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MRN is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. It is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association which clearly set out the organisation’s objectives, management rules and procedures.
Fizza is the CEO of the Migrants’ Rights Network.
Fizza joined MRN as the Director Designate in August 2016. She previously worked at the Terrence Higgins Trust for just over 3 years covering the London and East of England sexual health and HIV services. Before this, she worked as a Programme Manager for an international medical humanitarian organisation where she was responsible for its UK independent health clinic, and health advocacy programme supporting migrants to access healthcare.
Fizza has a degree in Human Rights and Social Change and Biotechnology. She has previously served as Board Member of MRN, the Institute of Race Relations and Healthwatch Newham.
Her interests include; immigration, race, music and travelling
Contact Fizza at: [email protected] (please note she works part-time: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday)
Dorian joined MRN in August 2020 as the Interim-CEO
Dorian Leatham is an independent management consultant working within the public sector, housing association and charity sectors. He has had over 30 years senior leadership experience in the public sector both as an executive and non-executive. He has worked with senior civil servants with coupled with liaising with senior Central Government politicians to lever funding leading to the delivery of complex front line services for local communities, coupled with ensuring the management of substantial revenue and capital budgets. Concurrent with having been a specialist advisor to central government and non-governmental bodies with regards to housing and regeneration of urban areas.
Within his many senior leadership roles he has led organisational change, developed leaders, implemented major information technology and telecommunications strategies. He has also facilitated, developed and delivered substantial programmes in relation to organisations implementing equalities and diversity initiatives. Alongside this experience he has extensive experience of leading public and private sector partnerships to lever public and private sector funding to regenerate inner city areas.
He is currently undertaking a portfolio of tasks. Currently he is a part time chief executive of a migrants rights organisation both campaigning on behalf of migrants about their rights, plus bidding for funding from various sources to support their plight. In parallel he mentors, primarily individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds aspiring to become leaders both as executives and non-executives. Recently he was part of a team of consultants undertaking an enquiry into whether a major international charity has demonstrably lived up to its organisational values, especially in relation to equalities and diversity.
His substantive executive leadership roles range from having been Director of Housing in Croydon Council to Chief Executive of Hillingdon Council. Executive Director of Housing Regeneration and Environment in Lambeth Council. Latterly he was Chief Executive of ARHAG housing association providing both permanent housing as well as training and employment plus enterprise programme opportunities for migrants and refugees.
He has facilitated management development programmes on behalf Solace (the local authorities chief executives) body.
Dorian has undertaken several non-executive roles, mostly in the role of chair notably Chair of the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) as chair of their Equalities and Diversity Advisory Group. Chair of the Stonebridge Housing Trust. He has been part of two Mayors of London panels advising on their housing strategy, as well as advising of the impact of their housing strategies on issues of race and equality. He was Chair of the Nottingham City Housing Strategic Partnership Board leading the public, private and community sectors strategic approach to levering substantial funding to regenerate Nottingham.
He has also worked as technical advisor with regards to senior executive appointments to the Homes and Communities Agency, plus assisted with the appointments of senior executive and non-executive appointments to several small housing associations. Additionally, in 2011 He was appointed by Lambeth Council to investigate the negative impact on ethnic minority staff as a result of the local authorities implementation restructuring proposals.
Eliyes joined MRN in September 2017. He is in charge of MRN’s financial management. Eliyes has enjoyed maths since his childhood. He is a mathematics graduate and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Mathematics. He also holds a Level 3 Advanced Diploma in IT, and a Level 3 Diploma in Accounting (AAT).
Fundraising & Comms Manager
Shashi joined MRN as the Fundraising & Communications Manager in May 2020.
Shashi has worked in digital media and marketing for over 18 years. With a background in arts & publishing, she started her career as a production assistant in media and fashion before continuing onto the voluntary sector. At the Empty Homes Agency, as their Marketing & Communications Manager and Events Manager, she co-ordinated many national campaigns to challenge discriminatory housing policy and to help and support local communities be their own agents for change.
