Trustees

Chair

Saphié Ashtiany
 
Saphieh Ashtiany
Saphié Ashtiany is a lawyer and principal of Ashtiany Associates; a boutique firm that advises public, private and not-for-profit bodies on equality and employment law issues.  She is also a visiting professorial fellow at Queen Mary University of London where she is undertaking research on women and the law in the Centre for Law Equality and Diversity.  In 2010 she was appointed Government Ambassador for Diversity in Public Office.  She was formerly partner and Head of the Employment group at the London-based law firm Nabarro LLP.
 
Saphié is a trustee and Vice Chair of the Charities Aid Foundation, a Trustee of the Oxford Philomusica and Chair of its Advisory Council; on the advisory board of the Oxford Piano Festival; a trustee and director of the Oxford Playhouse and on the Advisory Board of the Welsh National Opera.   
 
She has previously been a Commissioner for the Equal Opportunities Commission (1999-2007), a member of the Board of Channel 4 Corporation and a member of the Advisory Group for Oxford Brookes Centre for Diversity Policy Research. 
 
In 2009, Saphié was the co-winner of the ‘Professional of the Year’ award, in the prestigious Asian Women of Achievement Awards recognising Asian women in the UK. She has written and published extensively on issues of discrimination law and positive action. She has also made a contribution to the understanding of migrant and refugee issues as a UK refugee counsellor appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Vice Chair 

Bob Niven
 
Bob Niven
Bob Niven is adviser to Alfanar, the Arab-led major private-public initiative to boost Arab employment in Israel, as well as to Masira, the leading organization of Arab disabled people there. He is also Deputy Chair of Action on Disability in Development and a Board Member at the Abraham Fund UK. In 2010-2012 Bob was resident adviser to the new Equal Employment Opportunities Commission in Israel.  
 
In his previous UK public service career, Bob Niven was Chief Executive of the Disability Rights Commission and prior to that Director of equal opportunities legislation and policy (gender, race in employment and education, and disability). He also held senior posts in the Cabinet Office and Representation to the EU in Brussels. He is a Non-Executive Director at a leading English Hospitals Trust. 
 
Danby Bloch
 
 
 
Danby BlochEsquire Danby Bloch is editorial director and co-founder of Taxbriefs Financial Publishing which produces many of the UK’s Chartered Insurance Institute’s examination learning texts, and publishes web-based learning materials for financial advisers, materials currently accessed by around 10,000 users. Danby is chairman of London IFAs Helm Godfrey and has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years. In 2010 he became a director of wrap operators Nucleus Financial Group.
 
Danby has written four books on financial planning and innumerable articles for the UK national and trade press, including the text book for the CII’s JO8 examination on Financial Planning Practice. He has also been a member of the Financial Services Skills Council group working on drafting the new Diploma level qualifications standards for financial advisers. He is also a regular lecturer and trainer on tax and financial subjects. He is a Patron of the Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford. He is Pro-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004. He recently became Chair of the board of the Oxford Playhouse.
 
 
 
Virginia Mantouvalou
 
Virginia MantouvalouDr Virginia Mantouvalou is Reader in Human Rights and Labour Law, and Co-Director of the Institute for Human Rights at University College London (UCL). She holds a PhD in Law from the London School of Economics (LSE), an LLM in Human Rights from the LSE and an LLB from the University of Athens. In 2010 Virginia was Dean’s Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC. She previously taught at the LSE and the University of Leicester.
 
Virginia is the author of Debating Social Rights (with Conor Gearty, Hart, 2011), as well as articles, book chapters and essays in human rights, labour law and European law. She works on theoretical and legal aspects of social and labour rights, the right to work, privacy, the rights of undocumented migrants, domestic labour, modern slavery and the interplay between human rights and labour law. Virginia is also joint editor of Current Legal Problems.
 
Virginia has successfully represented applicants before the European Court of Human Rights (case I.B. v Greece, on HIV/AIDS discrimination in the workplace), and has worked as a consultant for projects of the International Labour Organisation and the Equal Rights Trust. She is also on the management board of Kalayaan (working on the rights of migrant domestic workers) and is a collaborator of FLOOR (the Financial Assistance, Land Policy and Global Social Rights project) at Bielefeld University in Germany.
 
