Who we are

Migration Museum Project – Who we are



  • Barbara Roche – chair

    Barbara Roche is a former Government Minister and MP who was a Minister of State in the Home Office, Cabinet Office and the ODPM. She was also Financial Secretary to the Treasury and a DTI Minister. As Minister of State at the Home Office, she was the Immigration Minister and has been a long-standing advocate of the need for a National Museum of Migration.

    At the Cabinet Office and the ODPM, Barbara was the Minister for Women and Equalities and responsible for the Social Exclusion and Neighbourhood Renewal Units. She has extensive European experience – chairing the EU Telecoms Council and representing the UK on the Home Affairs Ministerial Council.

    Barbara now works as a freelance consultant with major corporations, is chair of one of the largest national housing associations and a visiting university professor.


  • Jill Rutter – vice chair

    Jill Rutter is Head of Research at Daycare Trust, formerly head of policy and communications at Refugee and Migrant Justice and an Associate Fellow in Migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research where she worked between 2007 and 2009.At IPPR, Jill led research on refugee and asylum issues and on migrant integration, including a refugee oral history project.

    Prior to joining IPPR, Jill was senior lecturer and course director in Citizenship Education at London Metropolitan University and also worked in the policy team at the Refugee Council for 13 years. She has published extensively on all aspects of the refugee experience in the UK and abroad with well over 40 books, chapters, and papers on the issue.

    She has worked with a number of museums and archival collections to develop educational work on migration and contributed to the educational work of the ‘Peopling of London’ exhibition.


  • Lee Rochford – treasurer

    Following a 25-year career in the financial services industry, Lee is currently Chief Financial Officer of Virgin Money and sits on the board of Virgin Money Holdings UK. Prior to that, he was head of the financial institution group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the Royal Bank of Scotland and he has held senior roles at BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Wachovia Securities.

    Lee served for 17 years as a Board member of Metropolitan Housing Partnership, acting as the Chair of the Finance Committee for the majority of that time.


  • Zelda Baveystock

    Zelda Baveystock is Lecturer in Arts Management, Cultural Policy and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester and also teaches at Newcastle University.
    She has extensive experience in the capital development of history museums from her previous role as acting deputy director at the Museum of Liverpool, where she managed the delivery of content for this new £72 million museum on the banks of the River Mersey. As Senior Keeper of History at Tyne and Wear Museums, she was part of the team that led the £13 million redevelopment of Discovery Museum in Newcastle, transforming it into one of the most popular, free family museums in the north-east.

    Zelda’s interest in migration museums started in 2004 when she won a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship to investigate representations of multiculturalism in Australia, Canada and the USA, which involved visits to many of the world’s most significant migration museums.


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    Silaja Birks

    Silaja has worked at Tate for several years where she is currently Manager of International Programmes. Before that she was Head of Programmes, Development leading a team responsible for raising funds in support of Tate’s annual programme of exhibitions, education programmes, education programmes, restoration treatments and archive projects.


  • Dr Myriam Cherti

    Myriam is a senior researcher at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, working on a project about irregular migrants and control policies in the UK. She is an associate fellow of the Institute for Public Policy Research, where she was a senior research fellow for several years. Prior to that, she was a project coordinator at the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, where she led a national oral history project on the Moroccan diaspora in the UK. As part of this project she curated a national and international touring exhibition on British-Moroccans and the history of migration since the nineteenth century. Myriam also worked as a consultant and researcher on a number of European projects looking at the integration of ethnic minorities. She has also taught at the University of Sussex.


  • John Orna-Ornstein

    John Orna-Ornstein is Director of Museums at Arts Council England (ACE), dividing his time between museum development and developing the arts and culture in the south west of England. Prior to joining ACE, he was Head of National Programmes at the British Museum, working with museums and galleries in every part of the UK. His 15 years at the BM included roles ranging from curatorial to education to management and he has also worked in the international development industry.

    John is a board member of the Museums Association, International Council of Museums UK and the London Museums Group and was a fellow of the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme 2012/13.


    • Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson is Assistant Director of Operations (Dorset & Wiltshire) at the National Trust.

      Ian was previously Assistant Director of External Affairs, and was also responsible for the Trust’s operations and community work in London, during which time he oversaw the acquisition of the home of Kenyan born poet and artist Khadambi Asalache. He is also a former Trustee of the Heritage Alliance. Before running London for the National Trust he was English Heritage’s lead on urban regeneration policy.

      Ian’s migratory roots lie in a combination of the Jewish community of east London and the constant flow of peoples between Scotland and England. He is married and has two children who have English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, German and French roots.


    • Robert Winder

      Robert Winder has been deputy editor of Granta and was literary editor of the Independent for five years. He is the best-selling author of Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain (the second edition of which was published in 2013) and has also written books about cricket and golf and three novels. He is a regular contributor to the Independent, the Observer and the New Statesman.


