PoC is fortunate in having a committed and experienced board of trustees who meet regularly with the staff and who are actively involved in the grant-making process. Each week applications are sent to a sub-committee of trustees for assessment and approval.
Ian Baker (Treasurer)
Ian volunteered as our accountancy advisor for several years, before taking on the post of Treasurer in 2012. Ian is a chartered accountant and a co-owner and Partner (Finance) at Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP, an independently owned European real estate fund management business with an annual turnover of £23m, assets under management of €7.5bn and 94 staff in eight countries. He is also their Compliance Officer.
Victoria brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the board. She is a former associate foreign editor at the Guardian, where she worked for 20 years. A much admired writer and journalist, she has written a number of books and plays, including Death of Dignity: Angola’s Civil War and was co-author of Moazzam Begg’s Guantanamo memoir, Enemy Combatant. John Pilger called her ‘one of the greatest reporters’. Her current book, Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror explores the impact on the wives and families of the men imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay and under house arrest in Britain and the US. Victoria is a Trustee of a number of small human rights charities, and is on the board of the Institute of Race Relations.
Dr Dorothy Connell
Dorothy Connell has an MA and PhD from Harvard University in the USA, and has spent her working career in London as a manager, administrator, charity founder and fundraiser in the UK not-for-profit sector. Her career has coincided with the growing professionalisation of the sector. She is a long-standing member of the Institute of Fundraising and has developed considerable expertise in governance and guarding against reputational risk. As a senior and high-level fundraiser, she understands the necessary interaction between commercial and non-commercial sectors, and how to attain and report on financial and narrative goals as required by both donors and recipients. She has recently completed the Financial Times Diploma for Non-Executive Directors, which she feels will help her to be a more effective charity trustee. Dorothy co-founded in 1982 and still runs today the US/UK not-for-profit press Readers International, operating across the English-speaking world and seeking to promote greater knowledge of international fiction, especially outstanding works of fiction banned or censored for political reasons.
She volunteers as a member of the Parochial Church Council of St Georges church in Bloomsbury, for which she helped raise major restoration funds during her work with the World Monuments Fund.
John Cooper QC
John is a Criminal and Human Rights barrister based at 25 Bedford Row in London. He is also Honorary Visiting Professor of Law at Cardiff University. His international work includes advising on the Cambodian War Crimes trials, advising the incoming Slovakian Government on human rights and consulting upon a Bill of Rights for Nepal. He is also Chair of the International Steering Committee for the Iran Tribunal. John’s written and academic work spans many journals as well as leading newspapers. John has a regular piece in The Observer and often writes feature articles for The Times. He is Consultant Editor of The Criminal Law and Justice Weekly and Editor of The Criminal Bar Quarterly. John was Vice-Chair of the Bar Council’s Public Affairs Committee from 2006 to 2011, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Chair and President of The League Against Cruel Sports. John’s latest book, “Inquests”, published by Hart Publishing was published in May 2011. He has also recently become a Freeman of the City of London. For more details about John access his website.
Stefanie qualified as a solicitor after working with Amnesty International, as Head of the Research Department in London, and as Director of Amnesty’s US office. She specialises in migration, refugee and human rights law, and practised at the Immigration Advisory Service, at Baker and McKenzie, and as a partner at Bindmans. She headed the research branch of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, has been a consultant to the Global Commission on International Migration, and to a number of international organisations, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sussex Centre for Migration Research. Stefanie is Chair of the Dutch-based Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, and a trustee of the European Network on Statelessness, and of Independent Diplomat.
Roger has long experience in management and international business gained mainly in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. On completing his doctorate in cancer therapeutics, he first spent ten years in research management, before moving into a business career which focused on identifying important medical innovations, and moving them from the laboratory into routine clinical use. He has worked in the UK, USA and continental Europe, has built and led several skilled international teams, and has served on corporate executive management boards. He has extensive experience in high-value commercialisation of important new therapeutics, spanning development and marketing, contract negotiation, and the operation of the large trans-national partnerships often needed to bring major, first-in-class medicines to market.
With 15 years experience in digital marketing, Dave originally set-up Ellipsis Media, spawning the popular email marketing product, dotMailer. The company then listed on the markets in 2009 as dotDigital Group and is continuing to grow. In the role of Creative Director, Dave has also designed, directed and delivered many website projects including those for the likes of the BBC, BT, Fairtrade, WaterAid, HQ Hair, HMV and Curzon Cinemas. Dave now heads up a new online beauty store, beautydept.com.
Catriona Jarvis (Chair)
Catriona Jarvis is a retired judge. Formerly a teacher and a solicitor, she was a judge in the asylum, human rights and immigration field for twenty one years, retiring from the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber at the end of September 2013. Catriona is also Co-Convener of Last Rights, a project working to protect the rights of missing and dead refugees and bereaved family members. She is Chair of the Unaccompanied Migrant Children’s Court Steering Group and a trustee of the Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust. Over the years Catriona has chaired or spoken at conferences and working groups on important subjects, such as trafficking of children, child soldiers and gender sensitivity within the refugee status determination procedure. She has also travelled internationally to deliver legal training to judges, lawyers, governments and NGOs. More recently she has been involved in capacity building and training on refugee and human rights law with lawyers on Lesbos and elsewhere in Greece.
Born in Rivers State Nigeria, Maria met and married Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1967 during Nigeria’s civil war. Shortly afterwards, the pair fled the fighting in Eastern Nigeria and settled in Lagos. Returning to Port Harcourt after the war, Maria trained and worked as a primary school teacher in the city. She moved to England in 1978 with her four children. Subsequently, she had her fifth child, studied in North East Surrey College of Technology and then Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University). Following her studies, Maria remained in England and worked in the civil service for seventeen years until her retirement in 2009. She currently divides her time between England and Nigeria. Her interests includes reading and gardening and she retains a deep interest in Nigerian politics. Her faith is a deep source of inspiration and she volunteers for and supports several churches.
Ansel has enjoyed a wide-ranging career which has given him experience of working at senior levels in the public and charitable sectors and has included public appointments as well as senior management positions. He is currently the Company Secretary & Examinations Officer of Savile Row Academy, which is a training centre for bespoke tailoring and cutting skills, he is also the Managing Director of Tsingtac Associates Ltd., a Change Management and Equality and Diversity Consultancy. Ansel is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the Arts and a Justice of the Peace, Middlesex Area Commission.