Our team

Whether driven from their home by war and conflict, or fleeing persecution because of who they are, what they believe or who they love, everyone has the right to seek protection and feel safe again. Our team is committed to these principles and our mission is to mobilise support that helps displaced people rebuild their lives.

Our experience draws from diverse fields, including human rights, fundraising, media, politics, logistics and development. We are grateful to our Trustees who generously offer their time and expertise voluntarily.

Our trustees

Rebecca Perlman  Chair of Trustees
Charlotte Boyle - Chair of Trustees

Charlotte currently sits as a Board member at Coca Cola HBC AG, the FTSE 100 Coca Cola bottler operating in established and emerging markets across Europe and Africa, Capco plc, which owns the Covent Garden estate in central London, Knight Frank LLP, the global property advisers and Thatchers, the family owned cider maker.  She is a Trustee and chair of the Finance Committee of Alfanar, the venture philanthropy organisation which supports social enterprises in the Arab world.

Charlotte has a particular interest in leadership, talent, community, diversity and inclusion and her Board experience reflects this.  She chairs the Remuneration Committee at Coca Cola HBC and the Environment, Sustainability and Community Committee at Capco plc. She is the Designated Director for the Workforce at Coca Cola HBC and Capco plc.  She has a deep commitment to supporting refugees, formed from time she spent in Jordan in 1989 and most recently with Alfanar and its investments in refugee projects in Lebanon and Egypt.

She has a background of more than twenty years in professional services, starting her career with Egon Zehnder International, the global management consulting and leadership firm and then with Goldman Sachs in London and New York.  She subsequently spent 14 years as a Partner with The Zygos Partnership, the UK’s pre-eminent Board and CEO advisory firm.

Charlotte has a MA (Hons) from Oxford University and a MBA from London Business School. She was also a Bahrain British Foundation scholar at the University of Bahrain.

 UK 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.
Trinh Tu - Vice-Chair of Trustees

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.”

Keith Felton  Trustee & Treasurer
Keith Felton - Trustee & Treasurer

Keith Felton was director of corporate services at Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, for ten years until his retirement in 2020.

Prior to joining Crisis in 2009, Keith spent nearly 25 years in the financial services industry, most recently as head of finance & operations at Fleming Family & Partners, following qualification as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse.

Keith is treasurer of UK for UNHCR and has served as a trustee of a number of other charities.

Keith and his wife are committed to supporting refugees, including hosting them for periods in their home to help them achieve stability in their lives.

Katy Steward
Claire Hajaj - Trustee

Claire Hajaj is a specialist in conflict and post-conflict dynamics. For 20 years, she has contributed to humanitarian, political and security strategies to mitigate conflicts in some of the world’s most complex settings. She worked for the United Nations in conflict zones across Lebanon, Kosovo, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Her experience ranges from negotiating community-level access for polio vaccinators in extremist regions on the Afghan-Pakistan border to supporting the UN Special Representative in Iraq during the height of the post-war insurgency. She played a key role to negotiate and produce a landmark stabilisation strategy for Lebanon to respond to the Syria crisis.

Sharing Palestinian and Jewish heritage, Claire is widely published across international media and policy institutes, including UN Centre for Policy Research where she is an Inaugural Fellow. She is currently Policy Director at Inter Mediate, an organisation established by Jonathan Powell to help heads of government and armed groups reach peace agreements.

Arabella Phillimore  Trustee
Arabella Phillimore - Trustee

Arabella is the Managing Director of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, an international NGO that tackles the threats posed to democracy and human rights by extremism, hate and disinformation. Prior to this she helped set up and run the conflict resolution NGO Inter Mediate for several years.

Her previous experiences include working for Financial Times, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping in Kabul, UNICEF in India, and Eurasia Group political risk consultancy in New York. 

Arabella is a founding member of the UK for UNHCR Board of Trustees, and has supported the charity since launch.


Ori Raveh - Trustee
Ori Raveh - Trustee

Ori is Associate Partner in Bain & Company’s London office, with over ten years of experience advising international clients on corporate transformations, strategy and vision development, customer-led repositioning and operational improvement. In this role he advises CEOs, boards and teams to help them strengthen financial and operational results.

Prior to Bain Ori spent time advising Charitable endowments on their investment decisions to ensure financial stability and sufficient funding for worthwhile causes.

Ori is passionate about social impact and supporting refugees. He recently led Bain’s engagement with UNHCR to develop the strategic foundations for its ground-breaking social enterprise programme, MADE51. This helps refugee artisans build sustainable livelihoods and connect with global markets.

