing income and impact for national UK charities.
Introduction of the Santander Brand into the UK banking market.
Launch of the UK’s most famous current account (123 Account from Santander).
Fungi (keen amateur mycologist) Cricket and junior coach (ex first-class cricketer (just!)).
Biography and contact details for Caroline Robinson
Caroline Robinson has 13 years’ experience of work on human trafficking, labour rights and exploitation with particular expertise in policy engagement, research for policy and impact evaluation and programme development.
Caroline Robinson has wide ranging experience working on human rights and to prevent human trafficking, including frontline support to victims, policy engagement, research and leadership. She specialises in domestic supply chain governance to prevent labour exploitation. She founded the UK based anti-trafficking charity Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) in 2012 and served as its Chief Executive Officer until August 2019. She is currently working as an independent consultant based in Scotland. She previously led global advocacy for an anti-trafficking network, the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women, advising governments on anti-trafficking law and policy. She served as a Senior Advisor in the UK Parliament from 2004-07 and worked for the United Nations in the Afghan Parliament from 2007-08. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Anti-Trafficking Review Journal and is co-editing the forthcoming Special Issue of the journal: Everyday Abuse in the Global Economy.
Areas of expertise
Caroline has expertise in the anti-trafficking framework, ‘modern slavery’, labour rights and women’s rights. She is a policy professional with more than fifteen years’ experience of policy engagement. She has led multi-country research on human trafficking, women’s rights and labour law. Through her INGO and NGO leadership roles, she has expertise in project development and management, monitoring, evaluation and learning, fundraising, governance and HR.
In 2012 she co-founded FLEX, the UK’s leading organisation working on human trafficking for labour exploitation; She advised the UK government on its Modern Slavery Act 2015 and its Immigration Act 2016 and worked closely with the Director of Labour Market Enforcement and Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, achieving significant change; She initiated and led coalition advocacy for a decade long call for a monitoring mechanism to the United Nations Human Trafficking Protocol, achieving a monitoring mechanism in 2018; She pioneered feminist participatory action research in the UK and integrated victim led advisory and research processes into FLEX’s work. She established the globally renowned Anti-Trafficking Review Journal in 2011.
Caroline is a Devonian living in Highland Perthshire, she is deeply interested and engaged in devolved decision making, local accountability mechanisms and participatory governance. She enjoys trail and hill running, loch and river swimming, biking, skiing and kayaking. Languages: English – mother tongue; French – proficient; Spanish – basic.
Georgia Luling Feilding
Biography and contact details for Georgia Luling Feilding
Georgia Luling Feilding has experience within the migration sector in London, Bristol and Northern France. She is currently project managing the Community Integration Awards for the MigrationWork Trust.
Georgia co-founded the Dunkirk Legal Support Team – a grassroots advocacy project in the Dunkirk Refugee Camp in Northern France. She has also worked and volunteered in the UK migration sector since 2012 for organisations including Hackney Migrant Centre, Unseen and the Oromo Relief Association. Georgia has an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam involving two months fieldwork research using qualitative research methods and BA in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London. She also brings experience from roles in public relations and event management.
Georgia has also been involved with community food projects and is interested in food sovereignty and food justice.
Biography and contact details for Reyes Castillo
Reyes Castillo specialises in international migrations, social policies and EU funding, anti-trafficking and smuggling policies and practices, asylum and refugees, democracy and human rights.
She has expertise in legal & policy analysis as well as research and evaluation and more than 10 years of experience in project and programme cycle management. Her qualitative and quantitative research project management experience includes:
project and methodology development
identification and formulation
monitoring and supporting data collection
data analysis and presentation
She is based in Spain and has particular interest in and knowledge of the Latino American region.
Biography and contact details for Lilian Lee
Lilian Lee has 20 years of experience working in customer service, administration and operations for service-based organisations. She is passionate about ensuring that the operations of an organisation can support and encourage growth. She currently provides remote administration and operational support as a freelance virtual assistant.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Business and Commerce degree majoring in Economics and International Business from Monash University’s campus in Malaysia. She subsequently worked in various businesses in Malaysia – customer service, banking, financial planning services, children art education franchise. She moved to London, U.K. in 2008 and worked 9 years in an anti-poverty charity in London where she worked alongside the Chief Executive to build it operationally from a team of four to a team of fifteen, with an increase in turnover from £140k to 500k. In late 2019 she decided to go freelance due to various family commitments.
Dr Alexandra Bulat
Biography and contact details for Dr Alexandra Bulat
Dr Alexandra Bulat moved to the UK from Romania in 2012. Since then, she achieved a BA in Sociology and Media Studies (University of Sussex), MPhil in Sociology (University of Cambridge) and a PhD in Political Sociology and Migration Studies (University College London).
She is currently the Co-Manager of the Young Europeans Network, working on access to citizenship and democratic engagement for migrants in the UK.
Areas of Expertise
Alexandra has worked for the EU migrants’ rights organisation the3million on various projects, including co-managing the Young Europeans Network, co-managing civic and democratic engagement projects (ourhomeourvote.co.uk) and leading research projects, most recently London Voices. She is an experienced project manager, leading projects from the funding application until dissemination.
