As Elrha’s CEO, Jess has developed and led the organisation from its early beginnings in 2009 to its place today as a leading global actor in humanitarian research and innovation. Jess works closely with our Board of Trustees and leadership team to ensure we have the vision, strategy, talent and experience to deliver transformative results in humanitarian action.
Jess serves on a number of strategic Boards for UK research and innovation, including the UKs Disaster Research Group, and the Strategic Advisory Group for the Global Challenge Research Fund.
Jess is passionate about challenging the lack of investment in research and innovation in the humanitarian system, and is committed to working with others to make sure the the challenges faced by people affected by crises get the attention they need, so they can be addressed by the very best that global science, research and innovation can offer. Jess drives Elrha to explore and demonstrate how meaningful partnerships between people affected by crises and scientific and innovative communities can become transformative agents of change and ultimately realise their right to humanitarian action informed by evidence of what works.
Kate joined the team in 2019 to provide leadership and oversight of our programmes.
Kate has worked in policy and practice for various INGOs, DFID, the Red Cross/ Red Crescent and the UN for over 20 years. She is passionate about the role innovation and evidence can play in improving the way people and communities affected by crises are assisted.
Anne has been the Programme Manager for the R2HC since 2015. Whilst she oversees all elements of the programme, the major focus of her work is to ensure that research outputs influence policy and practice.
Before joining Elrha Anne spent more than 20 years managing international development programmes in the South-East Asia region. She has a public health background specialising in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and has worked for many years with NGOs and the United Nations Population Fund to increase access to services for marginalised and excluded people.
Anne brings to her role a commitment to using evidence to improve humanitarian practice.
Anna joined Elrha in 2016 as the Humanitarian Innovation Fund’s Programme Manager, and has overseen the HIF’s external evaluation, development of its new strategy and the significant growth and refocus of the programme team and its work.
Her background is in humanitarian practice and research, previously working for Save the Children and as a Consultant for UNHCR in a range of emergency settings, with both involving a focus on innovation. Anna also completed a PhD on refugee protection at Swansea University’s Centre for Migration Policy Research.
Anna is strongly committed to human rights, humanitarian principles and ethics and a values-based approach to humanitarian innovation.
Dallan joined the team in 2019 and has since been leading the finance and operations functions of Elrha to effectively support the work of Elrha and our programmes, as well as ensuring we have appropriate oversight and governance.
Before joining us Dallan worked in senior positions in a number of countries for Concern Worldwide, Danish Refugee Council and GOAL. He trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG and thrives in a fast-paced environment where handling new and diverse challenges is the norm.
Catriona joined Elrha in 2019 in the role of Finance Manager. She leads the Finance & Grants team and looks after Elrha’s financial management, reporting and compliance.
After training as an auditor with KPMG in London and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Catriona became a key member of the team establishing and managing KPMG Mongolia, living for five years in Ulaanbaatar. Upon her return to the UK in 2017 she took a career break to study for an MSc in Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic at Edinburgh University, before joining Elrha.
Catriona has volunteered with many different charities over the years, and is particularly enthusiastic about applying her professional skills in support of projects which are making a difference internationally.
Liz joined Elrha in 2016 and, alongside her colleague Jess, has helped shape Elrha’s identity, voice and place in the humanitarian community, while leading on Elrha’s strategic communications and supporting the entire team to better communicate what we do, why we do it and the difference our work is making.
With a degree and background in journalism, Liz is an accredited PR Practitioner with eight years experience in leading communications activities in the international development, healthcare and not-for-profit sectors, holding senior communications and campaign roles in both in-house teams and agency. She was extremely proud to win the CIPR’s (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) Outstanding Young Communicator Award in 2017.
With a keen interest in digital and behaviour change communications, Liz is a determined and passionate communicator, with a strong belief in the power of communications to unite, connect and empower people around the world.
Having studied a first degree in Social Sciences, and an M.A. in History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Helen has always been drawn to working for value-driven international organisations that work to create a better world.
After a period of working as a senior administrator in the International Labour Office in Geneva, she returned home to Wales and continued to work for organisations with similar international outreach and missions; the International Baccalaureate and Elrha. She joined Elrha in 2015 and uses her extensive administrative experience to support Elrha’s Board of Trustees and its Senior Management Team.
Helen is responsible for managing the admin team and HR processes and is the focal point for colleagues in our London and Cardiff offices. Helen loves working for Elrha and the opportunity to contribute to Elrha’s ongoing success.
Laura joined Elrha in 2017 and supports the team with travel, finance and event planning.
She has a masters in Human Rights from the University of Essex and has worked in the third sector for many years, and her experience helps her to provide administrative support to a very busy team!