Helen Mountfield
 
Helen MountfieldHelen Mountfield QC is a barrister specialising in public law, human rights, discrimination, education and employment. Recent notable cases include:"Smith v Secretary of State for Defence (Supreme Court - jurisdiction of ECHR); R (London Borough of Lewisham) v Ofqual, Edexel & Ors (Divisional Court: successful defence of education regulator); Burnip v DWP (Court of Appeal: use of international law in national court); R(F) v DPP (Divisional Court: challenge to non-prosecution of rape); R(MA) v DWP (bedroom tax challenge). R(Woolas) v General Election Court (election petition and judicial review challenge to election court); R(G) v Governing Body of X School (Supreme Court - article 6 and professional discipline); R(Green) v Gloucestershire & Somerset County Councils (challenge to library closures/transfers); R(Hurley & Moore) v Secretary of State for Trade & Industry (challenge to legality of university tuition fee increase); R(E) v Governing Body of JFS (Supreme Court - discrimination law and legality of admissions policy of Jewish faith school); R(RB & Othman) v SSHD (House of Lords - deportations with assurance); Stec v UK (Grand Chamber ECtHR - discrimination and social security); Pedro v DWP (EU citizens' directive); Ladele v London Borough of Islington (religious discrimination and refusal to perform civil partnerships); R(Elias) v Ministry of Defence (public sector equality duties). 
 
She is a member of the Administrative Law Bar Association; Employment Law Bar Association; Employment Law Association; Bar European Group; Human Rights Lawyers’ Association; Industrial Law Society. Called 1991; Gray’s Inn; Recorder 2009; Silk 2010 (Deputy High Court Judge Administrative Court 2013). Treasury A Panel (until 2010); Special Advocate; Member of Equality and Human Rights Commission panel. Lectures widely in UK and abroad, including at Harvard, NYU, Oxford, Cambridge and for the Judicial Studies Board. Chambers Bar Awards Human Rights and Public Law Junior of the Year 2009; short listed for The Lawyer Magazine Barrister of the Year 2010.
 
She is the author of the Human Rights section of the White Book 'Blackstone Guide to Human Rights Act 1998' (6th edition), and was educated at Magdalen College Oxford (BA Hons History 1st class); City University (Diploma in Law); King’s College London (Postgraduate Diploma in EU Law); Holker Scholar and Reid Scholar of Gray’s Inn.
 
Kate O'Regan
 
Justice Kate O'ReganJustice Kate O'Regan obtained her B.A. and LL.B. from the University of Cape Town (1978 and 1980), an LL.M. from the University of Sydney (1981) and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics (1988). For four years in the 1980s she practised as an attorney in Johannesburg specialising in labour law and land rights law.  During this period she acted for a wide range of trade unions, anti-apartheid organisations and several communities facing the threat of evictions under apartheid land policy. In 1988, she joined the University of Cape Town Labour Law Unit as a researcher.  In 1990, she became a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at UCT. 
 
Over the next five years, she was a founder member of both the Law, Race and Gender Research project and the Institute for Development Law at UCT.  She was also an advisor to the African National Congress on land claims legislation, and to the National Manpower Commission on gender equality law.  She also served as a trustee of the Legal Resources Trust. In 1994, she was appointed as a judge to the newly formed Constitutional Court. She served as a judge of the Court until 2009. She has continued her interest in academic teaching during this time. She is an honorary professor at the University of Cape Town. She holds honorary degrees from the University of KwaZulu Natal (2000) and the University of Cape Town (2004).
 

 

Michael Rubenstein
 
Michael RubensteinMichael Rubenstein has been Editor of the monthly Industrial Relations Law Reports since it was started in 1972 and Co-editor of Equal Opportunities Review since its inception in 1985. In October 2007, his company acquired EOR and he became its publisher. In October 2010, his company launched Equality Law Reports, of which he is General Editor.
 
He was educated at Cornell University and the London School of Economics. He is a former chairman, and now honorary vice-president, of the Industrial Law Society and is chair of the Disability Discrimination Act Representation and Advice Project (DDARAP). He is a trustee of the Wainwright Equal Opportunities Trust and a “distinguished supporter” of the British Humanist Association.
 
He wrote the expert report on sexual harassment and the law for the European Commission and drafted its widely-used Code of Practice on measures to combat sexual harassment at work. He has acted as a consultant on discrimination and employment law to numerous international and national organisations including the United Nations, European Commission, ILO, World Bank and OECD. He was legal adviser to the Disability Rights Commission on the revised Code of Practice on access to goods, facilities and services and a member of the Council of Europe expert committee on the future of equality strategies between men and women.
 
