Senior Management Team
Maurice Wren, Chief Executive
Maurice joined the Refugee Council as Chief Executive in March 2013, following twelve years as Director of Asylum Aid, a charity providing legal representation to people seeking refugee protection.
Previously, he held senior management roles in homelessness at Shelter and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust, and governance positions at Innisfree and L&Q Housing Associations.
Maurice co-founded the Independent Asylum Commission in 2007 and Detention Forum in 2009, and is presently Co-Chair of the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum at the Home Office and Chair of UK Refugee Week.
He is Chair of the NGO, Every Casualty Worldwide, and a Trustee of Migrant Voice and the European Network on Statelessness.
Maurice was made a Patron of Action Foundation in 2016 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edinburgh University in November 2017 in recognition of his humanitarian support for refugees.
Una Barry MBE, Executive Director of Services
Una joined the Refugee Council in 2014. She held the position of Deputy Chief Executive of Depaul UK from 1997 to 2013. She previously held a senior position in Centrepoint Homeless young persons charity, and prior to that worked for several local authority social services in London. Una was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s honours list in 2004 for her work with disadvantaged and homeless young people. Una attained a Diploma in Management at Kingston University and attained a social work qualification at Bromley College.
Lisa Doyle, Executive Director of Advocacy and Engagement
Lisa joined the Refugee Council in 2005, and she is now responsible for leading the Refugee Council’s campaigning, media, parliamentary, policy, research work and community engagement work. As a researcher, Lisa has undertaken research on a variety of issues that affect refugees and asylum seekers which has been used to advocate for policy change. Lisa previously held positions at the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA), where she conducted research concerning widening participation. Before joining LSDA, she was a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Sussex. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Reading. Lisa is the representative for Western Europe on the Board of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles and a trustee of Galop, the leading LGBT anti-violence & abuse charity.
Lee Green, Executive Director of Income Generation
Lee has been a fundraiser for over 25 years working for a variety of causes from international development to medical research. During that time she has built up considerable expertise in a wide range of fundraising disciplines. She now specialises in change management with especial emphasis on developing digital capacity. Lee joined Refugee Council as Director of Income Generation in 2019. She previously held the position of Director of Fundraising at Asthma UK.
Nicola Kelly, Executive Director of Finance and Resources
Nicola started her career in local government finance in 2004, training as an accountant and then working as Finance Manager for London Boroughs of Enfield and then Southwark. Following a year living and working abroad, Nicola returned the UK and moved into the charity sector. She joined the Refugee Council in 2011 and became Finance Manager in January 2012, subsequently leading the charity through a period of significant contraction and growth. Nicola was appointed to the role as Executive Director Finance and Resources in October 2018.
Andrew Halper (Chair)
Andrew is a Magistrate for Northwest London, and a member of the governing body of the University of London. He also chairs the University’s Equality and Diversity Committee, and is a member of the governing body of the University of London in Paris. Andrew previously served for nine years as a governor of City University London.
Andrew was educated at the University of British Columbia (BA in Chinese, LLB in Law) and at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (DEA in African Law). After qualifying at the Bar in Vancouver in 1982, he initially worked as a Crown prosecutor and then moved to private practice, representing refugees before Canadian tribunals and Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal.
He joined Canada’s diplomatic service in 1989. After a posting to Hong Kong he was assigned to the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, where he reported on human rights and domestic politics. At the end of his term at the Embassy he remained in Beijing to resume the practice of law.
In 1998, after seven years in Beijing, Andrew moved to London to join the partnership of Dentons, a UK law firm, and for 20 years he worked in London-based international law firms. In parallel with full-time law practice, he also lectured on Chinese commercial, corporate and human rights law at SOAS, Cambridge University and Oxford University.
Zaeem is a medical doctor and public health specialist with expertise in health policy and management, having lived or worked in over 15 countries globally, primarily in conflict affected and fragile states in South Asia, Middle East and East Africa regions, with organisations such as Save the Children, Malaria Consortium, the International Rescue Committee, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Aga Khan Foundation.
He is currently the Medical Director at Save the Children providing strategic leadership of clinical governance, quality care initiative and pharmacy services globally. In addition to being a Board member at the Refugee Council UK, he’s a member of the Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Global Child Health Taskforce, and a fellow at the Royal Society of Public Health.