    • charles gurassa

      Charles Gurassa

      Charles Gurassa is non-executive chairman of Genesis Housing Association and Net Names, Deputy Chairman at easyJet plc, non-executive director of Merlin Entertainments and Deputy Chairman of the National Trust.  He is a former chairman of Virgin Mobile plc, LOVEFiLM , Phones4U, MACH and Alamo/National Rent a Car. His executive career included roles as Chief Executive of Thomson Travel Group plc, Executive Chairman TUI Northern Europe, Director TUI AG and as Director, Passenger & Cargo business at British Airways. He is a former non-executive director at Whitbread plc ,trustee of the children’s charity Whizz-Kidz and a member of the development board of the University of York. He was non-executive chairman of Tragus until May 2014.





  • Sophie Henderson – director

    Sophie Henderson practised as an immigration barrister for many years, latterly at Tooks Court, chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, where she specialised in all areas of immigration, asylum and human rights law.  She provided training for the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and was a volunteer adviser at Praxis. In 2002, she became judge of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and was also appointed to chair appeals for the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. She is a trustee of Our Hut, a charity that delivers architecture-based workshops in schools. She has managed the Migration Museum Project full time since January 2011.

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    Emily Miller – education officer

    Emily joins the Migration Museum Project from a background in education and youth development work. Following an anthropology degree she trained as a Citizenship teacher with Teach First in Manchester and then moved on to co-ordinate an international education programme encouraging secondary school pupils into philanthropy. More recently she has been pursuing her interest in young people and conflict resolution by working at Seeds of Peace summer camps, which bring teenagers from the Middle East and South Asia together in America, and taking an MA in Conflict Resolution in the Peace Studies division at Bradford University, where her dissertation focused on young people’s attitudes to diversity in France and the UK. She joins us after eight months’ co-ordinating projects for an international youth network NGO in the Hague.

  • Andrew Steeds – projects manager (former trustee)

    Andrew Steeds has a background in writing and editorial consultancy. In addition to his work for the Migration Museum Project, he runs two companies – Simply Put Ltd and the Writing Clinic – that work with organisations to make public written communication clearer and more accountable. He started off working as a teacher, before going on to work in educational research and educational publishing. He was heavily involved in the publication of the then Department for Education and Skills’ adult core curriculum documents, including manuals on working with refugees and asylum seekers, and with EAL learners (learners with English as an additional language).

  • Ratan Vaswani – projects manager (former trustee)

    Born in Nigeria of Indian parents, Ratan Vaswani grew up in Manchester. His academic background is in Russian and Slavic Studies. He taught languages in schools, colleges and universities in Spain, France, Russia and the UK. In his late thirties he had a career change and entered the world of museums.

  • As well as helping to deliver the Migration Museum Project’s cultural outputs, Ratan is currently working with Indian partners to deliver exhibitions and events in major Indian cities, exploring Indian experiences of health, medicine and well-being as part of a major programme of cultural activity funded by the Wellcome Trust. Previously Ratan was head of events for the Wellcome Collection and before that he worked at the Museums Association for several years, leading on professional development and ethics, and at the Geffrye Museum, leading the museum’s contribution to Stories of the World, a set of creative youth projects taking place across the UK as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.


Education committee

Bushra Nasir CBE – Chair, former head teacher, Plashet School
Zelda Baveystock – Migration Museum Project
Steve Brace – Royal Geographical Society
Sophie Henderson – Migration Museum Project
Angie Kotler – The Forgiveness Project
Jess Linton – Refugee Week, Counterpoints Arts
Prof Ian Menter – University of Oxford
Emily Miller – Migration Museum Project
Liz Moorse – Association for Citizenship Teaching
Ryan Mundy – Council for Assisting Refugee Academics
Nina Panayis – Former head teacher, St James’ Primary School
Dr Jill Rutter – Migration Museum Project
Prof Geri Smyth – University of Strathclyde School of Education
Una Sookun – Woolwich Polytechnic School
Andrew Steeds – Migration Museum Project
Rebecca Sullivan – Historical Association
Emma Winch – Hackney Museum

Fundraising committee

Michael Soole QC – Chair, Chair of trustees Oxford Literary and Debating Union Charitable Trust
George Alagiah, OBE – Broadcaster and journalist
Lord Moser
Lee Rochford – Chief Financial Officer, Virgin Money
Judith Unwin – Head of UK Export Finance, BNP Paribas


Roberta Capozucca – MA student, UCL
Tola Dabiri – formerly Carnival Arts, and MLA senior policy advisor
Caroline Evans – Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
Lola Gazounaud – MA student, Inalco, Paris
Jackson Howarth – student
Emma Williams – chief executive, Student Action for Refugees
Chloe Wong – Foundling Museum

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