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Metropolitan Migration Foundation Committee

Andy Gregg, Chair

Andy has many years’ experience as a CEO and senior manager in the Third Sector. He is currently the Chief Executive of ROTA (Race on the Agenda) and is currently a freelance consultant working on migration-related issues and was formerly the CEO of Charities Evaluation Services and Lasa (London Advice Services Alliance). Andy is Chair of the Migrants Resources Centre and Vice Chair of Refugee Action and a trustee of London Voluntary Service Council. He was Director of RETAS (Refugee Education and Training Advisory Service) from 1996 to 2004 and has been a trustee of the Refugee Council, the Refugee Training Partnership and the Refugee Arrivals Project and Chair of the Migrants Resource Centre..

Alan Wallace, Vice Chair

Throughout his career, Alan has been involved in local economic development, in the social enterprise sector and in the incorporation and leadership of charities at local, regional and national levels. Before moving to Kathmandu with VSO for an 18 month stint as an Organisational Development Advisor to various local groups, he was a founding partner in a social enterprise development and consultancy company in Yorkshire – SHINE. Prior to that he was the founding Chief Executive of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, a national grant making body. He worked for Voluntary Action Leeds until his retirement in 2013 and he is an individual member of Locality (formerly the Development Trusts Association, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of Charity Trustees Network.

Chris Birchall

Chris brings 30 years housing experience to his role on the Metropolitan Migration Foundation Committee. Chris recently stood down as the Chair of Metropolitan’s Care and Support Board 2 years ago, and was a finance director for a registered social landlord up until he retired. Chris enjoys his allotment and long-distance walking as well as singing in a local choir. Chris joined the Committee in July 2012.

Sarah Smart

Sarah has been working with migrant and asylum communities in the third sector for over 10 years. Sarah coordinates Newcastle: City of Sanctuary and was recently successful in applying for national recognition for the city. Previously Sarah managed an independent charity in the city and specialised in advising on the rights of people from abroad. Sarah formed the Citywide Migrant Support Group which she chaired for 4 years. This multi-agency group provided a platform for partnership across Newcastle. Sarah was subsequently asked to research and develop a method for improved coordination of service delivery for new arrivals across the city. Sarah is also an experienced trainer having delivered a number of regional training programmes on the rights of people from abroad to a variety of audiences.

Almamy Taal

Born in West Africa, Almamy obtained Masters in media & communications, specialised in investigative journalism and LLM Human Rights Law. He co-founded and co-chairs E-JAG (Exiled Journalist Action Group – West Midlands) MARCO (Migrant, Asylum Seekers & Refugee Community Organisation) and the MU (Migrants Union). He has produced and authored documentaries and drama that tackle immigration and human rights issues. He is a regular speaker at conferences and is particularly interested in solving the problems faced by destitute migrants. He has worked with various reputable organisations for the last nine years and currently is the Casework Coordinator for the British Red Cross Refugee Support & International Family Tracing: Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire

Angela Starn

Angie currently works for Avaaz, a 35 million person global civic movement working to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape key decisions. Prior to that Angie helped establish British Future, a think-tank addressing issues around identity, integration, migration and opportunity . Before completing her Masters in Refugee Studies and Community Development from the University of East London, Angie spent seven years at TPG, a leading global private investment firm, dividing her career between firms located in San Francisco and London and working closely with her team across Asia.

Early on in her career she worked as the Development and Membership Manager at The Health Museum whose mission was to promote healthy lifestyle choices. In her spare time she has been actively involved in working with asylum seekers and refugees as a mentor and volunteer placement advisor through the International Rescue Committee, Refugee Transitions, the British Red Cross, Evelyn Oldfield Unit, and the Refugee Support Network and also travelled through Southern California as Ambassador for the Worldwide Classroom, visiting university campuses to promote academic study abroad.

Brian Johnson

Brian was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan in October 2012. Since joining the organisation he has led the business through a period of financial and operational transformation. This has included raising standards in governance, drawing together a new executive leadership team and driving forward the financial turnaround of the organisation. He is passionate about delivering social value through facilitating greater independence for Metropolitan’s customers.

Brian joined Metropolitan from Moat housing association where he was Chief Executive Officer for four years. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of CityWest Homes, managing 22,000 homes for Westminster City Council, and Executive Director of Operations for Remploy, which provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Paul Birtill, Director of Metropolitan Migration Foundation

Paul is Director of Metropolitan Migration Foundation and previously worked as Director of Development of Metropolitan’s care and support business.

Paul’s working background is in developing and funding community initiatives across the UK with organisations such as Comic Relief and The Scarman Trust. He has many years experience in developing initiatives that support new migrants such as a foyer in Sheffield and a large asylum seeker housing and support service in the East Midlands. Paul’s family background is split between India and England and his children have an even greater and more diverse heritage. Paul has an MBA and many years experience in senior management positions.