Previously, Alexandra taught research methods courses during her PhD at University College London and worked on research projects on Brexit impact, migrant youth mobility and attitudes towards EU migrants in the UK.
Alexandra was awarded the Romanian Ambassador’s diploma during her MPhil studies in 2015 for her advocacy for Romanians in the UK. She is proud to have supported hundreds of Romanian citizens with their EU Settlement Scheme applications as a volunteer advisor between 2019-2021. Alexandra’s proudest achievement is creating a digital space for young migrants to campaign on the issues affecting them, combining lived experience research with advocacy at the Young Europeans Network she currently co-manages.
Alexandra is the first Romanian-born county councillor in the UK, advocating for the residents of Abbey, Cambridge. Through her council duties and external appointments, she is involved in various projects, with a focus on youth, migrant engagement and integration.
She is also an experienced event and consultation facilitator, in particular for online events.
Alexandra is a native Romanian speaker.
Biography and contact details for Elizabeth Balgobin
Elizabeth has over 25 years’ experience of grant giving, from hardship funds to large programmes. She has a passion for increasing performance and growth (not always in size) in the sector. Her evaluation style is to put the individual’s story of change at the centre before looking at project and programme outcomes and impact. Elizabeth is also the back page columnist for Civil Society Governance and Leadership magazine. She holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, a Level 5 qualification in operational management, and is a graduate of Common Purpose. She has been a CEO of a national evaluation charity, local and regional charity sector infrastructure organisations, local and national frontline delivery charities (with migrant and asylum seeking clients).
Areas of Expertise
Elizabeth works as a consultant, interim CEO, grant assessor and grant-maker. Specialising in equality, diversity and inclusion, change, governance, crisis management, facilitation and evaluation.
First independent Chair of Voice4Change England
Current Trustee, Allocations Committee Member & Equity Scrutiny Group member at the National Emergencies Trust, awarding funds to the Refugee Council to support refugees during the pandemic.
Governance columnist for Civil Society Governance & Leadership, and previously for Third Sector
She is currently training to become a counsellor and she looks forward to completing her Life Coaching qualification. She likes singing, and is part of her local community choir.
Biography and contact details for Devan Kanthasamy
Devan has more than 20 years of experience working in the social housing sector in various senior management roles. Devan is the Chief Executive of Tamil Housing, a BME specialist Housing Association (HA) and he also serves in the Board of Major HA (a for profit HA). His areas of expertise includes housing, refugee and migrant policy issues. Devan is also the founder of predicta.ai, a start-up, looking into the application artificial intelligence in asset management.
Syeda Zinnat Akhter
Biography and contact details for Syeda Zinnat Akhter
She has a BA (Hons) in International Relations and Global Politics (Nottingham Trent University), MA in Government and Politics (St. John’s University), and an MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development (SOAS, University of London). She was exposed to issues affecting migrant communities across the UK and overseas through her professional background working in the field of international affairs and development (i.e. United Nations, charities, and the Bangladesh High Commission in London)
Areas of Expertise
Her expertise ranges around international relations and affairs, international development, forced migration and labour migration. She also enjoys complex analytical concepts and solving them, as well as seeing the bigger picture and thinking strategically.
She has a strong passion and interest in playing a role that supports decision-making and policies affecting all communities.
Biography and contact details for Juliana Fornasier
Juliana holds a Master degree in Migration Studies and a Bachelor degree in Business Management. In 2023 she will be starting a PhD program to research on migrant integration policies at the local level. Moreover, she brings knowledge from personal experiences, such as volunteering with migrants.
Juliana started her career in the migration field as an intern at UNHCR in Brazil. Since then, she has worked as Coordinator Assistant for the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITIM) at Pompeu Fabra University; as Project Assistant at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and as Data and Knowledge Officer at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. She is currently managing an EU-funded project on safe reporting of crimes for migrants with an irregular status.
Biography and contact details for Caroline Rogers
Caroline is a freelance researcher and facilitator with 7 years of experience working with non-profit organisations campaigning for change.
She specialises in qualitative research on sensitive topics. She led policy and research for Refugee Action for 2 years, focusing on issues related to the asylum system and resettlement as a whole. During this time, she produced work covering a range of policy areas, including asylum accommodation, the Nationality and Borders Bill, refugee integration and the right to work for asylum seekers.
Prior to this, she worked as a Senior Policy Researcher at Citizens Advice, with a focus on housing rights, consumer rights, financial security and debt.
Caroline also holds a GDL, combining her experience as a researcher with practical experience offering advice and delivering training on various topics.
Areas of Expertise
Caroline has a broad base of experience which lends itself well to thinking creatively and spotting connections. She holds expertise in the refugee and asylum system in the UK, the private rental sector, debt and money policy and mental health policy. As is often the case, she is particularly interested in work where these issues intersect and aim to embed antiracist practices across her work.
She is well-practised at conducting research using a range of methods, including desk research, depth interviews, focus groups, surveys and modelling. She is particularly interested in exploring the use of creative or participatory approaches to research.
Caroline is well-versed in conducting research on sensitive topics or with individuals who require extra care and support to participate in research. She is particularly interested in using participatory methods with such groups.