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.
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.
Mevan Babakar - Trustee
Mevan is CEO at Democracy Club which empowers voters and everyday democracy in the UK. Mevan was previously deputy CEO of Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact checking charity. She founded Full Fact’s automated fact checking team which built technology to help scale the work of fact checkers around the world. This work went on to win the Google AI impact challenge.
Before Full Fact, Mevan helped launch the UK’s first ever National Voter Registration Day which has registered millions of young people to vote. In 2020 Mevan launched Level Up, a voluntary mentoring program that connects UK tech professionals with early career developers in Iraq and Syria.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq, to Kurdish parents her family fled Saddam Hussein’s genocide of the Kurds in the early 90s. Mevan was featured in the New York Times when she took a two-month sabbatical in 2019 to retrace the steps she took as a child refugee.
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.
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.
Rebecca Perlman - Trustee
Rebecca Perlman is a corporate and charities lawyer at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, co-chairing the firm’s global impact investment and social finance practice, and leading the transactional side of the firm’s pro bono practice.
Rebecca specialises in ESG, sustainable investment and philanthropy – advising corporates, entrepreneurs, investors, charities, not-for-profits, governments and multilateral organisations on a range of corporate, commercial and charity law issues.
In 2014, she was seconded to the Government of Sierra Leone as a legal adviser in the Office of the President, where she advised on the country’s response to the commercial impact of the Ebola crisis. She has also previously worked on secondment with the National Council for Civil Liberties.
As UK for UNHCR’s founding Chair, Rebecca led the establishment and launch of the charity as the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner for the United Kingdom. In June 2021, Rebecca’s term as Chair concluded and she continues to support the charity as trustee. Rebecca’s other trusteeships include Big Issue Invest Trust, the Freetown Foundation and the Prisoners’ Advice Service (2015-2019).
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 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 - 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.
Zarlasht Halaimzai - Trustee
Zarlasht Halaimzai is a writer and social entrepreneur. She co-founded Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI), an organisation providing trauma care to conflict affected and displaced communities in Greece, Albania, Kosovo and Italy. Before setting up RTI 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.
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.
Emma Cherniavsky is the founding CEO of UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the United Kingdom. In this role, she leads all UK private sector partnership and fundraising activities in support of UNHCR's international humanitarian relief programmes for displaced people. Emma is based in London but has visited UNHCR operations in countries such as Ukraine, Romania, Lebanon, Kenya and Jordan to meet with displaced families and learn how UK for UNHCR can further support them through UNHCR’s work. Emma has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and senior management in the non-profit sector and in politics, including significant roles at the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch and the Liberal Democrats.
Prior to joining UK for UNHCR, Emma served as Deputy CEO and Director of Fundraising for UK political party the Liberal Democrats, leading their fundraising efforts through three general election campaigns in six years and during the EU referendum in 2016.
Emma previously served as Chief Development Officer of the International Crisis Group, the Brussels-based international NGO focused on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. She also spent a decade working in senior development roles for Human Rights Watch, helping build new fundraising committees for the organisation in North America and Europe as well as directing their office in Southern California. This included visiting programmes in countries such as India, Mexico and Morocco.
In her early career, she worked for the Capital Group, the World Bank and the US State Department.
As UK for UNHCR’s CEO, Emma leads the charity’s private sector partnership and fundraising activity across the UK, involving corporate partnerships, trusts, foundations, major philanthropy and individual giving, as well as raising public awareness of global refugee crises to build solidarity and engagement.
Emma holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA from Brown University.