After 12 years in the voluntary sector, working with everyone from community groups to senior parliamentarians, she changed direction completely and spent the next ten years establishing her own very successful international ethical-vegan skincare brand. She used this as a springboard to develop a meaningful CSR programme to help platform marginalised communities and causes.
This continued work of community organising and development, which stems from her own personal activism, has led her to now utilise her skills as a social media manager and content creator to help Environmental & food justice causes, as well as race & inequality campaigns including Patrick Vernon’s 100 Great Black Britons. She is passionate about creating space, resources and platforms for minoritised communities.
Contact Shashi at: [email protected]
London Project Coordinator
Mahlea joined MRN in May 2020 as the London Project Coordinator. She previously worked at Love Justice International for 4 years on international program expansion, where she worked across 30 countries on combatting issues related to labour and sexual exploitation. She has contributed research and advocacy support to numerous legislative bills related to migrants’ rights.
Mahlea is in the final stages of a PhD in International Development at the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on UK migration policy reform. She also volunteers locally with the peacebuilding organisation CHIPS in Brixton to support youth and families in active violence and crisis. She is passionate about ending structural violence, championing women in leadership, and promoting Roma rights.
In her spare time, Mahlea is an artist, pianist, and enjoys outdoor pursuits, such as wild swimming, hiking, and surfing.
Contact Mahlea at [email protected]
Senior Advocacy Officer
Katharine is the Senior Advocacy Officer at Migrants’ Rights Network. Katharine has worked in human rights, including on people discriminated against or violently targeted because of their religion or belief, for over 8 years at the UK, EU and UN level. Prior to MRN, she was Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Between 2014 – 2019 she was the Operations Director of the UK Parliament All-party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief where she worked to change Home Office policy on the UK’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. In addition to analysing the vulnerability assessments of refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere with UNHCR, she developed compulsory training for Home Office caseworkers when interviewing those seeking asylum in the UK. Prior to UK Parliament, Katharine has worked in several human rights and humanitarian organisations, including with the University of Essex’s Human Rights Clinic and Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, and in London, Durham and Nyeri, Kenya. She holds a Masters (with distinction) in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity from the University of Essex and a BA in Philosophy and Theology from Durham University.
Board of Trustees
MRN has an active Board of Directors responsible for the overall management of the organisation.
Nick Sigler worked for the labour movement for nearly forty years, firstly for the Labour Party in a range of positions and latterly as the head of the International Department of UNISON, Britain’s largest trade union.
In addition Nick has worked overseas in a number of positions including in the European Parliament and for the OSCE in Serbia. Throughout his career Nick has been responsible for managing a range of projects in different parts of the world working with emerging political parties, trade unionists and other activists.
Following his ‘retirement’ in 2013 Nick has been a trustee of a number of charities including the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and RefugeeYouth. The son of refugees from Nazi Germany, Nick has always felt a commitment to protecting and enhancing the rights of migrants and refugees and to ensure that the enormous benefits they bring to the country and their communities are better understood and valued.
Sainga studied accountancy before working in a large Local Authority in a London Borough followed by a role in a small BAME Housing association and a Directorship at a Race Equality Charity and brings over 14 years’ Housing, Local Government and Charity experience with her. Sainga spent many years training and developing strategies to combat the effects of various Government changes that disproportionately affect BAME communities including Welfare Reform and successfully implemented strategies to reduce evictions in Temporary housing for 18-24 year olds.
Sainga has been key in working collaboratively with Local Authorities and BME London Housing providers to empower residents through access to employment and skills training and has successfully set up a number of small business ventures. Sainga’s specialisms include: Housing, Welfare Benefits, Business Development, Stakeholder Management, Strategic Leadership, Influencing and motivational skills.
Sainga is passionate about creating an equal, fairer and inclusive society where everyone is given the opportunity to prosper particularly, BAME communities, the youth and disadvantaged groups.
