Trustees and Patrons
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.
Dr Lynn Bindman – A retired neurophysiologist, Lynn taught undergraduate and postgraduate science students and medical students in their preclinical years at University College London (UCL) for 44 years. She also ran a research group investigating neurophysiological models of learning in the cerebral cortex. Lynn was a member of the 1993 Congress Executive Committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences and The British Neuroscience Association and was also Chair of the Physiological Society Benevolent Fund. Upon retirement, Lynn continued to serve at UCL as a member of the Research Ethics Committee. Formerly a Justice of the Peace, Trustee of the Prisoners’ Education Trust and a member of its Learning Matters Advisory Board, Lynn is currently a Trustee at Ellern Mede School; a school providing education for young people admitted to hospital with eating disorders. She is also the Chair of the school’s Education and Standards Committee. With a keen interest in human rights, Lynn and her husband Geoffrey founded one of the original local Amnesty International groups in 1962.
Victoria Brittain (Vice-Chair) – 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.
Dr Dorothy Connell – Dorothy 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.
Justin Glenister – Justin is the global privacy officer and a risk lawyer at an international law firm in London. Previously an intern at Prisoners of Conscience, Justin maintained close ties with the organisation before becoming a trustee in 2018.
Stefanie Grant – 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.
Dr Roger Harrison – 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.
Catriona Jarvis – 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.
Tabitha Nice – Tabitha is a non-practising solicitor, and currently Co-Council to The China Tribunal, a public pro-bono people’s enquiry into the practice of forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. She has spent nine years working in insurance claims, most recently for a Lloyd’s of London insurer as the Chief Adjuster for their political risk, trade credit and political violence book, after qualifying and practicing litigation for seven years at a top rated London law firm. Prior to that she observed elections on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth office in Kosovo, Bosnia, Ghana, Bulgaria, Armenia, Ukraine and George. She has a Master’s degree from Kings College London in International Peace and Security.
Maria Saro-Wiwa – 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 Wong (Chair) – 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 retired but uses his time to keep engaged in improving the life chances of others. He is Corporate Secretary of the Savile Row Academy, Director of The Carnival Village Trust, Community Assessor for the Metropolitan Police Service & a member of the Windrush Commemoration Committee. Ansel is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the Arts.
PoC benefits from the support of many distinguished patrons:
Rt Rev Simon Barrington-Ward KCMG, Lady Brooke, Lynn Carter, Lucy Chandler OBE, Rt Rev John Crowley, Dame Judi Dench DBE, Lady Antonia Fraser DBE, Roger Graef OBE, Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC, Kurt & Caroline Jackson, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Bruce Kent, Neil Latchman, Caroline Moorehead OBE, Rabbi Julia Neuberger DBE, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, The Hon Jonathon Porritt, Lord Puttnam CBE, Rev Dr Nicholas Sagovsky, Sir Tom Stoppard OM, Desmond Tutu Archbishop Emeritus, Zoë Wanamaker CBE.