Commissioners

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 The Commissioners are listed below.

Sitting alongside them are the Muslim Leadership Group (drawn from a wide cross section of Muslim institutions who exercise leadership roles in their institutions and carry the respect of different sections of the Muslim communities in the UK) and the Youth Leadership Group (bringing together young leaders from various faith traditions who have experience of engaging in civic action and are leaders in their communities.)

 The Commission is chaired by:

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve PC, QC, Conservative MP for Beaconsfield since 1997. He served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland from May 2010 to July 2014. Dominic is currently the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Society of Conservative Lawyers, President of the Franco-British Society and Vice-Chairman of the Franco-British Council. He is Honorary Recorder of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Jenny Watson is currently Chair of the Electoral Commission and a trustee at Money Advice Trust. She is  a former Chair of both the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Fawcett Society where she led work on women’s participation in the labour market and in public life. Although she has spent much of her working life in the voluntary sector, Jenny has twice run her own business. She sits on the Citizens Commission in a personal capacity. Jenny will act as Vice Chair for this Commission.

Commissioners (listed in alphabetical order):

Bishop Eric Brown

Ms Fiona Cannon OBE

Sir Trevor Chinn CVO is a Senior Advisor to CVC Capital partners.  His background is in the automotive industry, running Lex Service PLC, later RAC PLC.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Leadership Council and on the Board of BICOM.

Professor Mohamed El-Gomati OBE

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray is Professor of Religious Studies at Cardiff University, and the founding Director of the Islam-UK Centre, established in 2005.  She has authored numerous books, journal articles and book chapters on Muslims in Britain, the most recent being Understanding Muslim Chaplaincy (Ashgate 2013), Muslim Childhood (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Muslims in Britain: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  Professor Gilliat-Ray is currently the Chair of the Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN).

Ms Poppy Jaman is an internationally respected mental health advocate, national policy advisor and the CEO of successful social enterprise, Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA). Poppy currently holds a number of non-executive board positions for the following organisations; Director Armed Forces Community Directory - Veterans Council, Public Health England and NHS Workforce Race Equality Standards Advisory Board. She is also a founding member of the City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA) Management Committee. 

Mr Hashi Mohamed is a is a first generation immigrant, born in Kenya to Somali parents and came to the UK as a nine year old. Hashi, a barrister and broadcaster, practises in public and administrative law, including though not exclusively in Judicial Review cases, planning and environmental law and general commercial litigation. He also works with the BBC on short documentaries and lectures, most recently on the experiences of child migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean into Italy. Hashi is also currently a non-Executive Director of Connect Justice.

Charlotte Milner was raised in Yorkshire, moving to London aged 18 to study English at Queen Mary, University of London. Upon graduating, Charlotte spent two years working in Stepney as part of the Essential Programme, an initiative run by The Salvation Army to equip young leaders. She now works in a primary school as a Teaching Assistant, and spends her spare time volunteering at the youth club and getting involved in my local community. Charlotte is also a co-chair of the Youth Leadership Group for the Commission. 

Ms Ifath Nawaz LLB was a founding member and former President of the Association of Muslim Lawyers UK between 2002 and 2011 and Vice President until 2016.  She has been a Council Member  and Co-Vice Chair of the Faiths Forum 4 London and Director of Muslimah.  Ifath has played a key role in leading on issues affecting Muslim communities at the national and international level through her work on engaging with governments, local government and police and crown prosecution services and communities.  She has also played a key role in raising issues and leading on legal roadshows within the community on governance, hate speech, employment, human rights, terrorism and been co- author of a number of reports including Dealing with Anti Terror Raids, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body and Increasing Muslim Women Participation in Mosques.  Ifath also established a social enterprise providing training programmes for women and young persons on leadership, civil engagement and responsibility.  She is a Consultant Solicitor at Setfords Law Ltd based in London and currently provides an advisory role to a number of faith organisations.

Peter Oborne is the former chief political commentator of The Telegraph. He writes a weekly column for Middle East Eye and The Daily Mail, He has written a number of books identifying the power structures that lurk behind political discourse, including The Triumph of the Political Class and The Rise of Political Lying. He appears on BBC programmes Any Questions and Question Time and often presents Week in Westminster. He was voted Columnist of the Year at the Press Awards in 2013.

Sir Stephen O’Brien CBE is Chairman of London Works and a Trustee of the Mayors Fund For London, Barts Charity and Foundation For Future London. Previously Stephen was Chairman of Barts Health NHS Trust, NHS Tower Hamlets, the University of East London, International Health Partners, London First, Teach First and Charles Fulton and Co Ltd. He was the first Chief Executive of Business in the Community and supports several charities in their fundraising. His great passion is for building the communities of East London through the provision of good healthcare, housing, education and employment. 

General Sir Nick Parker KCB, CBE was the Commander of British Land Forces until 2012. He has served in N Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan including spending a brief period as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He is now the Chair of Step up to Serve.   

Sir David Sieff is the former Director of Marks & Spencer from 1972 – 1997. He then held the position of non-executive director until his retirement in 2001. He has served as a member of the National Board for Crime Prevention and the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and is currently a trustee of the Mentor Foundation for Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse among young people. 

Kawsar Zaman is a trainee solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP where he sits on the firms BME Steering Committee. He has volunteered for a number of charities and in 2015, awarded the Muslim News Malcolm X Young Person's Award for Excellence. As the first in his family to attend university, he graduated with a first in law from the LSE before reading for the BCL at Oxford University and the LLM at Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2009, Kawsar was a Global Fellow of the Prime Minister and has worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, House of Commons and the Department for Education. He is currently a Governor at Morpeth Secondary School in Tower Hamlets and a Trustee of Toynbee Hall, an organisation working to address the causes of poverty and distress, with a special focus on the East End of London. 

Dr Zuhair Zarifa GP. He was elected as the Chair of the newly established NHS commissioning body for Newham in 2012.  Zuhair is an experienced GP and surgeon in Primary care, with over 22 years working in an inner city GP practice. He has been a Partner at Custom House Teaching and Training practice, which serves approximately 13,000 patients in Newham, since 1990.  Zuhair has also served on the board of Newham PCT from 1999-2000 and held the role of Clinical Director for Primary Care at Newham University Hospital from 2009-2011. He has worked as a Training and Educational Supervisor and Video and Audit Assessor to the London Deanery.

Advisors:

Iqbal Asaria
Dr. Mohammad Abdul Bari
Yahya Birt
Christina Dykes
Emma Mulqueeny
Jonathan Powell
Canon Dr Angus Ritchie
Patrick Wintour
Saskia Marsh

Staff: 

Neil Jameson, Executive Director Citizens UK
Esmat Jeraj, Secretariat

If you have any questions about the Commission please contact the Secretariat at esmat.jeraj@citizensuk.org

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