Shirley Cramer, the chair of British Future, is an experienced voluntary sector leader in both Britain and the United States, having held senior executive and non-executive roles in both countries.
Shirley grew up in Cumbria, taking a BA in Social Work at Bradford University and an MSc in Social Administration from Columbia University in New York. She is the new chief executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, having previously led Dyslexia Action as chief executive officer for a decade. As director of the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities in Washington DC, she launched a national public service advertising campaign on the issue.
She was awarded a CBE in the January 2009 New Year’s honours for services to education.
Wilf Weeks is a public affairs consultant. He studied at Kings College London and worked as Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Sir Edward Heath.
Wilf is currently a trustee for the Trust for London, the Prison Active Care Trust and Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust. He was chairman of Friends of the Tate from 1990 to 1999 and was a member of the Council for Tate Britain from 2000 to 2003, Chairman at Dulwich Picture Gallery from 2000 to 2006 and a Trustee from 1994 to 2006.
He was chairman of the Spitalfields Festival from 2006 to 2008, has been a trustee of London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art since 2000 and chairman of the Development Board from 2002 to 2006.
He was also chairman of the Heritage Education Trust from 2002 to 2008 and Honorary Treasurer of the Hansard Society from 1996 to 2007. Wilf won the Goodman Award for Arts and Business in 2004.
Shamit Saggar is Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Essex.
He is also Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research.
He was previously an Economic and Social Research Council Knowledge Exchange Fellow with HM Government; a Senior Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office; Professor of Political Science, University of Sussex; Reader in Political Behaviour at Queen Mary, University of London; Harkness Fellow at UCLA; Yale World Fellow at Yale University; and Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
He takes an active part in public leadership roles, and past and previous roles include: Solicitors Regulation Authority, Non-Executive Director; UPP Group Holdings Ltd, Chairman; Law Society Legal Complaints Board, Chairman; National Asylum Commission, Commissioner; Better Regulation Commission, Commissioner; Financial Services Authority, Non-Executive Director; National Consumer Council, Non-Executive Director; Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, Non-Executive Director; Peabody Trust, Governor; Accountancy Foundation Ethics Standards Board, Non-Executive Director; Institute for Citizenship, Advisory Council; Foreign Policy Centre Global Britons Programme, Advisory Council; Foreign Policy Centre/British Council European Inclusion Index, Senior Advisor; Royal National Institute for the Blind, Advisory Council; RSA Migration Commission, Commissioner
He also holds adjunct and advisory roles with Demos, Policy Exchange, the Institute for Public Policy Research, Policy Network, Fabians, British Future and Unbound Philanthropy.
Howard Jackson is a chartered accountant with some 30+ years’ experience in the profession, commerce and not-for-profit sectors, Howard has held executive roles for more than 20 years. These roles include Audit Partner, Finance Director for companies in the construction, financial and professional services industries, and as Head of Finance for a charitable foundation, committed to supporting vulnerable and marginalised people in society.
During his career, Howard has worked with large and small businesses as well as start-ups and has delivered strategic and financial advice to boards of trustees, directors and owner managers through all stages of the business life cycle. As Head of Charities at FD Solutions, Howard worked with a variety of charities and commercial businesses either as their finance director, advisor and mentor to their executive team. In 2011, Howard was appointed managing director of FD Solutions, a business providing flexible finance directors to charities and SMEs. Howard now runs his own financial consulting company to help businesses overcome their barriers to growth. Howard has been married to Debra for 24 years and has two grown up children.
Ayesha Saran works for the Barrow Cadbury Trust, an independent charitable trust based in London. She is the Trust’s Migration and Europe Programme Manager, managing and actively contributing to the Trust’s research and policy work as well as its grant-making in the UK and internationally.
Prior to joining the Trust in 2008, Ayesha worked for intergovernmental organisations for eight years, firstly at the International Organisation for Migration in London. She then became a Foreign and Commonwealth Office secondee to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Albania. Her work there involved political analysis and reporting on issues including elections, trafficking and human rights. By the time she left Albania six years later, Ayesha was managing a network of regional project offices and part of the senior management team. Ayesha also spent some time working as a freelance journalist in London.
She currently works in a non-executive capacity for Minority Rights Group International, an international human rights organisation.
Alasdair Murray is a writer and consultant who has researched and published widely on migration, globalisation and other social justice issues.Alasdair is currently senior adviser at Quiller Consultants where he provides high level strategic communications advice to FTSE100 and other leading businesses, government, NGOs and campaign groups. Before joining Quiller he was Director of CentreForum, the liberal think tank and deputy director of the leading EU thinktank, the Centre for European Reform. Alasdair started his career as a journalist serving as Economics correspondent and then as Brussels correspondent for The Times, where he covered all aspects of EU affairs. Alasdair’s recent publications on migration policy include The UK points based migration system, Migration, Europe’s Challenge and Does Britain Need a Population Policy?
He currently advises a number of clients about the impact of migration policy among other issues.Alasdair has also experienced the wide range of views in the migration debate on the doorstep as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Bournemouth West in the 2010 election.
Qari Muhammad Asim MBE is chief Imam at Leeds’ Makkah mosque and a senior lawyer at global law firm, DLA Piper. He is the only Imam in country who leads daily prayers at the mosque and also works full-time in the corporate world. Qari is an independent member of the Government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred working group, senior editor of http://www.imamsonline.com/, a platform promoting mainstream Islamic voices and combating online radicalisation, and an advisor to the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) and an executive member of the British Muslim Forum.
He is passionate about fostering relationships between communities and is a member of a number of inter-faith organisations. Qari is also a board member of Yorkshire Asian Business Association, which aims to support Asian businesses, and represents its members on a national and international level.
Andrea Als is a senior solicitor within PricewaterhouseCoopers’ UK Legal practice and a Government Liaison Lead within the Immigration department.
She is an expert in undertaking consultancy work with a focus on ensuring companies are compliant with their duties under current legislation. She has had extensive experience in attending Home Office compliance visits and intelligence led operations. Andrea also specialises in advising large companies that have a decentralised model for meeting their obligations.
Andrea is a Government Liaison Lead within the Immigration department. As a result she works closely with the Home Office on consultations to assess the impact of the frequent changes for our clients.
Andrea advises on the ‘live’ tiers of the Points Based System, Immigration and Nationality matters and provides specific advice on the mechanics and architecture of the Points Based System. Further, she is well versed in Employment and broader Immigration matters which enable her to instinctively identify and advise upon the employment considerations that could arise in immigration matters. She also has substantial experience in making discretionary applications outside of the immigration rules.
She is an active member of ILPA, and regularly delivers training to other lawyers within the industry. She also writes for a number of legal publications including Butterworths and Getting the Deal Through as well as being on the editorial board of Lexis Nexis for Business Immigration.
Shailesh R Solanki is the Executive Editor of Asian Media Group, (AMG), Britain’s biggest Asian publishing house. Established in 1968, AMG publishes a stable of consumer and business titles in the UK and USA aimed at the Asian community.
Shailesh graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics from University College, London and has over 25 years’ experience in consumer and business journalism. He has chronicled the progress of the Asian community in the group’s various publications which include Eastern Eye newspaper, Garavi Gujarat newsweekly, Asian Trader, Pharmacy Business, The Asian Rich List and GG2 Power List.
Shailesh is responsible for the editorial direction of the group’s titles, the group’s events division and its US business which is based in Atlanta, Georgia.