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People

Meet the Modern Slavery PEC team, our Senior Management Board, Advisory Group and researchers working on our projects.

Meet the people responsible for the Modern Slavery PEC's day to day work.

The Modern Slavery PEC Senior Management Board (SMB) comprises representatives of the six Consortium partners of the Centre, the Centre’s Research Director, the Operations Director, and the AHRC’s Senior Responsible Officer. The SMB is responsible for developing and delivering the strategy of the Centre.

Advisory Group offers advice and guidance to the Senior Management Board.

Meet the researchers leading on the Modern Slavery PEC projects.

Core team

Meet the people responsible for the Modern Slavery PEC's day to day work.

Modern Slavery PEC Director

Murray Hunt

Murray Hunt is the Director of the new Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, created to enhance understanding of modern slavery and transform the effectiveness of law and policies designed to overcome it. It is led by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, of which Murray is the Director.

From 2004 to 2017, Murray was Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in the UK Parliament, and prior to that was a practising barrister at Matrix, which he helped to establish in 2000.

Finance and Administration Manager

Isabella Asimadi

Isabella Asimadi has extensive experience of administering Research Council funding. Her highly varied portfolio includes multi-national project management and coordination with Imperial College London, University College London and Commonwealth Secretariat.

Executive Assistant

Alex Mandich

Alex Mandich joined the Centre from Morley College, where she was Executive Assistant to the Principal.

Operations Director

Kelly Ryan

Kelly Ryan joined the Modern Slavery PEC from the Alan Turing Institute, where she was responsible for overseeing the delivery of a £40m SPF investment.

Administration Assistant

Kai Shakti-Akhenaten

Kai Shakti-Akhenaten joined the Modern Slavery PEC from the Ministry of Justice, and has extensive experience in administrative support roles.

Communications Director

Jakub Sobik

Jakub Sobik joined the Modern Slavery PEC from Anti-Slavery International, where he led the development and implementation of its communications strategy.

Senior Management Board

The Modern Slavery PEC Senior Management Board (SMB) comprises representatives of the six Consortium partners of the Centre, the Centre’s Research Director, the Operations Director, and the AHRC’s Senior Responsible Officer. The SMB is responsible for developing and delivering the strategy of the Centre.

Modern Slavery PEC Director

Murray Hunt

Murray Hunt is the Director of the new Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, created to enhance understanding of modern slavery and transform the effectiveness of law and policies designed to overcome it. It is led by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, of which Murray is the Director.

From 2004 to 2017, Murray was Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in the UK Parliament, and prior to that was a practising barrister at Matrix, which he helped to establish in 2000.

Senior Management Board member and Acting Research Director

Prof. Alex Balch

Prof Alex Balch is a professor of politics at the University of Liverpool, with research interests in policies on immigration and modern slavery. He currently leads the Antislavery Knowledge Network, which seeks to apply innovative methods to tackle modern slavery across Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also associate director of the African Programming and Research Initiative To End Slavery (APRIES). He has over 10 years’ experience designing and implementing programmes in diverse international contexts. His approach is collaborative and interdisciplinary, with the aim to develop new methods and modes of partnership across national boundaries with government, business and civil society to meet the challenges in addressing modern slavery.

Senior Management Board member

Prof Trevor Burnard

Trevor Burnard is one of the world’s leading historians of the slave trade and slave societies in the Americas. Currently Wilberforce Professor of Slavery and Emancipation and Director of the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull, since 2004 he has held professorships at Sussex, Warwick, Melbourne and Hull. He is author of 14 books, including 7 monographs, the most important of which is the prize-winning Mastery, Tyranny and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World (2004).

He has been editor-in-chief since 2009 of the award-winning Oxford Bibliography Online in Atlantic History. His numerous fellowships include the Heinz Heinen Fellowship at the Centre of Slavery and Dependency Studies at the University of Bonn. He was head of school or department for 16 years at the Universities of Brunel, Sussex, Warwick and Melbourne.

Senior Management Board member

Dr Christos Kypraios

Dr Christos Kypraios is the Programmes Manager at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford, a Senior Fellow at Mansfield College, University of Oxford, and a Senior Research Affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. He is a Senior Management Board Member of the Modern Slavery PEC since July 2020, representing the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.