Katy Steward
Katy Steward - Trustee

Katy is Head of Culture and Transformation for the NHS and works at NHS England full-time. She also sits on the board of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, a provider of services for mental health and learning disabilities. As Head of Culture in the NHS, Katy has particular responsibility for culture, leadership and governance. She has focused in recent years on creating the more compassionate, inclusive culture the NHS needs to deliver population-based health.

Katy has a strong professional interest in ethics in governance. She was a Non Executive Director at Oxfam GB (where she served the maximum terms), including sitting on the Trustee Safeguarding  Group, and ran a Chairs network for eight years.

Before moving to the NHS, Katy worked for ten years with Citigroup and was Senior Fellow at the independent health think tank, the Kings Fund, focused on health regulation, governance and leadership. Katy also has a joint family interest in the small book chain, Daunt Books.

Photo of Trustee Zarlasht Halaimzai
Zarlasht Halaimzai - Trustee

Zarlasht Halaimzai is a writer and social entrepreneur. She co-founded Amna, an organisation providing trauma care to conflict affected and displaced communities in Greece, Albania, Kosovo and Italy. Before setting up Amna in Greece, Zarlasht worked as an education advisor on Syrian-Turkish border, Pakistan and Afghanistan working to keep children in education in conflict zones.

She has written extensively on displacement and trauma publishing two long reads for the Guardian on these subjects. She has also written for the Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, CNN and Vogue magazine.

In 2018, Zarlasht was selected from 20,000 applicants from 191 countries as one of the twenty inaugural Obama Fellows chosen by Barack and Michelle Obama for their outstanding civic leadership. In 2021, she was included on the BBC’s 100 Women list which recognises influential and exceptional women from around the world.

Zarlasht and her family were forcibly displaced from Kabul, Afghanistan, when she was eleven years old. She arrived in the UK at age fifteen with her family and they were granted asylum.

Photo of Trustee Zarlasht Halaimzai
Garvin Brown - Trustee

Garvin Brown is a retired drinks executive, having been Chairman of his family’s business, Brown-Forman, the distiller of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, for fourteen years.  He is also a Venture Partner at Ascension, an early stage VC fund, and a Senior Advisor at Ispahani Advisory, advising family businesses on corporate governance.    

Prior to joining Brown-Forman, Garvin worked at an N.G.O. in New York, focused on building democratic institutions in the developing world. More recently, he has remained engaged in politics and global development issues through his endowment of the Diamond-Brown Chair in Democratic Studies at McGill University, and support for the UNHCR’s refugee scholarship programmes. He also serves as a board director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, in Washington, D.C., where he is the Treasurer.

 UK 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.
Sohail Ali - 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.”

UK 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.
Jon Williams - 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.” 


Emma Cherniavsky is the founding CEO of UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner and one of the UK’s leading refugee charities for people fleeing conflict and persecution around the world.

In this role, Emma leads the team to deliver all UK private sector partnership and fundraising activities in support of UNHCR’s global relief programmes.  This includes national fundraising appeals, corporate and foundation partnerships, and public engagement campaigns. 

During Emma’s tenure and thanks to the solidarity of the charity’s generous supporters, UK for UNHCR has funded over £95 million of relief for refugees and displaced people, including emergency protection, cash assistance, shelter, healthcare, education and livelihoods. This directly supports people displaced by conflicts such as Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, as well as ongoing humanitarian crises such as Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Horn of Africa. The charity also operates an Emergency Fund to help UNHCR respond globally, wherever the need is greatest.  

As well as mobilising private sector support across the UK, Emma visits UNHCR operations to meet directly with displaced families, learning more about their experience and the ways in which UK for UNHCR can further support UNHCR’s vital work. Since COVID travel restrictions were lifted in 2022, Emma has met with displaced people in Lebanon, Jordan, Kenya, Romania and Ukraine.  

Emma regularly speaks about the charity’s work and the refugee cause at conferences, events and in national media, alongside refugees who share their personal stories to support public advocacy.  In December 2023, she represented UK for UNHCR at the United Nations Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.  

Emma has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and senior management in the non-profit sector and in politics. Prior to joining UK for UNHCR she held significant roles at the Liberal Democrats, the International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch.   

You can follow Emma on social media via LinkedIn and X. 

‘I believe deeply in the power of philanthropy and solidarity to transform the lives of vulnerable people around the world. At a time of rising global conflict and displacement, UNHCR’s work to assist, protect and empower refugees is more critical than ever, and the agency is uniquely positioned to work with host countries, donor governments, civil society, the private sector and, crucially, with refugees themselves to advocate for their inclusion and for long-term solutions.’ 

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