Aneil Jhumat is the Director of Corporate Audit and Inspection at Barnardo’s, responsible for assurance of the UK’s largest children’s charity. Aneil is a Chartered Public Finance Account, an Economics graduate of Queen Mary University of London and is close to completing a MBA course at the University of Leicester. Aneil also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Charities Internal Audit Network group, leading on assurance issues in the charity sector.
Originally trained as an Auditor for Local Government and the NHS with the Audit Commission, Aneil then moved into the private sector as a Finance Management Consultant for Capgemini Consultancy where he was able to gain great experiences in providing innovative business process solutions for clients from all the sectors. He completed his dream move to Barnardo’s in 2012 and has worked his way up to become its youngest ever Director, now responsible for leading the internal audit, inspection and safeguarding teams.
Aneil volunteers with Barnardo’s too taking great pleasure supporting Care Leavers and Disabled Children in the Redbridge Leaving Care and Indigo services in East London to fulfil their potential. Outside of work he is also a prominent member of the Ravidassia community working specifically on human rights legislation with other linked organisations
Vaughan Jones has worked in the refugee and migrant sector for over thirty years. He was the founder and CEO of Praxis, which is a highly-regarded NGO addressing the needs of some of the most vulnerable migrants, including trafficked women and unaccompanied minors. He is a past Chair of JCWI, the national campaigning body on immigration law and has played a role in many policy and campaigning forums at International, European as well as national, regional and local levels.
Since retiring from Praxis, he has continued to contribute to the sector, advising other NGOs and foundations and assisting Migration Matters which brings together influencers from across the political parties, think tanks, business and trade unions. He has a strong interest in community development theory and practice. Vaughan is an ordained Minister, with a Masters degree in Pastoral Theology. Currently he has oversight of Union Chapel Congregational Church in Islington which is well-known as a major music venue as well as provision for people experiencing homelessness.
John Kerr (Baron Kerr of Kinlochard)
John Kerr’s 36-year Foreign Office career saw him start in Moscow and Rawalpindi, take a detour to the Treasury to run a public expenditure division and be Private Secretary to two Chancellors, and end up as EU negotiator for Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major (1990/95), Mr Major’s Washington Ambassador (1995/7), and Mr Blair’s FCO Permanent Secretary (1997/2002). After being Secretary-General of the EU Convention in Brussels, he became Deputy Chairman of Shell and a Rio Tinto director : he now is Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power. An Independent member of the House of Lords since 2004, he served on its EU Select Committee, and is now on its Economic Select Committee. He was Chairman of Imperial College London (2005/11) and Deputy Chairman (2002/10) of the National Gallery (where he chaired its Development Committee); and has been a Fulbright, Rhodes and Marshall Trustee : he now is Chairman of the Centre for European Reform (a London think tank), President of an African medical charity, a Carnegie Trustee, and fundraiser for a Glasgow museum.
Anne’s career began in civil rights advocacy then to supported housing where she gained a reputation for great services that engaged and empowered service users. After a successful spell in Adult Social Care commissioning she worked for 13 years as Operations Director for Hastoe Housing, helping to build the largest rural affordable housing provider in the UK whilst creating a national reputation for high quality energy efficient homes and services.
Anne is Chair of Innisfree Housing Association. She speaks in Britain and Ireland about sustainability, fuel poverty, governance and the needs of destitute migrants.
Sal has worked for the Welsh Refugee Council since 1998 in a variety of roles (caseworker, team leader, director of operations, chief operating officer) and has been Chief Executive since 2014.
In Sudan he was the Deputy First Undersecretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Prior to seeking refuge in the UK, he was a human rights activist which led to multiple detentions for a total of five years.
Sal has experience of setting up and managing RCOs (co-founder of Displaced People in Action, was a founding member of the first Sudanese Community Association in Wales and has assisted in setting up Sudanese and other Refugee Community Organisations across the UK. Human rights activism in the UK and volunteered as a trustee and chair of the Sudan Organisation Against Torture.
He has experience of the Welsh voluntary sector as a former board member of Voluntary Action Cardiff, Albany Primary School Governors and United Nations Association Wales and current member of the WCVA – Welsh Council for Voluntary Action Board and Audit Committee, Race Equality First Board, Wales Migration Stakeholders group, the Independent Advice Providers Forum, the Asylum Support Forum, Wales Migration Partnership Board, Third Sector Council Board in Wales, Syrian Refugee Task Force, Strategic Equality Panel (Police), Strategic Engagement Group (Home Office), JCDB Board, DWP Strategic Partnership Board and British Refugee Council Board.