Senior Management Board member and Researcher

Dr Anjali Mazumder

Anjali Mazumder is the Theme Lead on AI and Justice & Human Rights at the Alan Turing Institute. With over 15 years’ experience of working at the interface of research, policy and practice in the UK, the US, and Canada, her work focuses on developing responsible and inclusive data and AI methods, tools and frameworks for safeguarding people from harm and building resilient institutions and systems. She was appointed to Canada’s National DNA Databank Advisory Committee (2012-2018) and currently serves on the UK Forensic Science Regulator’s fingerprint interpretation subgroup. She has also served the Royal Statistical Society in a variety of ways, most recently appointed to the Statistics & Law Section and the Data Science Section committees. She holds a doctorate in Statistics from the University of Oxford and two masters’ degrees in Measurement and Evaluation, and Statistics from the University of Toronto.

She is leading on the Modern Slavery PEC project on Enabling Trust, Security and Privacy for Policy Innovation in Tackling Modern Slavery.

Operations Director

Kelly Ryan

Kelly Ryan joined the Modern Slavery PEC from the Alan Turing Institute, where she was responsible for overseeing the delivery of a £40m SPF investment.

Senior Management Board member and Researcher

Dr Katarina Schwarz

Dr. Katarina Schwarz is Associate Director (Law and Policy Programme) at the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham, and Assistant Professor of Antislavery Law and Policy. Her research interrogates the law and policy frameworks that operate at the global, regional, and domestic level to determine the elements of effective anti-slavery governance and map trends, successes, and failures in this area. To support evidence-based action in anti-slavery governance, Schwarz is currently developing and analysing the world’s first comprehensive database of the domestic legislation and international obligations of all 193 UN Member States with regard to slavery and related forms of exploitation.

She leads the Centre's project analysing the situation in top source countries for trafficking into the UK.

Senior Management Board member

Anne Sofield

Anne Sofield is the Associate Director of Programmes at the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

She has been with the AHRC since 2004 and watched it transform from a charitable Board into a Research Council. A film conservator and archivist by background, she spent the first 10 years of her career in television and film, making documentaries for channels such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel Networks, A&E, BBC and The History Channel among others.

Anne’s current interests lie in developing the next generation of researchers through AHRC’s skills funding as well as ensuring the AHRC is able to act as a bridge between researchers and policy makers. She is also passionate about understanding the future challenges and opportunities facing society and how arts and humanities research can change it for the better.

Advisory Group

Advisory Group offers advice and guidance to the Senior Management Board.

Modern Slavery PEC Director

Murray Hunt

Murray Hunt is the Director of the new Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, created to enhance understanding of modern slavery and transform the effectiveness of law and policies designed to overcome it. It is led by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, of which Murray is the Director.

From 2004 to 2017, Murray was Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in the UK Parliament, and prior to that was a practising barrister at Matrix, which he helped to establish in 2000.

Advisory Group Co-Chair

Prof Christopher Smith

Professor Christopher Smith is Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Previously, he was Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the British School at Rome, the UK’s leading humanities and creative arts research institute overseas, from 2009 to 2017. He is the author or editor of over 20 books and in 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Premio “Cultori di Roma.” He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries Scotland, the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Academia Europaea.

Advisory Group Co-Chair

Prof John Aston

Prof John Aston is the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, responsible for giving independent scientific advice to the Home Secretary and other Home Office ministers, providing leadership and management of Home Office Science and working with the wider network of Chief Scientific Advisers to address cross-departmental issues.

Advisory Group member

Prof Ruth Blakeley

Prof Ruth Blakeley is a Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield. After completing an MSc and PhD in International Relations at the University of Bristol, she became a lecturer and then Professor in International Relations at the University of Kent, later becoming the Head of School of Politics and International Relations. She was the Director of the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership at Sheffield. She is the Vice Chair of the British International Studies Association (BISA), and was lead Editor of the Review of International Studies from 2016 to 2020. Professor Blakeley’s research and teaching focus on international security, terrorism and political violence, and human rights.

Advisory Group member

Paul Bowden

Paul Bowden is a solicitor. He is former global corporate responsibility partner and leader of the business and human rights practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Paul teaches business and human rights law as honorary professor at the Nottingham Law School at Nottingham Trent University and is Chair of the National Justice Museum, the leading public legal education provider.

Advisory Group member

Dr Gemma Bridge

Dr Gemma Bridge is the Principal Private Secretary to Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). She has a Ph.D. in Oncology and Cancer Biology.

Advisory Group member

Jon Davies

Jon Davies has been Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) since 2017. He leads CPA UK’s work on parliamentary strengthening and priority themes including Modern Slavery. Before moving to Parliament, Jon spent over 25 years working for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, latterly as the first permanent Director of its new Diplomatic Academy.

