Sunder

Sunder Katwala is the director of British Future. He has previously worked as a journalist. He was general secretary of the Fabian Society thinktank from 2003 to 2011, and was previously a leading writer and internet editor at the Observer, a research director of the Foreign Policy Centre and commissioning editor for politics and economics at the publisher Macmillan. He celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife, Stacy, in 2011, and is the proud father of four children, Zarina, Jay, Sonny and Indira. His support for Everton and Southend United football clubs reflects an upbringing in Cheshire and Essex, though he was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, to parents who came to Britain from India and Ireland, to work for the NHS.

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Steve Ballinger is director of communications. He grew up in Leamington Spa in the West Midlands and went to university in Leeds. After a spell working in advertising regulation, Steve moved to the press office of housing charity Shelter before joining the media team at Amnesty International, where his brief included Iran and China as well as UK issues including counter-terrorism policy and refugee rights. While at Amnesty Steve also launched the successful Control Arms campaign for an international Arms Trade Treaty and conceived and led a joint campaign with the Observer, irrepressible.info, to protect online freedom of expression. He then headed up the media team at international development charity VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) before joining British Future. Steve is a keen cook and loves travel and cinema. He describes himself as an enthusiastic but unsuccessful golfer, poker player and Nottingham Forest supporter. He lives with his partner Sara in Bethnal Green, east London.

Matthew Rhodes

Matthew Rhodes is director of strategy and relationships at British Future. He was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and reflects his family’s strong Yorkshire heritage in his passionate support of Leeds United FC, though he also grew up in Bedford and Brighton. After studying at Nottingham University, he qualified as a solicitor and specialised as an employment lawyer with a large commercial law firm, before deciding he would like to travel and see the world, and do something different with his life. He worked in Westminster for six years as a senior aide to The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, working on a wide range of issues and policy matters, during which time he very much enjoyed working with East Londoners. He also assisted Stephen in six different ministerial roles, including when he was in the cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He is married to Rebecca and is a dad to Poppy and Jotham. He enjoys watching and playing most sports, playing the drums, and enjoys philosophy, theology and spending time with his family.

Helena

Helena Stroud is the office manager and executive assistant at British Future. She was raised in Belgium by parents from London and Stoke-on-Trent and has subsequently lived in Glasgow, Birmingham, Taiwan, Barcelona and finally London, which she loves and considers home. As well as moving around a good deal, Helena has had a varied career, with jobs as an English teacher, an event manager at a publishing company and as the administrator at the Red Squirrel Survival Trust. In her spare time she reads and writes a good deal, and is currently working on two horror/fantasy novels. She likes to set herself interesting challenges and has recently been bridge-jumping and canyoning. Helena also enjoys practising a wide range of martial arts, including western swordsmanship and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and recently completed the London to Brighton Challenge. She lives in Crystal Palace with her partner David.

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Joe Cryer is the intern at British Future. He considers his family heritage as “rather dull”, but being born and raised predominantly in Leicester, he is happy to keep mentioning that Leicester City are back in the Premier League. After studying International Relations at the University of Leeds Joe spent some time living and working in Kenya before returning to the UK. Having worked closely with the British Red Cross Refugee Support Service in Leicester for the better part of a year Joe finally decided it was time to move down to London, with British Future providing the perfect opportunity.