Executive Committee

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Peymana Assad

Co-Chair

Peymana Assad is a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Harrow, elected in 2018 making her the first person of Afghan origin elected to public office in the UK. In September 2020 she was announced as one of the 35 emerging leaders in Europe by the Obama Foundation. Peymana has worked extensively across the charity sector on girls’ rights in the Global South and sat on boards for British charities working with the FCO and DFID on gender, peace and security across the Middle East and South/Central Asia. She stood as a Labour Parliamentary candidate in the 2019 General Election, making her the first person of Afghan origin to run in a national election for any major political party in the UK. 

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Jessica Toale 

Co-Chair

Jessica is a political and international development specialist providing political intelligence, communications, and advocacy support to UN agencies, NGOs, development consultancies, DFIs, think tanks and universities.  She previously served as a Political Advisor to two Shadow Secretaries of State for International Development. Jessica was the founding chair of the Fabian International Policy Group and has written extensively on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, UK's foreign policy and the UK-China relationship. She is a British Council Hammamet Fellow and has participated in the FCO's UK-China Young Leaders Delegation. Jessica has a masters in Urbanisation and Development from the LSE and is currently completing a law degree.  

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Emmanuel Artusa-Barrell

Treasurer

Emmanuel has worked in several areas related to risk management, including political and security risks across many countries and industries in Latin America. He previous worked for several embassies in Argentina and for NGOs such as the Okita Foundation, an Argentine-Japanese NGO, writing reports on bilateral trade and market opportunities for the Japanese Embassy. Emmanuel holds a degree in international relations from the Catholic University of Salta, a Masters of Science in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, a Masters in Business Administration from the Catholic University of Argentina and a Masters of Science in international business and politics from Queen Mary University of London after been awarded the FCO Chevening Scholarship.

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Rishi Patel

Secretary

Rishi is the Practice Lead for Policy Communications at Global Counsel, a business advisory firm. He works with organisations to devise strategies for campaigns and communications related to public policy. Rishi’s main policy interests are in Britain’s strategic foreign policy relationships, notably the UK’s future relationships with the European Union and Asia. Rishi is also passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly how to make foreign policymaking more inclusive. A keen linguist, Rishi speaks Italian, French and Gujarati, as well as basic Spanish and Hindi. He is a graduate of Oxford University & University College London.   

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Alice Macdonald

Executive Committee Member

Alice is an international development professional with over a decade of experience. She is Campaigns and Policy Director at Project Everyone, where she leads campaigns and strategy work, as well as builds partnerships with organisations around the world from the UN to civil society. Her prior experience spans politics, the NGO sector and the private sector. She was Head of Campaigns and Advocacy at Save the Children and has worked as a governance adviser in the Office of the President of Rwanda. She began her career at the Labour Party where she headed the Research Unit and was a senior political adviser on international affairs. She is a Labour Party Councillor in Southwark in London where a strong focus of her work has been focussed on opportunities for young people.

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Anna-Joy Rickard

Executive Committee Member

Anna-Joy is an advisor to African leaders and governments on behalf of the Tony Blair Institute, in the areas of international positioning, strategy and delivery, and most recently the COVID-19 response. With a focus on French and Portuguese-speaking Africa, she is currently working with the Sahel region. She has a particular interest in geopolitical partnerships and diplomacy, China, and conflict and security.  Before moving closer to foreign policy she worked in international development for over a decade, including supporting entrepreneurs in Latin America and Asia, and as Executive Director of the Centre for Global Equality at Cambridge. She is a qualified leadership coach and has been a Labour Councillor in Hackney, East London since 2014.