Advisory Group member

Ruth Dearnley

Ruth Dearnley is the Chief Executive Officer of STOP THE TRAFFIK, building a global team of activists across the world and empowering communities in the prevention of people trafficking. Ruth has a law degree, a PGCE in Primary Education and a Licensed Lay Reader in the Church of England, and co-presents a weekly radio show.

Advisory Group member

Shaheed Fatima QC

Shaheed Fatima QC is a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, London. She has a broad practice which includes commercial law, civil liberties, human rights, public law, regulatory law and public international law. Many of her cases involve an international dimension and aspects of either conflict of laws or public international law.

Advisory Group member

Miriam Minty

Miriam Minty is the Head of Modern Slavery Unit at UK Home. Previously she served as a civil servant at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Advisory Group member

Prof Olivette Otele

Prof Olivette Otele is Professor of History of Slavery at Bristol University and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society. She is Chair for Bristol's Race Equality Commission. Previously she was a Professor of History at Bath Spa University.

Advisory Group member

Alastair Redfern

The Right Revd Dr Alastair Redfern is chair of the Clewer Initiative, a co-founder of the Global Sustainability Network, chair of the Advisory Panel for the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and vice-chair of the Anglican Alliance. He was a member of the Select Committee which drafted the modern slavery act for the UK. He was Bishop of Derby from 2005 to 2018.

Advisory Group member

Fergus Reid

Fergus Reid has been a Clerk in the House of Commons for 15 years, during which time he as served as Clerk for Select Committees on health, foreign affairs, standards & privileges, environmental audit and culture media & sport, as well as for the International Development Committee.

Advisory Group member

Dame Sara Thornton

Dame Sara Thornton is the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner responsible for encouraging good practice in the prevention and detection of modern slavery and the identification of victims. She was Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police from 2007 -2015 and the first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council from 2015-2019. She is chair of the National Leadership Centre’s Advisory Board and an Honorary Air Commodore in the Royal Air Force.

Researchers

Meet the researchers leading on the Modern Slavery PEC projects.

Researcher

Dr Samantha Currie

Dr Samantha is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool School of Law & Social Justice. In her recent work Samantha has worked on a British Academy-funded project on transparency in supply chains in the food and garment industries. She has also conducted a doctrinal study of how victims of trafficking are encountering and engaging with decision-making procedures in the UK.

Samantha’s research interests include the intersection of migration and anti-trafficking law and policies and intra-EU migration. She leads the Modern Slavery PEC project on access to legal advice and representation for survivors of modern slavery in the UK.

Researcher

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris is a Research Assistant at The Alan Turing Institute. Prior to joining the Turing, Alex held a joint appointment as a research analyst at a data science consultancy and at Tech Against Terrorism, a project working to support the global technology industry to tackle terrorist exploitation. Alex has a BA in History from King's College London and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), awarded with distinction. During his time at the LSE, Alex interned at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS). Alex is working on the Modern Slavery PEC project looking at data for investors for action on modern slavery risks.

Researcher

Lisa Hsin

Lisa joined the University of Oxford in 2017 to undertake research into the influence and effect of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Fernanda Pirie, particularly focusing on transparency in supply chains measures. She is a winner of the Busuttil Domus Prize in 2018. Before that, Lisa was an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London specialising in commercial dispute resolution and corporate investigations. She is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand, and a Solicitor with Higher Rights in England and Wales. Lisa holds a Master of Laws from the University of California, Berkeley as a recipient of the Spencer Mason Scholarship, and a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Law (Honours), from the University of Auckland.

At the Modern Slavery PEC, she’s working on the project analysing the effectiveness of the transparency in supply chains measures in the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Researcher

Dr Alicia Kidd

Dr Alicia Kidd is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wilberforce Institute, part of the University of Hull, where she works on issues around modern slavery and understandings of agency. Alicia is interested in bridging the gap between academia and practice, working with the Wilberforce Institute’s Risk Assessment Service alongside her role as Vice-Chair of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership. She leads on the project developing interactive workshops for regional partnerships.