Secretary to the Board
Letícia joined the MRN board in April 2020 as the Secretary to the Board.
She is the Networks & LEAG Officer at the research and advocacy NGO Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX). Previously, she worked supporting the engagement of grassroots and community organisations in international human rights mechanisms, provided assistance to people seeking asylum in the UK and conducted research on rights-based approaches to migration.
Letícia is a first generation migrant in the UK and third generation in Brazil. She’s passionate about ensuring migrants are entitled to and can exercise comprehensive socioeconomic rights, irrespective of immigration status. Letícia moved to the UK in 2015 to pursue a MSc in Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics.
Aurora Todisco has 15 years’ experience of driving financial management through passion for Accounting, Banking and HR.
Her career started in the private sector coordinating legal, tax and contributory management aspects related to the remuneration of the personnel for an Italian firm.
Since she moved to London, in 2014, she developed an interest to health related living habits, and how individuals use their finances trying to make informed choices on aspects like nutrition, transport, etc.
She knew she could make a positive contribution to the charitable sector linking her background skills to a new Public Health inquisitiveness attitude.
This reason leaded Aurora to join a different role as the Finance and Information Officer at Healthwatch Tower Hamlets, HWTH gathers experiences of health and social care users with the aim to shape quality of services.
Being the first generation of EU migrant in her family, when starting to place the bases to rebuild her new career in a different setting, she made a deep work, reconsidering herself as an individual. The main reason is that she acknowledged that her past choices went smoothly, without ever been preoccupied about the future.
The transition has been the reason why she developed strong ambitions, coining also her motto: “I overcame huge challenge to achieve something truly remarkable”.
She now has a clearer picture and try to support ethnic minority women through the journey post migration.
Aurora also is a Patient Participation Group Member at her local GP practice, member of East London Citizens’ Panel – East London Health and Care Partnership, BARTS Health NHS Trust, East London NHS Foundation Trust.
She is an active component of Healthcare Financial Management Association and a Value Marker (London Network) – NHS Future-Focused Finance.
She has been recently awarded for the Leadership Foundations Edward Jenner programme – NHS Leadership Academy and hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Primary Care Management – The National Association of Primary Care and Healthcare Financial Management Association.
She has another role at volunteer level as Treasurer (East London Support Group Finance Contact) – Parkinson’s UK.
Alan coordinate’s UKREN, a network of local and national organisations across the UK that work to combat race discrimination within a European context.
Alan is also the Founder and Chief Executive of Equality, a charity that works to uphold and secure the rights of the Roma ethnic minority group who migrated to Great Britain and Northern Ireland from Eastern European countries.
Nira joined the board in April 2020.
She has been working in the field of UK immigration as an Immigration Specialist for over 20 years where she has continually fully appreciated, supported and campaigned for fairness and equality of migrants. As a British Sri Lankan Tamil, Nira has felt compelled to supporting all migrants with their smooth transition and integration, Through her personal experience and also as an immigration practitioner, she understands the fundamental value that migrants bring to the UK and the vital need for this to continue.
Dr Rakhi Rashmi
Rakhi joined the board in April 2020. She is a Barrister in England and Wales who holds a PhD in International Law. She is specialised in Immigration, Human Rights, Migrants Rights, detention, deportation and Family related matters.
She has advised several international organizations and represented individual clients in different Courts. She has previously worked with CNRS GREDEG in France and different High Commissions such as Brazil, Peru and Cuba as adviser. Dr Rashmi has been trained at the World Health Organisation (South East Asia Office) and the United Nations University (Maastricht). She has lectured at Oxford University Innovation Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Oxford). She was visiting fellow at Kings College Dept of Political Economy 2012-14. She has been widely published internationally in newspapers and magazines and has spoken on biopharma innovation, human rights and access to medicines (health policy) in around 22 countries. Dr Rashmi is also Vice Chairperson of Commonwealth in England Barrister’s Association (CEBA) since April 2019.