Rhianydd joined us in 2019 as an Administrative Assistant; arranging staff travel and events, processing expenses and invoices, and undertaking HR tasks such as staff recruitment and onboarding.
She studied English with Creative Writing at Swansea University and has a further qualification in HR. Since leaving University, she has also worked for a variety of organisations with a particular interest in working in the third sector.
Rhianydd is excited to develop her skills and experience in HR and people development, mixed with her passion in the areas of disability awareness, staff wellbeing and organisational growth and structure, and is keen utilise these abilities to assist the very busy Elrha team.
Lucy was born and bred in the charity sector, working in the environmental and humanitarian sector before joining Elrha in 2012.
As Grant Manager she works closely with the programme teams to develop effective and flexible funding models and systems. She also ensures the correct management of sub granting mechanisms and internal compliance are adhered to.
Lucy is passionate about supporting grantees with developing robust internal processes and overall business development.
Chiara, our Compliance Manager, joined the team in July 2019 and has since been working to ensure robust and efficient contracting processes with Elrha’s sub-grantees, suppliers and other partners.
Before joining us, Chiara worked as a Humanitarian Programme Manager at the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Palestine, where she was responsible for the delivery of a large portfolio of multi-sector programmes, in addition to providing effective guidance to implementing partners. Having previously worked with INGOs, she has first-hand experience in relation to compliance and contracting in a humanitarian context.
As a humanitarian practitioner with a strong field experience, Chiara is passionate about developing an effective compliance framework that reflects the evolving needs of our research and innovation projects.
Emily joined Elrha in 2011 as Executive Administrator before moving into her current role as Finance and Grants Officer, where she uses her wealth of experience of finance and grant making processes to support the Elrha team and our grantees.
Emily is key in supporting a small team to manage a vast and varied portfolio and with her meticulous yet friendly approach, Emily has relished in the opportunity to develop her knowledge further.
Emily enjoys being part of a small but hardworking finance and grants team that supports colleagues across Elrha and her passion for baking has earned her the reputation of ‘Star Baker’ in the Cardiff office!
Heather joined the team in 2018 and since then has been helping us talk more about our exciting innovations and the vital research we fund, as well as the impact we’re making.
Before joining Elrha, Heather worked as a magazine Editor and as a Marketing Executive at a digital agency, where she lead communications campaigns for clients in both the private and third sector. With her background in both journalism and marketing, Heather thrives on finding and sharing real-life stories.
Her passion for helping others discover and tell their own story is helping us to communicate who we are and how we’re making a difference.
Sam joined us in May 2019 as Communications Officer. She supports the team in raising the profile of Elrha’s work by ensuring that our research and innovation reaches the right people.
Sam is a NCTJ-qualified journalist with a background in charity communications. She has previously worked at UK-based charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, The Prince’s Trust and most recently, Carers UK, where she led the communications plans and activity for their annual Carers Week campaign.
Sam is using her experience in creating engaging communications campaigns to help us widen our reach and impact across the humanitarian sector.
Cecilie leads Elrha’s team of innovation managers, supporting the team to deliver high quality innovation processes across the HIF’s thematic areas of work. She also manages HIF’s WASH initiative and has been part of strengthening Elrha’s focus on uptake, adoption and scaling of innovation, developing the first ever catalogue of humanitarian WASH innovations.
Cecilie has worked with innovation in environmental technology, charity programming and civil society activism, and before joining Elrha in 2016 she advised charities and funders on strategy, evidence and innovation at think tank and consultancy NPC.
Cecilie is particularly interested in how humanitarian innovation can become more responsive to the needs of people affected by crises and how it can become a vehicle for participation and accountability in the sector.
Ian is an innovation management and strategic communications specialist, with over 10 years’ experience in the international development and humanitarian sectors. He is passionate about harnessing the right tools and methods at the right time in support of humanitarian practitioners and social entrepreneurs looking to solve complex challenges.
Ian leads our work on scale as well as the Humanitarian Innovation Guide, and has been instrumental in our drive to place meaningful engagement with affected communities at the centre of humanitarian innovation through our partnership with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network.
In previous roles, Ian has led and worked on brand projects, digital campaigns and content strategy and development at Bond, Save the Children, Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre and Oxfam. He holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the University of Manchester and a BSc in Disaster Management and Technology from the University of Birmingham.
Angela joined Elrha in 2019 as the Innovation Manager leading the gender based violence (GBV) work in the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.
Prior to Elrha, Angela worked in innovation for the humanitarian sector at the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator, in addition to offering design and facilitation consulting services to various members of the ETC Cluster. Before working for humanitarian contexts, Angela consulted internationally for the global health sector with Population Services International (PSI), working as a trainer and technical advisor in human-centered design (HCD) and providing behaviour change communications.
