​UK for UNHCR Advisory Board

A bold, new philanthropic platform to meet the challenge of our time. With refugees, for refugees.

Photo: © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

A board like no other…

UK for UNHCR’s Advisory Board is the first of its kind at UK for UNHCR and heralds a new generation of philanthropy. One that harnesses funding pools, talents and identifies opportunities to solve the biggest humanitarian challenges facing the world today.

Stewarded by members with origins in the refugee cause – business leaders and philanthropists with experience of displacement or migration give the Board unrivalled insight and expertise.

© UNHCR/Nicolo Filippo Rosso

Photo: © UNHCR/Antwan Chnkdji

Be at the forefront of our work

Advisory Board members are at the forefront of our work whether that is responding to an emergency or supporting children’s education and adults’ abilities to rebuild their lives.

Their input, expertise and influence is called on to ensure we can offer solutions and hope at every stage of the refugee and displacement journey.


Photo: © UNHCR/Anna Liminowicz

A dynamic Board that will fuel new thinking, new solutions

The Advisory Board sits at the heart of UK for UNHCR. Working alongside our leadership team and trustees, members have access and insight to parts of the organisation that go far beyond the norm.

Board Members:


Have the chance to co-create innovative financing solutions


Shape what a better life for refugees could look like


With philanthropists and those we support


Using their own experiences, individual skills and expertise to advocate for refugees.

Meet our Advisory Board members

Coming from across the UK with a broad range of expertise, our Advisory Board members will be at the heart of everything we do.

Garvin Brown

Garvin Brown
Trustee & Vice Chair of Advisory Board

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.


Al-karim Nathoo
Advisory Board Member

Al-karim is the CEO of the 4C Group, a family-owned business formed in the 1990s.

4C Group manages and develops hotels and properties across the UK, Middle East, East Africa and Canada, with a mission to operate sustainably and deliver a high quality product which delights guests. The group also strives to deliver a positive environmental and social impact within local communities.

Al-karim sits on the advisory board of the Energy and Environmental Alliance, a leading organisation working to support hoteliers and property developers on transitioning the industry to net zero carbon.

In a voluntary capacity, Al-karim sits on His Highness the Aga Khan’s National Council for the United Kingdom.


Nyra Mahmood

Nyra Mahmood
Advisory Board Member

Nyra Mahmood is a skilled business and communications professional specialising in strategy, Islamic social finance, philanthropy, and advancing innovative financial and social tools to create positive long-term impact.

Her 20+ year career extends across journalism, business development and communications, where her strategic acumen and innovative thinking has been instrumental in devising effective approaches to address complex challenges and build pathways to drive successful and sustainable outcomes.

Nyra is the Managing Director of SSHC Limited dedicated to talent development, knowledge, and innovation; advocating on issues of diversity, philanthropy, social impact and using Islamic social finance as a tool to address global development and humanitarian needs. With a deep understanding of leveraging Islamic principles and financial instruments to promote global good, she fosters effective engagement with diverse stakeholders.

She also serves as the Strategic Director of Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy, leveraging design, finance, and professional expertise to support humanitarian entrepreneurs, tech for good, and practices which promote gender equity, and social and economic development in humanitarian settings.

A former journalist, Nyra also founded boutique communications company, Eudaimonia Communications, which delivers a unique perspective and instinctive multi-cultural proficiency in its approach, working closely with the entrepreneurs and the development sector. She sits on the Advisory Board of Epiphany Pakistan, an impact-driven consulting firm focused on social enterprise, financial inclusion, research, and women’s empowerment. She serves as an Emissary for the Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation (RFI), a think tank working to build sustainable and responsible practices.

Nyra Mahmood

Nepheli Rigas
Advisory Board Member

Nepheli Rigas is currently managing a private investment fund focusing on innovative companies and diverse real estate projects.

She started her career in commodities trading at Vitol, where she cultivated her skills before turning her focus towards ventures that prioritise environmental consciousness.

She is a committed philanthropist and actively involved in initiatives improving the economic empowerment of elderly women in her community in Greece, demonstrating her deep commitment to creating a positive impact on a global scale.

How to contact us

If you would like to learn more or are interested in joining the Board, please take a look at our brochure or contact [email protected]

UNHCR Advisory Board Brochure

UK for UNHCR’s Advisory Board is an unparalleled platform for philanthropists to have a far-reaching impact on the global refugee crisis. Thanks to the UN Refugee Agency’s ability to deploy resources on every continent, the Advisory Board allows all of us to achieve far more together than we ever could on our own

Garvin Brown

Garvin Brown, Trustee at UK for UNHCR & retired Chairman of Brown-Forman Corp.

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