 
Stephen Sedley
 
Sir Stephen Sedley, styled The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Sedley was a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 1999 to 2011.
 
Stephen Sedley After graduation from Queens' College, Cambridge, Stephen Sedley was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1964 and practised for 28 years, specialising in public law and discrimination law. He was involved in many high-profile cases and inquiries, from the death of Blair Peach and the Carl Bridgewater murder trial to the contempt hearing against Kenneth Baker, then Home Secretary. He became a QC in 1983, and was appointed a High Court judge in 1992, serving in the Queen's Bench Division. In 1999 Stephen Sedley was appointed to the Court of Appeal as a Lord Justice of Appeal. He has sat on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and as a judge ad hoc of the European Court of Human Rights. He also chaired the Judicial Studies Board’s working party on the Human Rights Act 1998 and has, since 1999, been President of the British Institute of Human Rights. He also helped to establish the Public Law Project, a UK charity concerned with access to justice and social exclusion. Stephen Sedley retired from the Court of Appeal in 2011. Stephen Sedley has been awarded honorary doctorates by eight British universities, and is an honorary professor of law at Warwick and Cardiff Universities. He is a prolific writer on legal and non-legal matters, including writing for legal periodicals and the London Review of Books. A collection of his essays, Ashes and Sparks, was published in 2011.
 
 
Luc Tayart de Borms
 
Luc Tayart de Borms Luc Tayart de Borms is Managing Director of the King Baudouin Foundation, an organisation which engages in activities at the Belgian, European and international level. In Belgium the Foundation supports local, regional and federal projects. 
 
Outside Belgium, it supports projects in the Balkans to promote European integration, improve the quality of higher education and help victims of human trafficking with reintegration. In Africa, it provides financial support to projects to combat HIV/AIDS and promote local development.
 
Since 1997 Luc Tayart de Borms has held a number of key positions with international organisations including the European Foundation Centre (2000–2002), the Hague Club (2007–2008), the Council on Foundations (2002–2006), and GuideStar International (2007–2010).  
 
Tayart de Borms has a Master’s Degree in Moral Sciences from the University of Ghent, Belgium.  He has written a number of key publications on non-profit giving, including Global Philanthropy, Philanthropy in Europe, and Foundations – Creating Impact in a Globalised World. 
 
 
Ferdous Ara Begum

Ferdous Ara Begum is the member of the Board of Trustees of HelpAge International and a former member of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (2007-2010). She is a gender and ageing issues specialist.

As a CEDAW Member she has had the opportunity to examine the reports on women’s advancement in 115 countries. She worked to realize equality between men and women through ensuring women’s access to equal opportunity in every aspect of their life including public and political life. She took the lead role to formulate the General Recommendation on protection of human rights of older women, which is called G.R.27.

 As the member of the Board of Trustees of HelpAge, she has influenced the policy guide line of the organization for the benefit of the older people, so that they have a dignified life with adequate social protection, access to health services, protection from violence and has ensured that they have a voice.  

As a former civil servant, she was the first woman to lead Bangladesh Television as Director General, and the first female Commissioner of Taxes in Bangladesh. She has served as a board member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank for six years.

In her 32 years of continuous public service, she has been active in educating and creating public awareness on the importance of women’s rights and actively influenced women’s financial independence.

At present she is involved with the International Institute on Ageing (UN-Malta) and is also the country representative of INPEA. She has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and is CEO of the Active Ageing and Research Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 

Dr. Evelyn Collins CBE 

Evelyn is a law graduate of Sheffield University, and has achieved a Masters’ degrees from the University of Toronto (Criminology) and Queen’s University Belfast (Human Rights and Discrimination Law).

Evelyn has worked on equality issues since the 1980s, mostly in Northern Ireland but also as a national expert working on gender equality in the European Commission in Brussels.

Evelyn was Chair of the Board of Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies from October 2013 to October 2017.  She is a member of the European Commission’s Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities between Women and Men. Evelyn was appointed as a Trustee of the Equal Rights Trust in September 2017. Evelyn also serves on the Board of the Chief Executives’ Forum in Northern Ireland and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Evelyn was awarded the CBE in 2008, for services to the public in Northern Ireland.  In July 2014, the University of Ulster awarded Evelyn the honorary degree of Doctor of Law (LLD) for her contribution to the promotion of equality and good relations.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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