Rachael is the Director of PlaceShapers, the network for 120 community-based housing associations. She leads the strategy and direction for the organisation, delivering member services, policy and campaigns with members.
Previously, Rachael was Head of Oxfam’s UK programme, leading Oxfam’s advocacy, campaigning and programme work on UK poverty. She led a team delivering programmes supporting women to move into work and challenging poverty and inequality. Rachael joined Oxfam from Shelter, where she held various senior policy and campaigning roles. She ran regional and national campaigns on housing, welfare reform and wider UK poverty issues. Before Shelter, Rachael worked as a support worker and in hostels for homeless people.
Rachael served for seven years as chair of Angel Shed Theatre Company, an inclusive theatre charity in Islington. She has also volunteered with Help Refugees and is involved in local campaigns in her community.
Clare is an experienced and award winning programme maker and commissioner, for social documentaries, popular programmes such as Great British Bake Off and a wide range of individual films including several about immigration policy and experience. She was the commissioner responsible for the multi-award winning series following refugees looking for a better life, Exodus: Our Journey to Europe, and its sequel, Exodus: Our Journey Continues. She is also the commissioner for A Very British History (BBC Four), two series about immigrant communities in different British cities including Leicester Ugandan Asians. Vietnamese boat people, London Chinese, Birmingham Irish and Leeds Jews
Other credits include films about foreign cultures such as My Year With the Tribe, (BBC Two) about the Korowai; and Hunters of the South Seas about the people of the Western Pacific. She has also been responsible for many films examining the social fabric of Britain. Behind Closed Doors (BBC One) was about domestic violence; The Betrayed Girls (BBC One) examined the Rochdale sex ring; The Cult Next Door (BBC Two) investigated a South London cult. And The Prosecutors went inside the Crown Prosecution Service as it prepared cases against child murderers, slave traffickers and drug sellers in prisons.
For 12 years, Clare was Trustee of the Horniman Museum, a museum intended to inspire a wider appreciation of the world, its people, its cultures and its environments. Dedicated to both the natural world and human cultures, the museum has a deep commitment to engage its audiences with issues such as biodiversity, climate change and pollution. Clare used her digital experience to advise on the website. She was also a director of Horniman Museum Enterprises, and helped rethink the museum’s fund raising strategy.
For eight years Clare has also been a governor at London’s Graveney School, one of London’s largest comprehensive schools where she took a special interest in the media element of the curriculum as well as the students’ wellbeing including the Prevent strategy.
Gerry Power (Dr)
Dr Gerry Power is passionate about tackling inequality in contemporary society in all of its forms. He is a trained social scientist, with a particular focus on understanding the social Impacts of media and communications. With over 26 years’ experience designing quantitative and qualitative research studies to inform and evaluate awareness raising, attitude change, public opinion and behaviour change campaigns and interventions. His career has seen him work in academic, commercial and not-for-profit environments in the UK, the US and Latin America.
Currently Gerry leads a global research team at M&C Saatchi World Services. Which works to inform and evaluate communication interventions to address stigma and discrimination against a range of groups, including LGBTI populations in 8 Southern African countries, Islamophobia in the UK and the US and violence against women and girls in Ethiopia, Malawi and India.
Gerry is regularly invited to present on his work around the world and has published a number of papers and journals.
Gerry is currently a voluntary advisor for ‘Expectation State’ and a Trustee at the Thomson Foundation.
Lyndall Stein has worked building support for international organisations working on a wide range of issues including the liberation of South Africa, access to treatments for HIV/AIDS, and poverty/inequality. She has worked in a variety of roles as CEO, and as a Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Campaigns- in a wide range of organisations including the African National Congress ActionAid, Care International, Concern Worldwide The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Big Issue, BOND, Practical Action, VSO, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Save the Children and WWF UK
She now specialises in senior interim assignments and has been a speaker and trainer both internationally and in the UK and regularly volunteers including projects in Ghana and during the Rohingha in Bangladesh. She was awarded the 2017 Lifetime achievement award by the Institute of Fundraising, is a Board member of Greenpeace UK and a regular contributor to the The Fair Observer.
Nick Whitaker FCA (Treasurer)
Nick Whitaker is a Chartered Accountant with substantial experience in business, covering mergers and acquisitions, company and asset valuations, audit and assurance services, corporate governance, forensic investigations and expert determinations.
For many years a partner in PKF(UK)LLP and later BDO LLP, Nick is now retired from full time work. He has a portfolio of non executive positions principally with membership organisations, regulatory bodies and governance positions in education and housing.