Combating discrimination and promoting equality as a fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice
Amal de Chickera joined ERT as a research consultant in July 2008. He previously worked at the Law and Society Trust (Sri Lanka) as a researcher and coordinator of the Trust's Human Rights in Conflict Programme. His role included the monitoring, documentation and reporting of disappearances, abductions and killings in Sri Lanka. He has also worked as Research Officer of the (post-tsunami) Disaster Relief Monitoring Unit of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission. Here he conducted field and legal research, monitored post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction work, investigated complaints, advised tsunami victims on their rights and was a facilitator of the island-wide post-tsunami public consultation process.
Amal is a founder member of Stages, a Sri Lankan Theatre Group which addresses prevailing social issues through cutting edge theatre. He also co-founded the UCL Student Human Rights Programme, and was co-editor of the inaugural UCL Human Rights Review. A member of the Sri Lankan Bar, Amal holds an LLM (Distinction) from University College London and an LLB (Hons.) from the University of Colombo.
Jim Fitzgerald joined ERT in May 2009. Prior to joining ERT, Jim spent four years working for the Liberal Democrats in a variety of roles in campaigns, parliament and most recently working for a local authority. He worked as a campaign manager in the 2006 local elections and has held senior posts in a number of high-profile by-election campaign teams. Between 2006 and late 2007, Jim worked as a parliamentary researcher for Paul Burstow MP, the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip. His role involved research, speechwriting and media liaison, as well as provision of political and communications advice.
Jim joined ERT from Southwark Council, where he worked as a Political Adviser to the Liberal Democrat administration, advising the Council's leadership on all aspects of political strategy, policy and communications. In 2010, Jim stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the local elections in the London Borough of Lambeth, while continuing to work at ERT.
He holds an LLB from the University of Sheffield.
Mickella Lewis joined ERT in June 2012. Prior to joining ERT, she worked as the Programme Funding Manager at Y Care International, the international relief and development agency of the YMCA. She has many years of fundraising experience, working primarily for international development and rights-based causes
Mickella has also travelled extensively in Latin America, and spent an academic year teaching English in Ecuador. She has a keen interest in languages and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Mickella holds an MA (Distinction) in International Peace and Security from Kings College London and a BA in Sociology and Social Policy from Royal Holloway College, London University.
Anne Muthee joined ERT in December 2010 as the Finance Manager.
Prior to joining ERT, Anne worked with the World Development Movement, a leading UK campaigns organisation against global poverty as the Finance Officer for 5 years. Anne has many years finance and management accounting experience having worked in the UK and Kenya in a number of different organisations and different financial roles. For the past four years she has been a member and treasurer providing financial expertise to a Kenyan women group in the UK who support orphaned children charities in Kenya.
Anne is a qualified chartered accountant (FCCA) and holds an MBA in Financial Services from the University of East London.
Nicola Simpson joined ERT in 2010, initially joining the Trust's internship scheme and later being appointed as Personal and Programmes Assistant and later her current role. Prior to joining ERT Nicola worked as a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in Kyrgyzstan, Italy and the UK. While at university, she worked in a voluntary capacity as Scottish Regional Coordinator for Student Action for Refugees, and in 2008 was a delegate at the 4th World Youth Congress is Quebec, Canada.
Nicola holds an MA in Philosophy, Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Glasgow.
Jeana Vuma joined ERT in June 2012 as the Finance and Administration Assistant. Prior to joining ERT, Jeana worked with the Barbara Melunsky Refugee Youth Agency as the Finance Officer for 4 years, a charitable organisation dedicated to combating alienation and despair amongst young refugees.
During this time, Jeana was also directly involved in a number of projects concerning the wellbeing of young people living in London, including advocacy projects with City Hall and with UK Borders Agency resulting in reforms to immigration policy.
Jeana is a part qualified chartered accountant (ACCA) and holds a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from London South Bank University.
Joanna Whiteman joined ERT in June 2012. She is a qualified employment lawyer and, prior to joining ERT, spent four years working at an international law firm in London. In this role Joanna litigated employment discrimination cases. Alongside her practice, Joanna acted pro bono for NGOs on matters of equality, employment and human rights law. She also co-ordinated a bi-monthly Letter Writing Clinic for Liberty, advising members of the public on a range of civil liberties queries. Prior to qualifying as a lawyer, Joanna worked for the National Volunteers Movement in Pakistan post-earthquake on the monitoring and evaluation of relief and rehabilitation efforts and for the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC) in India, conducting legal research into discrimination and human rights.
Joanna is a member of Advocates for International Development (A4ID) and managed its Socio-Economic Rights Group for four years from 2008. In 2011-2012 she was on the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Pro Bono Project.
Joanna holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Nottingham. She wrote her LLM thesis on the Equality Act 2010 and her LLB thesis on cultural relativism and the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Richard Wingfield joined ERT in August 2012. Prior to this, Richard worked as a barrister specialising in criminal law and human rights law. He has also worked at the Ministry of Justice as a policy advisor on prison policy and law reform. Prior to qualifying as a lawyer, Richard worked as part of the team which undertook the preliminary research for what became the Yogyakarta Principles, a set of principles on international human rights law relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, and later worked at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) where his work included researching the criminal justice systems of various States and documenting the protection of human rights within them.
Richard holds an LLB (Hons) in Law with European Law from the University of Nottingham where he completed his dissertation on the right to same-sex marriage under human rights law. He completed further legal studies at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and qualified as a barrister in 2009 after studying at the College of Law.