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 leader 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.
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 Walthamstow, east London.
Jill Rutter is director of strategy and relationships at British Future. She was born in Birmingham and grew up in rural Northamptonshire. After studying at Oxford University and University College London she worked as a geography teacher in London and Essex. She then joined the Refugee Council where she helped set up Refugee Week, now a regular summer fixture. She has also worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research, where she helped set up the Migration Museum Project. This organisation plans to create the UK’s first dedicated migration museum and to tell the long story of movement into and out of the UK in a fresh and engaging way. Jill lives in south London with her two sons Emil and Izzy. She enjoys cooking, walking, sunshine, sea and landscapes. In her spare time she makes pots in her studio and is writing a book about British ceramics.
Elizabeth Gibson is the office manager and executive assistant at British Future. Her heritage is Irish Catholic via the USA and mixed English and Scottish. In other words truly British! She was born in Essex, went to school in Devon, came to college in London and has never left. Elizabeth has had a varied career including teaching for over 20 years in a variety of inner city London primary schools and being the deputy headteacher at a school in the Worlds End. She has also worked as a community fundraiser for a large national charity and latterly chief executive at a charity based close to Guy’s hospital. In her spare time she is a school governor at the comprehensive school her daughters attended, she is also involved with the Friends of Westminster Cathedral serving on their events committee. Her other interests include playing bridge, going to the opera and France. She lives in Vauxhall with her husband Keith, daughters Phoebe and Ophelia, and four cats…
Laura Dias is the Project Coordinator at British Future, following the completion of an internship at British Future. Laura studied History and Politics at Warwick University before completing a Master’s degree in African Studies at Oxford University. Laura’s Master’s thesis focused on Tanzanian Asians identity following Tanzanian independence, leading her to carry out interviews across Tanzania, Zanzibar and the UK. After graduating Laura worked at DragonGate Market Intelligence as a Market Analyst and Researcher, working closely with both public and private sector clients. Laura’s interests include travelling, reading and attempting to bake. Born in London, to parents who came to Britain from Kenya and Uganda.
Chris Lees is the intern at British Future. Chris studied both his undergraduate degree in History and Master’s degree in Contemporary History and International Politics at the University of York. Chris’s Master’s dissertation explored the topical question of whether the concept of populism could help to explain Donald Trump’s election. Chris was born and raised in Bolton but is also proud of his Welsh heritage, and is just as likely to cheer on Wales in the rugby as England in the football. In his spare time Chris enjoys watching comedy and going to gigs to see his favourite bands.