The trustees hold the legal responsibility for RSN's work. They act together to make decisions that guide our work, and meet together quarterly. They must make decisions as a group rather than individuals.
Joy Johnston (Chair)
Joy has worked for the UK government as a civil servant for the past ten years including in child protection, immigration and refugee resettlement. She has previously supported the start-up of a number of local charities and projects as a trustee and advisor. She also has an MSc in Forced Migration from Oxford University and worked on the Young Lives global research project, developing participatory research methods for use with children living in poverty.
Mark Nash (Treasurer)
Mark moved into the charity sector in 2014, following a 20 year career in IT products and solutions, including in sales roles and senior management and director positions. In the voluntary sector, his responsibilities have largely focussed on finance, governance and building management and he has been involved in several projects supporting the homeless and recovering addicts. Mark is now the Operations Manager for Basingstoke Community Churches' network of four churches and the charity which underpins them.
Dr David Hollow
David is an international development consultant and Director of Jigsaw Consult. He also has a PhD in the monitoring and evaluation of education programmes in Africa from Royal Holloway, University of London, and lectures on the MSc programme in Practicing Sustainable Development at Royal Holloway. He has worked in over fifteen countries throughout the world as an academic, consultant and development practitioner, specialising in education.
David has held the position of Chair of Trustees since RSN was founded, and has an in-depth understanding of global education alongside a passion to see education accessible for all - irrespective of gender, place of birth, conflict and displacement.
Belinda has worked for Shell International in the Far East, Africa, The Middle East and Europe in technical, finance and commercial positions. Having lived as a visitor in other countries for many years, she returned to the UK in 2012 to lead a large, industrial clean energy project. Since 2007, she was involved in starting the Dutch partner branch of International Justice Mission, has worked with Serve The City Netherlands, developed a charity matchmaking service in The Hague and been an advisor for a human rights organisation in London. She holds a degree in Physics from Oxford University.
Having established and led Derby-based refugee charity Upbeat Communities for 12 years, Karina is now the executive director of Welcome Churches, a new charity whose vision is to inspire, equip and empower churches to welcome and support refugees. A passionate social entrepreneur with a degree from Durham University, she has helped start a number of social enterprises empowering and supporting refugees. Karina is a great communicator who regularly speaks at conferences and events about refugees issues and social transformation.
Hiruy has worked in humanitarian response and international development for the past 12 years. He currently works for Plan International UK as their Education in Emergencies Programme Specialist, managing a portfolio of projects in West Africa and Central America. Prior to joining Plan International UK, Hiruy worked for a variety of organisations including Oxfam, UNICEF, the Lutheran World Federation and Transparency International, both in London and overseas, and was the Ethiopia Country Director for Lalibela Alternative Education Community Project (LEAP), a Scottish-based Alternative Basic Education charity from 2009 to 2010. Hiruy is a Governor of John Keble Primary Church of England School in Harlesden, London, and a founding Trustee of Life Education International charity.
Advisors are experts in their particular fields, who provide ongoing programmatic advice as and when we need it. We're grateful to have them supporting our work.
Emily Travis, MBE (Private Secretary at Department for International Development)
Emily has worked for the British government since 2004. Her roles at the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Cabinet Office have included policy advice and programme management on Iraq and the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. She spent more than 3 years working on Afghanistan, including as Head of the DFID team in Helmand province. She is currently working in DFID’s Ministerial Office, focusing on Africa and tackling violence against women and girls. Emily has an MA and Master of Studies from Oxford University, and was awarded an MBE in 2011 for her work in the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team for DFID in Afghanistan.
Amanda Gray (Senior Protection Associate, UNHCR)
Amanda works at the International Rescue Committee where her roles have focused on urban refugee policy and the Syrian regional response, having previously worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in London. Originally from Ireland, she qualified in law at Queen’s University Belfast and then at the College of Law. She worked for a leading national law firm, Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP, for four years with a specialization in commercial and civil litigation before moving into refugee and migrant issues.
She later studied International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex before working at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat supporting policy and campaigns on migrant rights. Her role at UNHCR focuses on asylum policy and practice in the UK through close engagement with the UK government.
Dr Elaine Chase
Dr Elaine Chase has been based at the Oxford Institute of Social Policy, University of Oxford since 2010 and prior to this worked at the Thomas Coram Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her background is in policy-focused and participatory research, specialising in the sociological dimensions of the wellbeing, health and rights of individuals and communities, particularly those most likely to experience disadvantage and marginalisation.
Elaine is particularly interested in the interface between policy, practice and context and has carried out many qualitative and mixed-method studies, in the UK and internationally (including Southern and North Africa; Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Middle East) in diverse health, education, public care and community settings.
Aside from research, Elaine has worked for a number of years in public health policy and programming in Namibia and in the UK. She has a particular interest in the wellbeing outcomes of young people subject to immigration control as they make the transition to ‘adulthood’ in the UK and across Europe and is currently pursuing a research agenda to this effect.
A celebrated authority in brand management and innovation, Rafe Offer has held senior positions with the some of the world’s largest companies. As Global Marketing Director for Disney, he pioneered the now infamous “having fun never goes out of style” campaign and, during his tenure, Disney’s sales of adult merchandise grew from $50m to $800m. Following a further highly successful spell as Global Marketing Director at Coca Cola, where he was responsible for a staggering $1.2 billion of global sales, he was appointed Director of Innovation at Diageo. Tasked with creating their entrepreneurial business unit, his core responsibility lay in finding new revenue sources while strengthening the core drinks business and brands.
Rafe continues to consult top companies including Microsoft, Aviva, The Daily Mail Group and Amazon, and sits on the board of Twenty Recruitment, one of the world's fastest growing recruitment companies. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Sofar sounds, a cutting-edge music company and worldwide promoter of new bands which specialises in secret gigs in unusual spaces.
Sandra is a senior finance professional who is passionate about helping organisations that are benefiting society. She is a Senior Investment Manager at Ceniarth, a global impact investment family-office where she leads on investments that have both a social and financial return with broader responsibilities including overseeing the investment process. Prior to Ceniarth, Sandra was an Investment Manager at CAF Venturesome, focusing on making loans to enterprises in the UK. Sandra started off her career in 2005 in investment banking in New York and London and has since transitioned to working for leading impact investment organisations having also worked at the IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank and Social Finance UK. Sandra grew up as a refugee and is very passionate about helping others who are less fortunate in forging a new path in their lives.