Media release

UK for UNHCR announces new Chair, Charlotte Boyle

Mevan Babakar and Claire Hajaj also appointed as new Trustees


02 July 2021. UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK, has appointed Charlotte Boyle as its new Chair of Trustees, alongside Mevan Babakar and Claire Hajaj as new Trustees. Charlotte Boyle takes over from founding Chair, Rebecca Perlman, who will continue to serve as Trustee.

UK for UNHCR leads private sector partnerships and engagement across the UK to support displaced people around the world through UNHCR’s humanitarian relief programmes.

Charlotte Boyle has more than 20 years’ experience in professional services and serves as a Board member for a wide range of companies, including Coca Cola HBC, Capco plc and Knight Frank LLP. She is also a Trustee and chair of the Finance Committee of Alfanar, a venture philanthropy organisation which supports social enterprises in the Arab world.

Charlotte says, “I have been committed to supporting refugees since spending time in Jordan in 1989, and most recently through Alfanar’s refugee projects in Lebanon and Egypt which have only deepened this resolve. I look forward to working with UK for UNHCR to raise vital support in the UK for those around the world who have been forced to flee their homes.”

As the new charity continues to grow, UK for UNHCR has further expanded its Board of Trustees with two additional members.

Mevan Babakar was a refugee for five years as a child after fleeing Iraq with her family during the Gulf War. Travelling via Russia and the Netherlands, Mevan and her mother eventually settled in the UK, where her father was reunited with them four years later. She was the founding head of Full Fact’s automated fact checking team, which won the Google AI Impact Challenge, and is currently Deputy CEO at Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact checking charity. Mevan speaks regularly in the UK and internationally about misinformation, fact checking and civic technology.

Claire Hajaj is Policy Director at Inter Mediate, a published author and a specialist in conflict and post-conflict dynamics. She has nearly two decades of experience of working to mitigate conflict, including working with the UN in some of the world’s most complex settings, such as Lebanon, Kosovo and Nigeria. Sharing Palestinian and Jewish heritage, Claire’s writing on conflict has appeared in a number of national news outlets and two novels.

Emma Cherniavsky, CEO, UK for UNHCR, says:

“The hard work and commitment of our founding Trustees has been pivotal in launching UK for UNHCR, and we are delighted to expand the Board further as we move into our next growth phase.

“We are extremely grateful to Rebecca Perlman for the leadership, expertise and dedication she has given to the charity during her tenure as our founding Chair, and we are delighted that she will stay on as Trustee.

“The number of forcibly displaced people continues to rise, compounded by the global pandemic, but the incredible support for refugees that we have seen from people across the UK gives us hope as we continue to build solidarity for refugees and raise funds for UNHCR’s essential relief work.”

With UNHCR’s global operations increasingly relying on voluntary donations at a time of record global displacement, private sector partnerships and support from the general public have never been more vital.

UK for UNHCR was established in 2019 as the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner to raise awareness and support in the UK from individuals, communities, foundations and businesses for forcibly displaced and stateless people. The Charity has raised vital funds to support displaced people through UNHCR’s work, including support for refugees affected by the coronavirus pandemic, those displaced by the conflict in Yemen and help for people fleeing the escalating conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia.

For more information on UK for UNHCR’s Board visit or for more information about the charity visit


Notes to Editor

About UK for UNHCR

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner for the UK, building solidarity, fostering partnerships and raising funds in the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. It delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415).

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