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and advisors

Our trustees hold the legal responsibility for REUK's work; they meet quarterly to make key decisions. REUK's advisors are experts in their fields, who provide ongoing governance and strategic advice.


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.

Mark Nash, Treasurer

Mark moved into the charity sector following a 20-year career in IT that included senior management and director positions. In the voluntary sector, his responsibilities largely focus on finance and governance.

Hiruy Teka

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.

Karina Martin

Karina established and led refugee charities Upbeat Communities and Welcome Churches. She is now taking a break from two decades of working in the voluntary sector to study social innovation at Cambridge University.

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, and lectures on Practicing Sustainable Development at Royal Holloway University.

Belinda Perriman

Belinda worked for Shell International for 15 years in technical, finance, and commercial positions, which included leading a large clean energy project. She is the founder of the social enterprise Kurdish House London.

Mark Harland

Mark is a consultant and social entrepreneur. Over his career, he has worked extensively with global brands including Cadbury and Jaguar, as well as supporting high growth SMEs to unlock their management team’s growth potential. Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in running businesses and coaching business and third sector leaders.

Shna Olesczcuk

Shna is a former Kurdish refugee raised in Finland. She lives in London with her husband and two children, and is passionate about enabling nations to meet their potential through diaspora youth. She used to work for REUK as an educational mentoring coordinator. 


Emily Travis MBE

Emily is the Deputy Head of Children, Youth and Education at the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). She has previously worked in education in emergencies financing at Education Cannot Wait, and in a number of roles at the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Cabinet Office.

Amanda Gray

Amanda works in migration policy at the Overseas Development Institute. Before that, she worked for the International Rescue Committee where her roles focused on urban refugee policy and the Syrian regional response, and UNHCR UK where she worked on protection in the UK.

Chris Talbot

Chris Talbot is a global leader in the field of education in emergencies, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. Now a consultant with agencies including UNICEF, GIZ, ODI, NRC and the Open Society Foundations, he was was formerly the Head of Education at UNHCR, and worked in senior education positions at UNESCO IIEP and Education Above All.

Dr Elaine Chase

Dr Elaine Chase is a Senior Lecturer at University College London Institute of Education and was formerly at the Oxford Institute of Social Policy. Her background is in policy-focused and participatory research, specialising in the wellbeing, health and rights of individuals and communities.

Rafe Offer

A celebrated authority in brand management and innovation, Rafe Offer has held senior positions with some of the world’s largest companies including Disney, Coca Cola, and Diageo.

Sandra Halilovic

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. Sandra grew up as a refugee and is now a fellow of the Leaders Plus programme.

Pasha Michaelsen

Pasha worked as REUK's Head of Operations for five years. Previously, she worked at Big Society Capital, Challenge Partners and was a finance solicitor at Clifford Chance. She is vice-chair for the refugee charity Praxis and a trustee of IntoUniversity.

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