Our team

Our team

Introduction

Our team support the Fellowship with a range of services and expertise.

Our team

Chief ExecutiveJulia Weston

Julia has been our Chief Executive since 2015 and is responsible for the overall management of the Churchill Fellowship. Prior to that she was Fellowship Director. She has worked in charities in the UK and internationally for over 20 years. In her spare time, Julia enjoys being outdoors (in all weathers), cooking (but not baking) and, during the pandemic, she taught herself to knit (though only scarves so far).

Grants ManagerKatie Baldock

Katie manages the post-research phases of the Fellowships, including our grant schemes for UK activities. She supports Fellows in writing and sharing their learnings and recommendations. Previously she worked in programme teams in the non-profit sector and with research and higher education organisations. Outside of work, Katie enjoys reading and running and can often be found at the cinema.

Fellowship DirectorSara Canullo

Sara is our Fellowship Director and is responsible for the operational running of the Fellowship programme. In the course of her career, she has worked in the fields of gender violence, advocacy, literacy and health inequalities. Sara is a keen reader, and she enjoys world cinema and learning new languages.

Executive AssistantHannah Cross

Hannah supports the Chief Executive in all areas of her work, including diaries, meetings and servicing the Board and Council. Previously she worked in the arts sector in higher education and educational opera companies. Outside work, Hannah enjoys going to live music events and exploring the countryside with her two four-legged companions.

Research and Engagement ManagerNaomi French

Naomi leads our engagement work, promoting Fellows and their findings to key influencers and professionals across a range of sectors. She also works closely with our Advisory Council to research new Fellowship themes. Previously she worked in communications roles within the arts and publishing sectors. In her spare time, Naomi enjoys long walks in the countryside and exploring London’s vibrant cultural scene.

Data OfficerJaiye Alli

Jaiye helps to look after our database and is responsible for ensuring that staff receive the correct CRM training and support to assist them in their roles. Previously Jaiye has worked as a database administrator in the post-16 education sector and as a freelance Salesforce advisor. Outside work Jaiye’s hobbies include travelling and studying personal and professional development, and she is also an avid Law of Attraction practitioner.

Finance AssistantBryan Hamilton

Bryan supports the Finance Director with day-to-day bookkeeping tasks such as recording financial transactions, preparing Fellowship payments and bank reconciliations. He has previously worked in the charity sector and publishing. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys listening and dancing to music, gardening and reading.

Data ManagerKati-Maria Ikola

Kati-Maria looks after our data and IT systems, in particular supporting the grant application processes. Before joining the team, she worked in children's and international development charities. In her spare time, Kati-Maria enjoys learning different languages.

Communications DirectorJonathan Lorie

Jonathan leads our communications programme, promoting the Fellowship through digital, media, events, publications and sector engagement. Previously he has run communications for national and international charities and worked as a journalist and magazine editor. When not working, Jonathan is a travel writer and media trainer.

Development DirectorChris Mann

Chris manages our funding and knowledge partnerships, as well as wider fundraising activities that support the Fellowship. Previously he led fundraising at a large global disability charity, and prior to that worked in grant-making for Comic Relief and UK lottery distributors, amongst others. Outside of work, Chris is a trustee of an inclusive cycling charity.

Grants OfficerEsmeralda Gambelli

Esmeralda is responsible for managing the Fellows’ Networks and supports the Fellowship Director and Grants M<ain the delivery of our grants programmes. Previously Esmeralda has worked in higher education and international and national NGOs, where she supported programmes, research and advocacy. In her spare time Esmeralda enjoys spoiling her two feline friends, martial art classes and experiencing new cultures, especially through travelling.

Content EditorRachel McKenna

Rachel manages our digital communications, including the website and social media channels. She is also responsible for creating content to support our communications strategy, including commissioning blogs and writing articles. Previously she worked in communications roles in the national and international charity sector. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys cooking, long-distance running and upcycling vintage furniture.

Development OfficerLindsay Owen

Lindsay helps to build and steward our relationships with partners, whose support enables us to grow and develop the Fellowship. Lindsay has previously worked in policy and evaluation roles in UK charities. She is also a qualified TEFL teacher and has lived and worked in Spain. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys hiking and practising her Spanish.

Fellowship Support ManagerNikesh Patel

Nikesh manages the travel and digital phases of the Fellowships and is Fellows’ main point of contact from award until completion of their research. Before joining us, he achieved a Master’s in International Relations from King’s College London. In his spare time, Nikesh enjoys watching and playing an array of sports, hiking, and building customised keyboards.

Deputy Data ManagerSandy Smircic

Sandy supports the Data Manager in looking after our data and IT systems. Before joining the team, she worked as a database administrator in the charity sector. In her spare time, Sandy enjoys cooking, taking care of her plants and exploring new countries.

AdministratorEllie Smith

Ellie assists the Fellowship Director and Data Manager with day-to-day tasks, including responding to Fellows’ emails and larger data projects. She joined us after completing a Masters in Global Governance and Diplomacy. When not working, she writes for blogs and academic publications. She would eventually like to change government policy on atrocity prevention. She also enjoys baking and playing with her puppy.

Director of Finance and ResourcesJohn Tsang

John is responsible for our finance, HR, IT, data protection and risk management. He is also the Trust Secretary covering governance and compliance matters. Previously he worked in various finance-related roles, mainly in the real estate sector. Some years back, John played rugby and was a qualified rugby coach, but now he enjoys gentler forms of exercise such as walking and gardening.

