Who we are

Meet the team

Beyond Conflict’s trustees, management and board of advisors includes many leading figures in their respective field, each bringing expertise and contacts to support people in war-zones suffering from the psychological fallout of conflict, displacement and terrorism. Our team comprises of people from the Middle East, Europe and America. Beyond Conflict’s ethos is one that embraces people of all cultures and faiths, it is a meeting of East and West.

Board of trustees:

Edmund Newell, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Ed is Principal of Cumberland Lodge, the educational foundation that seeks to build more inclusive societies in Britain and globally by leading a dialogue on the biggest issues facing the world today, including freedom of religious belief and expression, international security and inter-faith dialogue. He is former Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral and Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

Edna Fernandes, Co-Founder

Edna is the Co-Founder of Beyond Conflict and author of the best-selling book Holy Warriors, a study of religious fundamentalism across four faiths. She is the author of The Last Jews of Kerala, a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year, and The Hollow Kingdom, which examines Islamic State and the cult of jihad. Edna has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, Reuters and the Mail on Sunday and been a commentator on the roots of religious extremism since 2005..

Professor Martin Parsons, Co-Founder

Martin is the former Director of the Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies at the University of Reading where he is Honorary Life Fellow. He is one of the world pioneers in the study of the impact of war on children, with particular emphasis on those displaced during World War Two, thereby offering a deep historical perspective on the issue. He is the author of I’ll Take That One Too (2015), Waiting to Go Home and War Child: Children in Conflict.

John Tress

John is a chartered accountant by training, John advises on the design and management of international development funds. He has established, advised or partnered with a number of not-for-profit organisations over the course of almost 10 years in the international development sector, working with US Aid. John is Assistant Director in International Development at PwC

Gillian Dare OBE

Gillian is a retired diplomat, with nearly 20 years in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Throughout her Foreign Office career, she has specialised in political and security policies in conflict-affected and fragile counties, focusing on conflict resolution, peace building, governance, rule of law and building stability. Her most recent role was as the lead FCO Senior Policy Officer for Women, Peace and Security. She has been awarded an OBE and the Cross of St Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury for her work.

Dr Kishan Manocha

Kishan is a Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. He has extensive experience dealing with religious freedom issues around the world and is a former Visiting Research Fellow at the Carr Centre for Human Rights at Harvard University and Fellow of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.

Dr Abda Mahmood

Abda is a psychologist and academic who completed her PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During her PhD she led a large clinical trial, including the protocol development, ethical and regulatory approval, data collection and integrity, data management, analysis, interpretation and publication. Abda will bring this expertise to BC as it undertakes its first projects. Prior to her PhD, Abda was awarded a First Class Honours BSc in Applied Psychology at the University of Durham, and in accord with British Psychological Society. She was awarded an MSc in Psychological Research from The Queen’s College, University of Oxford.


Professor Mohammed Al-Uzri
Senior Advisor on Iraq and Mental Health

Mohammed is Honorary Chair at the University of Leicester, Consultant Psychiatrist and Assistant Medical Director at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. He is Deputy Director of International Affairs at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the former Chair of the Iraq Mental Health Forum. Advisor on the Iraq Mental Health Survey, the first of its kind conducted by WHO and Iraqi authorities.

Robert Craig, legal counsel

Robert is a charity law specialist and consultant at Howard Kennedy, a leading law firm in London. Robert is a member of the Charity Law Association. While chairman of the trustees of one of London’s independent museums, Robert oversaw a major development project in the period 2005-10. He is now Vice President of the museum and trustee of a number of other charities.

Kimberley Ellis, Social Media Consultant

Kimberley has utilised her theatre education to coordinate cultural change projects: at her local University that aimed to address issues of hate crime, online harassment and prejudice among students. The projects sought to provide those effected with specialist support and guidance in the aftermath of incidents. She uses her artistic eye to design and manage Beyond Conflict’s social media sites.

Luke Tomkins, Treasurer

Luke is a chartered accountant with a background in financial services. He has spent the first 4 years of his career working as a member of the structured finance group at PwC, providing assurance for stakeholders in securitisation entities.

Yang-May Ooi, Podcaster

Yang-May Ooi is a bestselling author who has been blogging for over 10 years. Her cross-cultural blog Fusion View gained 10,000 unique views a month and was featured on the BBC. She is the co-author of the social media chapters of International Communications Strategy, published by Kogan Page and nominated for the FT Goldman Sachs Business Book Award. She currently runs Tiger Spirit, a multi-media blog on creativity. Www.TigerSpirit.co.uk

Dr Sheikh Ramzy, Humanitarian

Born in the Middle East, Sheikh Ramzy has lived in Oxford for more than 30 years and is the founder of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre. He works with the Muslim Council of Britain to promote better understanding if Islam. He is Ambassador of the Universal Peace Foundation and a member of the United Nations Association UK. Dr Sheikh Ramzy is an Islamic scholar and a campaigner on humanitarian affairs.

Board of international advisors: Dr Emad Abdulrazaq: 
National Adviser for Mental Health, Ministry of Health, Iraq  |  Dr Nesif Al- Hemiary: 
Head of Scientific Council of Psychiatry, Iraqi Board of Medical Specializations |  Professor Nusrat Husain:  Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Research Global Mental Health, University of Manchester  |  Professor Allen R. Dyer: Professor of Psychiatry; Vice-Chair for Education at the George Washington University, Washington |  Brigadier (Retired) Colin Tadier, CBE: Former Chief Executive of the Royal Artillery, UK  |

Registered Charity Number: 1176499