Senior Management Board member and Researcher

Dr Anjali Mazumder

Anjali Mazumder is the Theme Lead on AI and Justice & Human Rights at the Alan Turing Institute. With over 15 years’ experience of working at the interface of research, policy and practice in the UK, the US, and Canada, her work focuses on developing responsible and inclusive data and AI methods, tools and frameworks for safeguarding people from harm and building resilient institutions and systems. She was appointed to Canada’s National DNA Databank Advisory Committee (2012-2018) and currently serves on the UK Forensic Science Regulator’s fingerprint interpretation subgroup. She has also served the Royal Statistical Society in a variety of ways, most recently appointed to the Statistics & Law Section and the Data Science Section committees. She holds a doctorate in Statistics from the University of Oxford and two masters’ degrees in Measurement and Evaluation, and Statistics from the University of Toronto.

She is leading on the Modern Slavery PEC project on Enabling Trust, Security and Privacy for Policy Innovation in Tackling Modern Slavery.

Researcher

Dr Steve New

Steve New is an Associate Professor in Operations Management at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. A leading authority on supply chain management, he is one of the leading scholars investigating the enigma of the Toyota Production System (TPS) and the West’s growing interest in the application of Japanese techniques to manufacturing.

Steve began his career as an engineer, working for Rolls Royce plc while completing a degree in physics at Southampton University. After working in management consultancy for Collinson Grant, he went to Manchester Business School (MBS), where he completed his doctorate on the use of visual interactive modelling for decision support in manufacturing. He taught at the Manchester School of Management, UMIST (now merged with MBS) before joining Saïd Business School in 1996. He is also a Fellow of Hertford College at the University of Oxford.

He co-leads the project analysing the effectiveness of the transparency in supply chains measures in the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Researcher

Dr Florian Ostmann

Dr Florian Ostmann is the Policy Theme Lead within the Public Policy Programme at the Alan Turing Institute. He leads the Modern Slavery PEC project on leveraging data for investor action on modern slavery.

Researcher

Dr Irene Pietropaoli

Dr Irene Pietropaoli is a Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. Prior to joining BIICL, Irene worked on corporate human rights due diligence with international organisations and NGOs in Europe, Latin America and Asia, including at Amnesty International, International Federation for Human Rights, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and ECPAT International, as well as for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. Irene holds a PhD from the school of Law of Middlesex University, she has a first-class honours LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights and first degrees in Law from the University La Sapienza of Rome and from the University of Barcelona.

She works on two Modern Slavery PEC projects looking at data for investors for action on modern slavery risks and the project analysing the effectiveness of the transparency in supply chains measures in the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Senior Management Board member and Researcher

Dr Katarina Schwarz

Dr. Katarina Schwarz is Associate Director (Law and Policy Programme) at the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham, and Assistant Professor of Antislavery Law and Policy. Her research interrogates the law and policy frameworks that operate at the global, regional, and domestic level to determine the elements of effective anti-slavery governance and map trends, successes, and failures in this area. To support evidence-based action in anti-slavery governance, Schwarz is currently developing and analysing the world’s first comprehensive database of the domestic legislation and international obligations of all 193 UN Member States with regard to slavery and related forms of exploitation.

She leads the Centre's project analysing the situation in top source countries for trafficking into the UK.

Researcher

Lise Smit

Lise Smit is a Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, conducting research on corporate human rights due diligence and other aspects of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Prior to joining the Institute, Lise was a practicing advocate at the Cape Town Bar in South Africa, worked for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, the UN Global Compact Office and was law clerk to the Chief Justice of South Africa, Pius Langa, at the South African Constitutional Court. Lise has an LLM in human rights law from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and a Masters in International Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute in Berne, Switzerland.

She works on two Modern Slavery PEC projects looking at data for investors for action on modern slavery risks and the project analysing the effectiveness of the transparency in supply chains measures in the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Researchers

Dr Katy Ferris

Dr Katy Ferris is an Associate Professor in Business Law and a member of the Law and Policy Programme of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham currently involved in the Modern Slavery PEC project on access to legal advice and representation for survivors of modern slavery in the UK.

Researcher

Prof Jean Allain

Prof Jean Allain is based at the Faculty of Law, Monash University; and is Professor of Public International Law, Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull, UK. Prof Allain was, from 2015-2019, Special Adviser to Anti-Slavery International. Prof. Allain’s books include "The Slavery Conventions"; (as editor) "Legal Understanding of Slavery"; "Slavery in International Law"; and "The Law and Slavery". He received his doctorate from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI), University of Geneva, and clerked for the first President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Tribunal.

He is working on the Modern Slavery PEC's project analysing the situation in top source countries for trafficking into the UK.