Staff Team

Omar Khan

Omar Khan

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Omar is Runnymede's Director. Prior to this he was Runnymede's Head of Policy and led the financial inclusion programme. Omar sits on the Department for Work and Pensions' Ethnic Minority Advisory Group and is  a 2012 Clore Social Leadership Fellow.

Omar's other advisory positions include chair of Olmec, chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group to Understanding Society, chair of the advisory group of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester, and a member of the 2014 REF assessment, the 2011 Census, the Payments Council, and the UK representative on the European Commission’s Socio-economic network of experts.

Omar is the author of Financial Inclusion and Ethnicity; Caring and Earning Among Low-income Caribbean, Pakistani and Somali People; Who Pays to Access Cash?; Why Do Assets Matter?; A Sense of Place; and The Costs of ‘Returning’ Home

Omar has also published many articles and reports on political theory and British political history for Runnymede over the past eight years and has spoken on topics including multiculturalism, integration, socio-economic disadvantage, and positive action. These include giving evidence to the United Nations in Geneva, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, academic conferences in Manchester, Oxford, Paris, and Warsaw, the CRE Race Convention, the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, a Treasury/DFID conference on remittances, St George’s House (Windsor Castle), Wilton Park, and many other engagements in the UK and Europe.

Omar completed his DPhil in Political Theory from the University of Oxford, a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Debbie Weekes-Bernard

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Debbie is a Head of Research at Runnymede. Her work has included research on the impact of educational ‘choice’ agendas on BME parents and children.

She has organised large conferences on education and community cohesion and speaking and writing about issues to do with choice, cohesion, achievement and educational inequality.

Debbie’s upcoming publications include a re-examination of race equality and school exclusions and an assessment of current policy surrounding widening participation in higher education.

Previously Debbie has conducted research for both Runnymede and Nottingham Trent University on projects exploring the reasons for the gap in achievement between children from different minority ethnic communities, together with projects identifying ways of improving BME pupil achievement and work exploring the disproportionate rates of school exclusion experienced by African-Caribbean boys.

Debbie has worked as an associate lecturer for the Open University, teaching social psychology and criminology and her doctorate work explored young black female identity. Debbie’s additional research interests include work on ‘race’ and girlhood, young parenting and black popular culture.

Debbie holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Essex, a Phd is Social Psychology/Sociology from Nottingham Trent University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from City University.

Nina Kelly

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As Communications Manager, Nina runs all Runnymede's external communications remotely.

Nina started her career as a journalist and has contributed to the Guardian, Time Out London and the Independent. Since moving to the not-for-profit sector, she has led the communications of several equality-driven UK policy organisations, including the Runnymede Trust and the Women's Resource Centre.

An experienced strategic thinker, Nina has worked more recently on communications campaigns in the international development sector. She played a key role in the 2013 Enough IF campaign, and is the author of ActionAid UK's 2014 women's rights communications strategy.

Nina also runs the communications for the Human Dignity Trust.

Nina holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Manchester and NCTJ qualifications in Media Law, Newswriting and Public Affairs. She writes 100 words-per-minute shorthand and speaks fluent Italian.