About Us > People > Runnymede Fellows

Runnymede Fellows

Fellows act as consultants for Runnymede. If you are interested in employing the services of one of the fellows listed below, email info@runnymedetrust.org

Roland Azor

CEO and founder of Innovations at Work

Roland is a highly skilled and experienced practitioner specialising in integrating and mainstreaming equalities into organisational change and staff development programmes.

Roland spent ten years in the education service before joining the School Curriculum Industry Partnership as East of England Director. In 1995 he set up his first training & consultancy called Human Resource Development International (HRDI). With this company he has worked to design and develop innovative capacity building and mentoring programmes for black and ethnic minority communities in inner cities and townships in England and South Africa.

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As a black South African he sought to support the fledgling ANC Education Business Partnerships to grow. He was supported in this work by the Community Affairs departments of British Airways, Whitbread, Ford and NatWest Bank plc.

Roland joined Equality Works in 1999 as a senior consultant undertaking a range of work. In 2008 he set up Innovations at Work (IaW) and currently designs and facilitates one-to-one coaching programmes for boards and senior managers on professional leadership in equality and diversity. IaW’s small but dynamic team also provides training for senior managers to ensure that they recruit and select the best staff, as well as facilitating management development and ending harassment programmes for staff in a number of organisations. The team are specialists in Equality Impact Assessments and the start up and development of black staff networks and groups.

Leah Bassel

Leah Bassel has been a lecturer in Sociology at City University London since 2008.

She previously held postdoctoral fellowships at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council; and with the Group for the Study of Ethnicity, Racism, Migration and Exclusion at the Institute of Sociology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

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Leah completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar. She also holds a B.A. and M.A. from McGill University, Canada, in Political Science. Her work has been published in academic journals including Government and Opposition, Ethnicities, Politics & Gender and Community Development Journal and she is an assistant editor of Citizenship Studies.

Leah is the author of a book that analyses the challenges of citizenship politics for refugee women in France and Canada, published by Routledge in 2011.

Before studying at Oxford, Leah was an emergency outreach worker in Paris, where she provided humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers, and initiated and organised a circus camp project for refugee young people that has since become an annual event.

Marilyn Comrie OBE

CEO of LeaderGen Ltd

In her capacity as chief executive of leadership mentoring and coaching company LeaderGen Ltd, Marilyn’s diary has an increasingly expanding international focus. In particular this has included helping emerging economies in Africa get a foothold in western markets.

Marilyn made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2009 for her services to women’s enterprise. Marilyn was also awarded the prestigious Kofi Annan African Leadership Excellence Award for her pioneering institutional capacity building work with post-conflict African countries like Liberia and Somaliland.

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A former BBC TV journalist, researcher and series producer, Marilyn has highly developed critical and creative thinking faculties, and excellent written and oral communication skills.

Marilyn is about to add international author to her many accolades with the publication of her first book ‘Leaderene – Feminine Principled Leadership’ in the US this summer.

Marilyn holds a BSc in Chemistry from Birmingham University.

Stephen Cooper

Technical director of ethical multimedia company Millipedia

Stephen has been director of Millipedia, a multimedia agency specialising in the charity, not for profit, health and education sectors, for ten years.

Stephen provides specialist technical and design services to larger organisations including Channel 4, the BBC and Friends of the Earth, as well as to smaller charities with only a few members of staff.

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Stephen has experience of producing CD-ROMs, multi-language websites and campaigns, content management systems and bespoke software using a range of technologies.

In addition, Stephen is able to provide membership, social networking and forum solutions for websites. Clients for these fuctions include NCVO (National Council of Voluntary Organisations) and Runnymede. Stephen provides consultancy, testing and analysis for a broad spectrum of clients including those with specific accessibility and usability requirements.

Philip Dayle

Writer and lawyer

Philip has worked on human rights issues at the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a regular contributor to media outlets such as the Guardian Newspaper.

Philip’s work has included conducting research in support of Tapestry Network's European Healthcare Innovation Leadership Network (EHILN) in London.

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Prior to this, he was a Legal Officer at the International Commission of Jurists Advocacy, where he was successful in standard setting work in equality. He was also responsible for driving the implementation of the ‘Yogyakarta Principles’ on the application of international human rights law, in respect of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Philip has also worked as an attorney at law in Jamaica, and with the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) at its office in Kingston Jamaica as a consultant. This project examined rights-based approaches to HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean.

Nissa Finney

Research fellow in social sciences at the University of Manchester

Nissa is a researcher with a particular interests in: the integration of migrants and minority ethnic groups; ethnic group population change; attitudes to race and migration;settlement of forced migrants (refugees and asylum seekers); and the media coverage of race and immigration.

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Nissa’s research in 2010 is focused on investigating how natural change and migration are changing the geography of ethnic group populations in Britain, and the links between spatial, structural and social dimensions of ethnic integration. This research is funded as a fellowship (2008-2010) by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Understanding Population Trends and Processes (UPTAP) programme.

Nissa is a member of the Population and Places (POPLA) research group and associated with the Migration, Race and Population Dynamics project, on which she worked as a research associate until December 2007.


Dr Zubaida Haque

Zubaida Haque is an Independent Research Consultant, with a strong research and policy background in education, employment, migrant integration, extremism and social cohesion. Zubaida has worked for several government departments, think tanks and voluntary organisations.