"It's a great privilege to support the Fellows who - through open-minded inquiry, perseverance and a passion for helping others - work to alleviate suffering and help so many people to realise their potential." - Bryan Hamilton, Finance Assistant

Our team

Chief ExecutiveJulia Weston

Julia has been our Chief Executive since 2015 and is responsible for the overall management of the Churchill Fellowship. Prior to that she was Fellowship Director. She has worked in charities in the UK and internationally for over 20 years. In her spare time, Julia enjoys being outdoors (in all weathers), cooking (but not baking) and, during the pandemic, she taught herself to knit (though only scarves so far).

Grants ManagerKatie Baldock

Katie manages the post-research phases of the Fellowships, including our grant schemes for UK activities. She supports Fellows in writing and sharing their learnings and recommendations. Previously she worked in programme teams in the non-profit sector and with research and higher education organisations. Outside of work, Katie enjoys reading and running and can often be found at the cinema.

Fellowship DirectorSara Canullo

Sara is our Fellowship Director and is responsible for the operational running of the Fellowship programme. In the course of her career, she has worked in the fields of gender violence, advocacy, literacy and health inequalities. Sara is a keen reader, and she enjoys world cinema and learning new languages.

Executive AssistantHannah Cross

Hannah supports the Chief Executive in all areas of her work, including diaries, meetings and servicing the Board and Council. Previously she worked in the arts sector in higher education and educational opera companies. Outside work, Hannah enjoys going to live music events and exploring the countryside with her two four-legged companions.

Research and Engagement ManagerNaomi French

Naomi leads our engagement work, promoting Fellows and their findings to key influencers and professionals across a range of sectors. She also works closely with our Advisory Council to research new Fellowship themes. Previously she worked in communications roles within the arts and publishing sectors. In her spare time, Naomi enjoys long walks in the countryside and exploring London’s vibrant cultural scene.

Data OfficerJaiye Alli

Jaiye helps to look after our database and is responsible for ensuring that staff receive the correct CRM training and support to assist them in their roles. Previously Jaiye has worked as a database administrator in the post-16 education sector and as a freelance Salesforce advisor. Outside work Jaiye’s hobbies include travelling and studying personal and professional development, and she is also an avid Law of Attraction practitioner.

Finance AssistantBryan Hamilton

Bryan supports the Finance Director with day-to-day bookkeeping tasks such as recording financial transactions, preparing Fellowship payments and bank reconciliations. He has previously worked in the charity sector and publishing. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys listening and dancing to music, gardening and reading.

Data ManagerKati-Maria Ikola

Kati-Maria looks after our data and IT systems, in particular supporting the grant application processes. Before joining the team, she worked in children's and international development charities. In her spare time, Kati-Maria enjoys learning different languages.

Communications DirectorJonathan Lorie

Jonathan leads our communications programme, promoting the Fellowship through digital, media, events, publications and sector engagement. Previously he has run communications for national and international charities and worked as a journalist and magazine editor. When not working, Jonathan is a travel writer and media trainer.

Development DirectorChris Mann

Chris manages our funding and knowledge partnerships, as well as wider fundraising activities that support the Fellowship. Previously he led fundraising at a large global disability charity, and prior to that worked in grant-making for Comic Relief and UK lottery distributors, amongst others. Outside of work, Chris is a trustee of an inclusive cycling charity.

Grants OfficerEsmeralda Gambelli

Esmeralda is responsible for managing the Fellows’ Networks and supports the Fellowship Director and Grants M<ain the delivery of our grants programmes. Previously Esmeralda has worked in higher education and international and national NGOs, where she supported programmes, research and advocacy. In her spare time Esmeralda enjoys spoiling her two feline friends, martial art classes and experiencing new cultures, especially through travelling.

Content EditorRachel McKenna

Rachel manages our digital communications, including the website and social media channels. She is also responsible for creating content to support our communications strategy, including commissioning blogs and writing articles. Previously she worked in communications roles in the national and international charity sector. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys cooking, long-distance running and upcycling vintage furniture.

Development OfficerLindsay Owen

Lindsay helps to build and steward our relationships with partners, whose support enables us to grow and develop the Fellowship. Lindsay has previously worked in policy and evaluation roles in UK charities. She is also a qualified TEFL teacher and has lived and worked in Spain. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys hiking and practising her Spanish.

Fellowship Support ManagerNikesh Patel

Nikesh manages the travel and digital phases of the Fellowships and is Fellows’ main point of contact from award until completion of their research. Before joining us, he achieved a Master’s in International Relations from King’s College London. In his spare time, Nikesh enjoys watching and playing an array of sports, hiking, and building customised keyboards.

Deputy Data ManagerSandy Smircic

Sandy supports the Data Manager in looking after our data and IT systems. Before joining the team, she worked as a database administrator in the charity sector. In her spare time, Sandy enjoys cooking, taking care of her plants and exploring new countries.

AdministratorEllie Smith

Ellie assists the Fellowship Director and Data Manager with day-to-day tasks, including responding to Fellows’ emails and larger data projects. She joined us after completing a Masters in Global Governance and Diplomacy. When not working, she writes for blogs and academic publications. She would eventually like to change government policy on atrocity prevention. She also enjoys baking and playing with her puppy.

Director of Finance and ResourcesJohn Tsang

John is responsible for our finance, HR, IT, data protection and risk management. He is also the Trust Secretary covering governance and compliance matters. Previously he worked in various finance-related roles, mainly in the real estate sector. Some years back, John played rugby and was a qualified rugby coach, but now he enjoys gentler forms of exercise such as walking and gardening.

"It's a great privilege to support the Fellows who - through open-minded inquiry, perseverance and a passion for helping others - work to alleviate suffering and help so many people to realise their potential." - Bryan Hamilton, Finance Assistant