Our team

Our team

Introduction

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

Our team

Chief ExecutiveJulia Weston

Julia Weston 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).

Interim Grants ManagerSara Buchanan

Sara manages our grants to support Fellows to implement their learning in the UK. Sara is an experienced grant maker, with particular expertise in supporting pre-venture and start up social impact initiatives and is passionate about connecting ideas and people to produce positive change. Sara loves paddle boarding on her local river, is training for her first half marathon and studying to be a coach.

Executive AssistantHannah Cross

Hannah Cross 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 French 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.

Finance AssistantBryan Hamilton

Bryan Hamilton 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.

Interim Fellowship DirectorSian Herschel

Sian Herschel is our Interim Fellowship Director and has overall responsibility for the operational running of the Fellowship programme. She has extensive experience of grantmaking and social investment in the UK and internationally. Sian is a specialist in making trade and business equitable and environmentally responsible. She loves trying weird and wonderful food, dancing and sports, and has two young sons who keep her busy and entertained.

Communications DirectorJonathan Lorie

Jonathan Lorie 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.

Data ManagerJenni Lucas-Williams

Jenni looks after our data and IT systems and ensures the smooth running of the online application process for Fellowships. Previously she worked in the energy policy team at Citizens Advice and in the wine industry. Outside work, Jenni enjoys exploring the Essex countryside, gardening and sailing, preferably in warmer climes.

Development DirectorChris Mann

Chris Mann 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.

Fellowship ManagerNikesh Patel

Nikesh Patel manages the research phase of the Fellowships, both travel and online, and is responsible for overseeing our support for Fellows from their award until completion of their research. Before joining us, he achieved a Master’s in International Relations from Kings 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 Smircic 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 Smith 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 Tsang 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 Weston 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).

Interim Grants ManagerSara Buchanan

Sara manages our grants to support Fellows to implement their learning in the UK. Sara is an experienced grant maker, with particular expertise in supporting pre-venture and start up social impact initiatives and is passionate about connecting ideas and people to produce positive change. Sara loves paddle boarding on her local river, is training for her first half marathon and studying to be a coach.

Executive AssistantHannah Cross

Hannah Cross 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 French 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.

Finance AssistantBryan Hamilton

Bryan Hamilton 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.

Interim Fellowship DirectorSian Herschel

Sian Herschel is our Interim Fellowship Director and has overall responsibility for the operational running of the Fellowship programme. She has extensive experience of grantmaking and social investment in the UK and internationally. Sian is a specialist in making trade and business equitable and environmentally responsible. She loves trying weird and wonderful food, dancing and sports, and has two young sons who keep her busy and entertained.

Communications DirectorJonathan Lorie

Jonathan Lorie 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.

Data ManagerJenni Lucas-Williams

Jenni looks after our data and IT systems and ensures the smooth running of the online application process for Fellowships. Previously she worked in the energy policy team at Citizens Advice and in the wine industry. Outside work, Jenni enjoys exploring the Essex countryside, gardening and sailing, preferably in warmer climes.

Development DirectorChris Mann

Chris Mann 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.

Fellowship ManagerNikesh Patel

Nikesh Patel manages the research phase of the Fellowships, both travel and online, and is responsible for overseeing our support for Fellows from their award until completion of their research. Before joining us, he achieved a Master’s in International Relations from Kings 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 Smircic 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 Smith 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 Tsang 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