Her recent publications include ‘What works with integrating new migrants’ (funded by DCLG and published by The Runnymede Trust), and ‘Equality, Cohesion and Public Services (Commission on 2020 Public Services Trust). Panels and commissions which she has contributed to include The Commission on Multi-Ethnic Britain (2000), Oldham Independent Review (2001), Community Cohesion Independent Review (2001) and the Commission on 2020 Public Services Trust.

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Zubaida has also worked on projects relating to integration, extremism, Muslim communities and social cohesion for various government departments and think tanks. Her most recent post was within the Integration, Extremism and Hate Crime research unit within the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Sue Lukes

Consultant, researcher and trainer specialising in migration and housing

Sue is a member of several boards, including that of a fund developing projects for forced migrants; a housing association; and a CIC specialising in migration.

Sue chairs Music in Detention, a charity getting music into immigration detention centres. She advises a range of refugee and migrant community organisations pro bono on the areas where she has expertise. Sue is also an active member of her local Progressive Jewish community, for which she chairs the education committee.

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Sue is a member of the London Mayor’s Housing Equalities Sub Group and has served on the London Development Agency’s LORECA Advisory Panel and the CRE’s immigration Advisory Group, among many others. She is regularly consulted by a range of statutory and non-statutory bodies and is usually included on the tender lists for relevant projects.

She has attended too many management and steering committees to list: they include housing association committees, research advisory panels, management committees for local projects, trusteeships for charities, board of governors for local school among others.

Dr Robin Oakley

Independent consultant specialising in assisting public authorities and NGOs to address issues of racism and ethnic relations

Dr Robin Oakley works as an independent consultant specialising in assisting public authorities and NGOs to address issues of racism and ethnic relations. He has been active in this field for more than forty years, and has written widely on the subject.

In Britain, Robin has undertaken research, training and consultancy for professional groups, public bodies and voluntary organisations. Fields covered include policing and criminal justice, combating discrimination and racially-motivated violence, and promoting integration of minorities at the local level.

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Robin has worked at European level on projects on discrimination and minority issues, covering both Western and Central/Eastern Europe (including Russia and the Balkans).

Robin has regularly acted as a consultant for international bodies such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, and is the author of numerous European-level reports and practical guidance documents.

Robin is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Minority Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Sheila Rogers

Equality, diversity and human rights consultant

Sheila Rogers has been involved in equality, diversity and human rights for more than 25 years. As a lawyer she specialised in social security and poverty law and the delivery of legal services to First Nations Communities in Manitoba, Canada.

Sheila was appointed chief executive of the Commission for Racial Equality in Northern Ireland in 1997, and was involved in setting up the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland, where she led the work of the Race Directorate before moving to the UK Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

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At the CRE Sheila worked on the Safe Communities Initiative and held a number of interim senior posts including Director of Public and Private Sector Policy and Head of Countries, Regions and Communities.

Sheila has worked across Europe on race and other equality issues and was Runnymede’s Country Expert for an EU project on anti-discrimination.

Sheila’s recent work has included equality audits and reviews; policy and strategy development; and guidance and training for a range of public and community and voluntary sector organisations across the UK.

Sheila sits on the Advisory Group supports the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities’ Advocacy Project. She is also a member of the Kick Racism out of Football Equality Accreditation Panel.

Marion Vargaftig

Consultant and producer, Manifesta co-director

Marion works on UK and European programmes/projects that are at the interface of policy and practice. Her expertise is in developing, producing and evaluating initiatives that bring together media and culture as a catalyst for social change, particularly in relation to cultural diversity, immigration, social inclusion and anti-racism.

She has a particular interest in putting youth and marginalised voices centre stage, using video as a trigger for creative expression and providing multiple platforms for these voices to be broadcasted. She co-founded Manifesta with Colin Prescod, and led the ‘Video ART Postcards’ and ‘Belonging’ projects  which were produced in association with Runnymede.

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Marion has extensive international experience in producing and curating conferences, exhibitions, films and European TV co-productions. Marion has engaged a variety of partners from different countries, including working with major NGOs and cultural organisations – Partners that Marion has successfully collaborated with include the ICA, BBC, Channel 4, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Museum of London, NESTA, Save the Children, the Pompidou Centre, Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, (Paris), and various other museums, galleries and institutions around Europe.

As the media consultant for the European Cultural Foundation's Youth Media Programmes from 2003 to 2009 she developed creative collaborations with European-wide broadcasters. She has also published in France, the UK and Sweden on media and cultural diversity issues in Europe, including on behalf of the Council of Europe and UNESCO.

Veena Vasista

Veena is an independent consultant in individual and group dynamics. She supports individuals, teams/groups, and organisations to strengthen their effectiveness in leadership, stakeholder engagement and managing professional relationships - critical elements of successful collaboration and sustainable culture change. She specialises in situations involving conflict and tense relationships, sensitive/emotive issues, and high levels of complexity.

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For over fifteen years, she has worked at senior levels across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Her skill-base includes: facilitation, mediation, connective communication, coaching/mentoring, strategic analysis, thought-provoking writing, and dynamic public speaking. She is a a qualified and practising mediator, an Ethical Fitness® Trainer with the Institute for Global Ethics UK Trust (IGE-UK), Vice-Chair of the British Institute for Human Rights and a Fellow with the London-based Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).