Our team

MEET THE TEAM

Bashair Ahmed

CEO
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Bashair Ahmed

CEO

Bashair lives in Brighton, UK and focuses on migration, human rights, and humanitarian action. She speaks and writes English and Arabic.

With over 20 years’ experience working with United Nations agencies and international organisations focused on fragile and conflict-affected countries, Bashair has consulted on a wide range of migration and diaspora initiatives, including: the protection of irregular migrants; the development of e-trainings on humanitarian principles for diaspora organisations; and providing guidance on diaspora engagement in development and humanitarian response. Bashair holds a doctorate in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex, where she is also currently a Research Associate; her academic interests include humanitarianism, diasporas, migration and development, and intergenerational engagement. She speaks and writes in English and Arabic.   

Coffee makes Bashair happy, macchiato from Kaldis, in particular!

Get in touch with Bashair.

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Paul Asquith

Research and Advocacy Director
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Paul Asquith

Research and Advocacy Director

Paul lives in London, UK and focuses on research and policy advocacy around migration, diaspora development and humanitarian response. Paul has 20 years’ experience in managing community development and public health projects, as well as conducting research in Africa, Europe, and the UK. From 2012 to 2020, Paul was the Policy and Engagement Manager at the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), a leading African diaspora organisation in the UK. Paul is also a Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London, where his interests include: diasporas, migration, and development; culture, health, and migrant communities; and Islamic models of development in North Africa and the Horn. Paul, our most accomplished linguist, speaks and writes Arabic, Amharic, Kiswahili, French and English.

Another coffee lover, this time Ethiopian, Paul is a father of several cats!

Contact Paul.

Sue Turrell

Operations Manager
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Sue Turrell

Operations Manager

Sue lives on the Kent coast in the UK and is responsible for Shabaka's operations.

She is a highly experienced senior leader in the international development and humanitarian sector and has worked for small and large INGOs including Womankind Worldwide, Oxfam and Christian Aid. She has held positions focusing on driving high quality operations, delivering programmatic impact, transforming business practices, models and culture, increasing and diversifying income, and developing teams and individuals. She is deeply committed to strengthening international civil society organisations which aim to unlock the potential of people and deliver social justice. She has worked across the Middle East, Africa and Asia including 13 years based outside the UK. She has a Masters in Development Management and an MBA.

She can be reached on sue@shabaka.org

Sara Ibrahim Abdelgalil

Senior Advisor
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Sara Ibrahim Abdelgalil

Senior Advisor

Sara is a UK-based doctor and democracy activist in the Sudanese diaspora. She has 18 years’ experience with the UK’s National Health Service and has led numerous advocacy campaigns for children and young people, refugees in the UK, street children in Brazil and Africa, and young people’s rights in Sudan. She also proposed ‘The Jigsaw’, a multi-professional modelling for active children, and co-founded Governance Programming Overseas (GPO), a Sudan-based NGO aimed at raising young people’s awareness of governance in order to protect democracy, human rights, the rule of law and other aspects of civil society. Sara is also a member of the EUDiF Expert Roster.

Contact Sara on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Kirstie Kwarteng

Research Manager
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Kirstie Kwarteng

Research Manager

Kirstie is a PhD candidate in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. Her areas of focus include migration and development, African diaspora populations, and second generation transnationalism. Kirstie also has experience working with Ghanaian and African diaspora focused organisations in both the US and UK.

Reach out to Kirstie on LinkedIn  

Rania Amin

Research and Data Analyst
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Rania Amin

Research and Data Analyst

Rania lives in Glasgow, UK and has been a Shabaka team member since 2017, currently in the role of Researcher and Data Analyst as well as technical lead for Sudan on the Switchboard project. Rania also works with the Scottish Refugee Council as a caseworker supporting destitute asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable adults in the asylum system. Rania is finishing her MSc in Data Science for Politics and Policymaking at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow this summer, and has two teenage children, two cats, and a husband.

Contact Rania.

Vikas Malik

Communications Director
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Vikas Malik

Communications Director

Vikas is a UK-based, second-generation Indian diaspora member and senior storyteller with over 20 years’ experience in creative communications, building brands and thinking disruptively. While Vikas fully embraces the power of digital, he also believes connecting with people through the power of emotion and authenticity is always key.

Diana Leku

Finance Officer
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Diana Leku

Finance Officer

BOARD MEMBERS

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Jehanne Henry

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Jehanne Henry

Jehanne is an independent consultant, human rights lawyer, Sudan(s) analyst, and the former East Africa Director at Human Rights Watch.

Samah Ahmed

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Samah Ahmed

Based in London, UK, Samah specialises in programme management and holds a master’s degree in Communication for Development. Prior to joining Shabaka, Samah worked as a programme manager for several INGOs, overseeing projects on capacity strengthening, accountability, ICT4D and advocacy.

Get in touch with Samah

Louise Niven

Louise Niven

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Louise Niven

Louise Niven

Based in Petersfield, UK, Louise advises on Shabaka’s communications strategy. Louise has worked across the finance, technology and third sectors and focuses on international digital communications. She holds a BCom in Economics and a Social Innovation qualification from the University of Washington. Louise loves travelling and is chasing Thabani’s record of 41 countries, especially those where the sun always shines!

Contact Louise

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Richard Tandoh

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Richard Tandoh

Based in London, UK, Richard has over 20 years’ experience advising a range of blue-chip companies—including Liberty Mutual, Barclays, Tesco and BP—on digital transformation initiatives. Most recently, he was an Investment Associate at the Global Innovation Fund, a USAID and FCDO-funded, social-first investment vehicle whose mission is to find, back, and scale-up innovations with the potential to measurably improve the lives of people living on $5/day or less in the developing world. His focus sectors were tech, education and SME growth services in Africa, specifically Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya. Richard’s side passion is Star 100, a Ghana-focused professional diaspora network established over 15 years ago. Richard holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Geography from the University of London, a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and a Certificate in Education from the University of London.

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