Senior Management Team
Enver Solomon, Chief Executive
Enver joined the Refugee Council as Chief Executive in December 2020, following nearly three years as CEO of Just for Kids Law, a charity providing youth support and legal representation to children and young people facing adversity.
He holds a wealth of experience in the charitable sector, including senior roles at the National Children’s Bureau, The Children’s Society, Barnardo’s, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and the Prison Reform Trust. Prior to working in the voluntary sector he was a BBC journalist for ten years.
Enver has been on advisory boards for the Department of Education, HM Inspector of Prisons and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner as well as chairing a number of cross sector coalitions including the End Child Poverty Campaign and the Standing Committee for Youth Justice. He has also played a pivotal role initiating sector wide strategic communications and campaigning projects. Enver served for five years as Chair of Trustees at the charity Asylum Aid and was a founding trustee of the charity British Future.
As an expert in a range of social policy areas, Enver has produced a number of reports and co-edited three books for Policy Press, including a review of child protection: Effective safeguarding for children and young people. What next after Munro? He has also lectured on the MA in Child Studies at King’s College and contributed to the King’s Masters programme in Criminology.
Enver is proud to be the first CEO in the organisation’s 70 year history who is from a black and minority ethnic background. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, camping and generally getting out into the British countryside.
Renae Mann, Executive Director of Services
Renae joined the Refugee Council in 2021, from the No Accommodation Network where she was National Director. She brings over 20 years of experience working with people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants in casework, business development, and leadership roles. She began her career working with people seeking asylum to access housing and legal representation in her home city of Brisbane, Australia. A trained social worker, she came to London to work for an inner London Borough to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
Renae is passionate about creating prosperous, inclusive and equitable communities where everyone is able to feel safe and thrive. She specialises in tailoring services to the unique needs of clients in collaboration with them and partners. She leads on safeguarding for Refugee Council.
Tamsin Baxter, Executive Director of Fundraising and External Affairs
Tamsin joined the Refugee Council in 2021, bringing 20 years of experience of fundraising and communications. During her career, Tamsin has led fundraising teams at a number of charities, most recently those at disability charity Scope and London’s sight loss charity Vision Foundation. She specialises in major gifts and partnerships fundraising, alongside key fundraising transformation projects. She has also been part of award-winning teams at British Heart Foundation and NSPCC Childline.
Dheepa Balasundaram, Interim Executive Director of Finance and Resources
Dheepa joined the Refugee Council in March 2022 as Interim Executive Director, Finance & Resources. Dheepa is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience working in organisations with a social cause. With a particular focus on developing and delivering positive change, Dheepa has worked in senior roles (and non-executive roles) for a range of international and national charities, including BBC Media Action, Great Ormond Street Charity, Mencap, Shelter and Breast Cancer Care. Dheepa is also currently on the Board of Refuge and chairs their Audit & Risk Committee.
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 (Acting Treasurer)
Aneil joined the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) in 2019 as Operational Director of the Health & Home Affairs directorate. This covers The Department of Health & Social Care, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Education, Cabinet Office and HM Treasury. Aneil is the strategic lead of the Impact theme of the Corporate Strategy, leading on cross-Government assurance and insight. Prior to joining the GIAA, Aneil was the Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit for the Church of England responsible for risk management and assurance delivery for a wide range of operations such as the £8 billion investments of the Church Commissioners, the Policy and Safeguarding functions of the Archbishop’s Council and the various pension schemes and housing provision run by the Church of England Pension Board.
He previously was the Director of Corporate Audit and Inspection at Barnardo’s, responsible for corporate assurance, children’s services inspection and safeguarding assurance of the UK’s largest children’s charity. Earlier in his career, Aneil worked as a Finance Consultant for Capgemini Consulting and trained and qualified as a CIPFA accountant during his time with the Audit Commission.
Aneil completed an MBA with the University of Leicester as well as being a Chartered Public Finance Accountant. In addition to serving as a Trustee of the Refugee Council, he volunteers as an Independent Visitor providing guidance and support to children in the Care system.
Alphonsine Kabagabo is the Director of Women For Refugee Women a charity that supports women seeking asylum in UK to campaign for a fair asylum system. She is a survivor of the 94, Rwanda genocide. She is a passionate advocate for the empowerment of girls and young women and has 20 years of experience in leading programmes for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. She led the development of transformative programmes that have given hundreds of young women the confidence to speak out and influence changes to policies on issues such as child marriage, HIV/AIDS prevention, fighting violence against girls and young women, and providing reproductive health services to women in refugee camps. She is a past trustee of Womankind, an international feminist organisation supporting women’s rights and a trustee of SURF, a non-profit organisation supporting survivors of the Rwandan genocide.
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 housing rights advice before moving 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 was for more than a decade Operations Director at the largest rural housing association in the UK. She helped build an enviable reputation for high quality energy efficient homes and services.
Anne is an experienced voluntary non-exec director, in the not-for-profit sector, and is currently the Chair of Homeless Link and board member of Hightown Housing and Cluid Housing in Ireland. She works independently as a management consultant and interim director where she supports organisations to transform services by animating their social purpose.
Rachael Orr (Vice Chair)
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.
Ghino is a Youth and Community strategist. She started out as a youth worker supporting female participation and inclusion for young people with special needs & disabilities. As a young Kurdish refugee, she found a new home in London, and her formative experiences continue to inspire her work within communities.
Ghino holds a postgraduate qualification in Law and a MA in Applied Anthropology and hopes to continue research in the way language & stories shape our environment. She has shaped youth engagement strategies to effect change within communities, both in the U.K. and abroad. She has also worked with the business sector to develop meaningful Social Responsibility models. Ghino is currently working to improve outcomes for those affected by serious youth violence and exploitation across the UK working with National Charities that lead in systems change.
Ghino is a big fan of Sarah Kay poetry, and is the mother to two little rock stars.
Clare is an experienced and award winning programme-maker. She has been responsible for popular formats such as Great British Bake-Off as well as a wide range of individual films examining the fabric of Britain. Subjects range from the slave traffickers to domestic violence, cults to sex abuse. Recently she executive produced Jay Blades- Learning to Read at 51 (BBC One), about literacy.
Her engagement with refugees began with several films about immigration policy and experience. She was responsible for the multi-award winning 2016/17 series following refugees looking for a better life, Exodus, Our Journey to Europe and its sequel, Exodus: Our Journey Continues (BBC One). She commissioned A Very British History (BBC Four), two series about the immigrant experience in different British cities including Leicester Ugandan Asians, Vietnamese boat people, London Chinese, Birmingham Irish and Leeds Jews.
In 2020, Clare volunteered in Calais with Care4Calais. On her return, she set up a volunteer network to support refugees in hotels in South London. The 50-strong team now offers food, clothing, access to lawyers, welfare and advice to a changing population of about 500 and works with councils and community organizations to deliver support.
Previously Clare was for eight years a governor at London’s Graveney School, one of the capital’s largest comprehensives where she took a special interest in the media element of the curriculum.
For 12 years, Clare was a Trustee of the Horniman Museum, a museum which has a deep commitment to human cultures and the natural world. She was centrally involved in the digital and real world rebranding and was a director of Horniman Museum Enterprises. She is author of Mr. Horniman’s Walrus, about the lives and legacies of the Horniman family, due out September 2022.
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.