Having previously focused on sexual and reproductive health, Angela is passionate about transitioning to the GBV technical area, and utilising her skills in capacity building and HCD.
Abi joined the team in 2019 as one of our Innovation Managers, and leads our work on localisation (primarily through our partnership with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network) while also supporting our work on scaling innovation.
Before joining the Elrha team Abi worked for a social impact consultancy firm where her work focused on supporting non- profits to develop value-oriented strategies and financially resilient business models. Previous roles have led her to Kathmandu where she edited Managing Humanitarian Innovation, a field guide for humanitarians, and to Geneva developing partnerships for the Global Humanitarian Lab.
Abi is excited to play a role in ensuring that innovation fulfils its potential to continually improve humanitarian action, better meeting the needs of people affected by crises. She believes we can do this through embedding better models and more effective collaboration – within communities, with aid workers, within aid agencies and with researchers.
Sophie is one of our Innovation Managers and joined the team in 2019, and leads our new work on disability and inclusion, while also providing support to our growing WASH funded portfolio.
Before joining Elrha, Sophie worked at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), where she managed innovative programmes to support start-ups and social enterprises. Sophie has seen first-hand the value of bringing together users, innovators, academics and the humanitarian community to find effective solutions.
With an energy for finding local innovators and learning from a range of sectors, Sophie’s area of work will help ensure the safety and dignity of the most vulnerable people in times of crisis.
As Portfolio Manager, Mambwe is the lead support on the management of the HIF’s varied portfolio of innovation grants and the operational delivery of its innovation programme. She also manages and develops the HIF’s grant making systems and processes.
Before joining Elrha in 2016, Mambwe worked in charity and human rights organisations in the UK and South Asia, previously supporting a team of human rights lawyers.
Her legal background provided her with an attention to detail that helps to ensure effective coordination of the HIF team and its processes.
Kate joined Elrha in 2019, and supports the HIF Portfolio Manager in the operational delivery of the programme and the management of the HIF’s portfolio of grants.
Before joining Elrha, Kate previously worked in operations for the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation (GAHI). Prior to this she supported operations at a UNOPS hosted project based in Geneva.
With her background in supporting operations for projects focused on innovation in the humanitarian sector, Kate is passionate about using innovation to improve humanitarian effectiveness and outcomes.
Claudia joined Elrha as a programme officer in 2019, to support the management of grants under the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.
Prior to joining the team Claudia worked for an international humanitarian and development agency in corporate and foundation fundraising where she helped build relationships with donors, and supported grants around the world – from emergency response to clean energy initiatives to impact investing.
She has an MA in International Development and is passionate about the role that innovation can play improving the lives of people around the world.
Frances has been with Elrha since 2011 working across Elrha’s programmes to strengthen and broker partnerships. She is currently working with the HIF on their localisation and scaling initiatives as well as strategic partnerships.
With over 30 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sectors, Frances has worked to bring people together and break down siloes with the aim of bringing about more effective understanding of, and solutions for, the complex problems these sectors face. She passionately believes this cannot happen without stronger and more equitable partnerships for those closest to, and most affected by, crises.
Robert joined Elrha in 2017 and supports the Portfolio Manager in the management of R2HC’s portfolio of research grants. Previously he worked with a national organisation providing grants to heritage projects across Wales.
Robert has experience of delivering projects in a humanitarian context, working in the Darfur region of Sudan supporting the implementation of projects in water, education and health. He has also worked on longer term development projects in relation to nomadic pastoralists in the Sudan.
As Portfolio Manager in the R2HC programme, Simon oversees the relationships with R2HC’s portfolio of funded research studies and works with the R2HC Funding Committee to manage our grant assessment processes.
Simon previously founded the international development programme at The Waterloo Foundation where he managed a diverse portfolio of grants. He is a funding committee member for BBC Children in Need in Wales, and is a Trustee of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) where he helps oversee the Wales-Africa (Hub Cymru Africa) programme.
Simon’s experience in managing grant partnerships is helping R2HC funded grantees to deliver cutting-edge research in humanitarian contexts.
Cordelia is the Research Impact Manager for the RH2C programme. She joined Elrha in 2019 and has responsibility for supporting and facilitating R2HC grantees in achieving impact through their research. She also works with the RH2C team to engage with and strengthen communities of humanitarian policy and practice, to promote collaboration and increase uptake of evidence.
Cordelia came to Elrha after seven years in the international development sector with a track record in policy research, engagement, influencing, and communications. Previously she was Senior Policy and Engagement Adviser at Development Initiatives, where she led policy and advocacy for the ‘Financing for Development’ workstream.
Cordelia loves to meet new people from all around the world, learn from others, and build connections that can inspire positive change in the world.
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