Media release

UK for UNHCR appoints three new Trustees, including first Vice-Chair  


Trinh Tu (IPSOS), Sohail Ali (DLA Piper) and Jon Williams (Rory Peck Trust) join Board of Trustees


London, 27 June 2024UK for UNHCR has appointed Trinh Tu to the new position of Vice-Chair of Trustees, and appointed Sohail Ali and Jon Williams as new Trustees to its Board. 

 UK for UNHCR is the United Nations Refugee Agency’s national charity partner, mobilising private sector funds, solidarity and partnerships in support of people fleeing conflict and persecution.  

Effective immediately, the appointments come as former Trustees Mevan Babakar and Ori Raveh come to the end of their tenures, having supported the charity as Trustees since 2021 and 2019 respectively. Mevan steps down this month, while Ori steps down later this summer. 

Since its launch in 2020, UK for UNHCR has funded more than £70 million of humanitarian relief around the world, thanks to the generosity of its supporters. This has helped UNHCR protect displaced people in entrenched humanitarian crises such as Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Yemen, as well as the outbreak of conflict in Sudan and natural disasters such as the Türkiye-Syria earthquakes. 

The charity has also raised awareness of the plight of refugees through public outreach and engagement campaigns across the UK, providing a platform for people with lived experience and their supporters to share their stories. 

 Announcing the appointments, UK for UNHCR Chair of Trustees, Charlotte Boyle, said: 

 “We are delighted to welcome Trinh, Jon and Sohail to UK for UNHCR. Their wealth of knowledge and experience across research, media and international law is a powerful complement to our existing Board and staff expertise as we respond to record global displacement. With less than 1% of refugees offered resettlement in third countries, the majority remain in limbo and unable to return home. The UK private sector is playing a vital role in providing much needed support to help them rebuild their lives and build a better future.” 

“We also share our enormous gratitude and pay tribute to Mevan and Ori for their incredible service. As part of the founding Board who established the charity, Ori’s corporate strategy expertise helped UK for UNHCR develop its first five-year plan. Mevan championed the growth of our public engagement campaigning and has been a highly valued member of our Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Their dedication to supporting forcibly displaced people has made an immeasurable impact, and both continue to be passionate advocates for the refugee cause.” 

 Trinh Tu – appointed as Vice-Chair 

Trinh Tu is Managing Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos UK, which provides policy research and services to government departments and international organisations. She brings a deep understanding of the policy landscape and the challenges affecting refugees in areas such as employment, education and healthcare. Trinh also serves as advisory board member for the independent charity BeTheBusiness, helping small businesses to enhance their productivity.  

Trinh and her family were refugees from Vietnam, fleeing by boat to escape persecution. Shipwrecked and stranded en route, with the compassion and help of strangers they eventually reached a refugee camp in Hong Kong. They were granted asylum in the UK, where Trinh has built a successful career. Now, she uses her experience and expertise to champion initiatives that provide refugees with the tools and support they need to thrive in the UK. 

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Vice-Chair of UK for UNHCR,” says Trinh Tu. “As a first-generation refugee, I can understand some of the challenges faced by those forced to flee their homes. In these times, with the highest number of displacements of refugees worldwide, I am committed to working alongside the dedicated team at UK for UNHCR to ensure that refugees are not only protected but also empowered to rebuild their lives and thrive.” 

Sohail Ali – appointed as Trustee 

Sohail Ali is a Partner at DLA Piper, an international law firm specialising in complex, premium litigation and arbitration disputes. He also leads the firm’s Global Islamic Finance disputes practice. He advises a wide range of clients including, amongst others, state-owned enterprises, financial institutions and blue-chip corporate organisations across a range of sectors and jurisdictions across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

Sohail is a second-generation immigrant who was raised in Bradford. He is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and was one of the founding members of Mosaic, DLA Piper’s race and ethnicity network. He works with a number of external organisations including GC D&I and ‘Stronger Together’ to foster greater diversity and inclusion within the professional services sector and has won numerous accolades for his work in this space. Sohail has also been a strong supporter of UNHCR through his firm and through his work in his local community, assisting with raising awareness of the work of UNHCR and fund-raising activities particularly within the Muslim community.  

Sohail Ali says: “For a long time I have watched from afar the incredible work that UNHCR does…and it is truly an honour to be support this wonderful organisation by joining UK for UNHCR. I relish the prospect of engaging with businesses and communities across the UK to raise awareness of UNHCR’s vital work across the globe, and to play whatever part I can to make a positive impact on the lives of people that need us the most.” 

Jon Williams – appointed as Trustee 

Jon Williams is an award-winning storyteller and editor. For more than a decade, Williams led the global reporting of both the BBC and the US broadcaster, ABC, receiving the International Emmy Award for News for the BBC’s Middle East reporting and a second Emmy for its coverage of the Syrian Civil War. He won a third Emmy for ABC’s reporting of the Syrian refugee crisis. Most recently he led the news division of Ireland’s public broadcaster, spearheading its digital transformation.  

Jon is now the Executive Director of the Rory Peck Trust, a UK based non-profit supporting journalists around the world. He also sits on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists where he chairs its Journalists Assistance Committee.  

Jon Williams says: “I’ve seen the terrible toll war inflicts on those forced to flee their homes, so I could not be more delighted to be joining the board of UK for UNHCR. Everyone deserves to feel safe, so whether they are fleeing conflict or persecution for who they are or what they believe, I look forward to building support for those seeking to rebuild their lives in the UK.” 

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


Notes to Editors 

For any additional information, please contact: 

Sara Guy, email: [email protected]  Tel.: 0208 183 0121 

About UK for UNHCR  

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK. We build solidarity, create partnerships and raise funds across 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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