Director of British Future
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.
Director of Communications
Steve Ballinger is director of communications. Over the last 20 years he has worked in media and communications roles at the Advertising Standards Authority, Shelter, Amnesty International UK and VSO before joining British Future. Steve grew up in Leamington Spa in the West Midlands and went to university in Leeds. He describes himself as an enthusiastic but unsuccessful golfer, poker player and Nottingham Forest supporter, but a decent cook. He lives with his partner Sara in east London.
Director of Research & Relationships
Heather Rolfe is Director of Research and Relationships. She was previously Head of Research at Demos. Prior to that she led the social policy team at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research where her work focused on the economic and social impact of migration, including public attitudes. Heather was born in Bradford but grew up in Bristol and Hertfordshire. She went to university in Sheffield and Southampton, where she wrote her PhD on the experience of workplace automation. She lives in South London with her husband Simon, and close to her two grown up daughters. Heather loves London, especially its galleries, museums and restaurants. She loves it so much that she gets homesick on holiday.
Office manager and Executive Assistant
Louise Hickmott is the Office manager and Executive Assistant at British Future. Raised in Canterbury, she moved to London to study History at Greenwich University and has never left. After running a child sponsorship programme at a small international development charity for over four years, Louise is continuing her career in the not for profit sector working at British Future during one of the most important times for identity and immigration in the UK, all whilst battling to keep the office space tidy and staff diaries under control! A keen foodie although not much of a chef, Louise lives in Blackheath and is often found wandering around Greenwich market of a weekend or visiting friends and exploring the city restaurant by restaurant.
Events and Engagement Manager
Lucy Buckerfield is the Events and Engagement Manager at British Future. She runs and develops British Future’s event programme. She grew up in West London before moving to Bristol to study for her undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations at the University of Bristol, where her dissertation explored the framing of the immigration debate in the British Press. Since graduating in 2017 she has worked for a London local authority in digital and communication teams and a disability charity, Scope. There she worked on a qualitative research project, ‘Our lives, our journey’ before joining British Future in June first as an intern and now in a new events role. Lucy considers herself a proud Londoner first and foremost, and when she is not working she enjoys watching sport as a long-suffering Arsenal fan, and finding comedy venues across the capital!
Jake Puddle is a Researcher at British Future. He grew up in Canterbury before moving to London, where he has recently finished a Master’s in Global Governance and Ethics at University College London. During his degree, Jake’s research interests included social integration policy and civil society campaigns to empower migrant care workers. He then worked as an intern for the humanitarian charity Action Against Hunger, where he undertook advocacy research on scaling up development programmes that tackle malnutrition. Outside of work, Jake is a keen cook and can usually be found experimenting with curry recipes. He also enjoys playing five-a-side football at his local league, albeit with a famed talent for scoring own goals.
Michelle Midzi is an Intern at British Future. Born in Zimbabwe, Michelle lived in other Southern African countries before settling in the UK. An aspiring policymaker, Michelle studied Politics and International Relations as well as International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent. As such, her research interests include conflict transformation and how diasporas can be utilised to mitigate conflicts around the world. She boasts experience in event organisation, outreach and journalism. Outside of work, Michelle considers herself somewhat of a film enthusiast and is in the middle of conceptualising an organic skincare line -after spending a tad too much in Boots.
Meet our trustees. Our experienced Board of Trustees ensures the good governance of British Future and offers valuable insight and experience to the staff team.
British Future’s research into public attitudes on issues such as immigration, integration and identity helps us and our partners develop effective messages that reach and persuade new audiences. We offer constructive policy solutions to people’s legitimate concerns and work to find common ground that can bring people together.