Beki joined as Executive Director in March 2019, and leads the team at Facing History and Ourselves UK to deliver on the strategy ensuring we have high quality programme provision and a robust and sustainable organisation. Prior to joining us Beki worked at the Aldridge Foundation from 2014-19, first as Deputy Chief Executive and then as CEO. Beki previously worked in business development and operational leadership for two other youth-oriented charities, the Communication Trust and Youth at Risk and has also run her own management consultancy. Beki holds a B.Ed. in Outdoor and Science Education from Liverpool John Moores University.
Michelle is responsible for our programme activity, training and supporting the teacher network, facilitating CPD workshops and seminars, and delivering educational projects with teachers and students. Michelle has a BA (History), MA (Jewish History and Culture) and PhD from the University of Southampton, where her thesis focused on gender, social welfare and identity during the occupation of France. Prior to her role at Facing History, Michelle has worked in the academic and corporate sectors, as Visiting Lecturer and Tutor at the Universities of Southampton and Westminster, Knowledge Manager at BP, and in research and editorial for companies such as IHS and Procurement Leaders.
Aneira is responsible for creating new educational resources and for supporting programme delivery. Aneira has worked in education since 2010 when she began designing and delivering workshops in creative writing, journalism, and employability skills. Her other roles have included that of a secondary school English teacher, an examiner, and, most recently, an education consultant, where she has advised charities on content development and delivered teacher CPD. She has partnered with organisations such as Camden Summer University, the British Library, and VSO. Aneira is committed to creating dynamic classroom environments that prepare students to be active participants in the world beyond school. She has a BA in English Literature and Language from the University of Oxford.
Amran is responsible for the successful administrative management of programme activities for Facing History UK. Amran has worked in a number of community-based organisations, most recently as part of the policy team at Community Links, where she conducted research, managed social media accounts, contributed to policy responses and assisted with event planning. Amran’s other roles have included that of English and Sociology tutor at City Educators and Best Tutors, and administrative support worker. Amran is passionate about creating positive engagement on social issues. She has a BSc in Criminology and Sociology from City, University of London, where her dissertation explored British Muslim women’s gendered experiences of Islamophobia, racism and hate crime.
We are supported by a network of dedicated subject specialists across History, English, RS and Citizenship who contribute to resource development and workshop facilitation.
Chair of Trustees
Rita chairs the Facing History and Ourselves UK Trustee Board, having previously served as the Advisory Board Chair. Most recently, Rita co-founded Halcyon London International School, a not-for-profit IB senior school dedicated to transforming education for the next generation. Halcyon is Facing History’s first Partner School in the UK. Rita received a BA from Tufts University in French and German Literature. After many years working in the international travel industry, Rita moved into the voluntary sector, focusing on fundraising, school inspections and education. Developing a passion for inclusive behaviour, Rita trained in diversity and anti-bullying, and has facilitated programmes for an NGO. Rita is also a trustee of the Meller Educational Trust.
Prior to joining Facing History and Ourselves, Ominder Dhillon was Global Head of Institutional Distribution at M&G investments, leading a diverse international team focussed on developing investment solutions for corporate and public pension funds as well as foundations to help them meet their fiduciary responsibilities in a sustainable manner. He joined M&G in 2015 from sustainable and impact investing specialist Impax Asset Management where he was responsible for global business development and client service. Ominder began his career in 1991 and has worked for several leading investment management firms. He also serves as a Senior Advisor on the Global Advisory Board of investment consultant research firm IC Research and holds a degree in Physics from the University of Kent.
Anne-Marie Fitzgerald is Chief Operating Officer for Facing History in the United States and oversees the organisation’s seven offices in the US and manages the relationship with the Canada and UK organisations. Her role is to support programmatic delivery, fundraising, communications and financial management. Prior to that, Anne-Marie was the National Executive Director for Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organisation which promotes early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families. Anne-Marie serves on the boards and committees of multiple organisations, including the Cambridge School of Weston, RESPOND Women's Shelter, Fayerweather Street School, and Bridgewater State College.
As well as being a trustee, Lawrence (Larry) Levy has been on the UK Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves since our inception. He has been involved with Facing History and Ourselves in the United States since 1978 as pro bono legal counsel, and also serves as a member of the of the Board of Directors of Facing History and Ourselves there. Larry, now retired, was a partner at the law firm Brown Rudnick for more than 40 years where he was Chair of the International Practice Group, working in the firm’s Boston and London offices. He continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of several companies. Larry and his wife, Peggy, who is also a member of the UK Advisory Board, divide their time between Boston and London.
Darren Light is an Enterprise Sales Director with US creative technology company Adobe Systems. He sits on the UK board of Facing History and Ourselves as a trustee and brings with him a wealth of commercial experience across the UK and Middle East. Before Adobe Darren spent nine years at Microsoft running numerous sales and business development teams focussing on the public sector, retail and manufacturing. Darren volunteers for the Social Mobility Foundation mentoring under-privileged A-level students on how to invest into their careers and shorten the opportunity gap. Darren holds a 1st class honours degree in Software Engineering Management.
Rafe Offer is a trustee and chairs the UK Advisory Board. This is his first leadership role with Facing History and Ourselves but he has been involved as a major donor/supporter for many years via his Board position on the Baskin Family Foundation. Rafe has extensive corporate and entrepreneurial experience, formerly leading marketing, product development and innovation teams at Coca-Cola, the Walt Disney Company and UK-based spirits company Diageo. Rafe is also Founder and Executive Chair of Sofar Sounds. Sofar Sounds reimagines the live music experience for artists and fans through intimate, often secret performances in people’s homes and other non-traditional spaces. Since its founding in 2009, Sofar has grown from a grassroots community movement to nearly a thousand local events per month in hundreds of cities around the world. From Chicago originally, Rafe resides in London with his wife Stacey, who is also an active supporter of Facing History, and daughters Izzy and Chloe.
Louise Pyne-Jones is Head of Research at the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR); a UK-based NGO that uses multimedia as a platform for human rights advocacy. As well as this role Louise has worked on a number of international rights campaigns, and has also been an Advisor on research and funding at the Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs (IISA), a think-tank that works on sustainable solutions for peace and stability across the Islamic World. Prior to nonprofit roles, Louise taught in primary, secondary, higher and adult education settings for over a decade. Currently continuing academic work with a PhD at SOAS, University of London, Louise’s thesis examines the transnationalism of Black religious movements, nationalisms and their relationship to identity and power.
As well as being a trustee of the UK organisation, Judy Wise sits on the Board of Directors of Facing History and Ourselves in the United States and set up their first regional office, in Chicago, serving as its Executive Director for 12 years. In 2001, Judy and her family spent a year living in London and Judy was instrumental in setting up Facing History UK and has been a key supporter ever since. Prior to her work with Facing History, Judy worked in TV and state government and was on the campaign staff of Robert Kennedy. In addition to Facing History, Judy is on the board of Restore Justice, a criminal justice organisation; Mother Jones Magazine; and Chicago Media Project, which supports social justice documentaries. She has 3 children and 3 grandchildren and lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Advisor to the Trustees
Peter Wozny is an English qualified lawyer and works for BTomorrow Ventures. As a corporate lawyer, Peter has been assisting Facing History and Ourselves since 2018. Prior to joining BTomorrow Ventures, Peter has over 10 years private practice experience having worked as a senior associate in the corporate team at US firm Brown Rudnick LLP and before that at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in both their London and Moscow offices. Peter speaks English, Polish and Russian. Away from law, Peter has a strong background in musical theatre having performed on the West End, at the Royal Albert Hall, and toured across North America. Peter is also a Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the charity LIFEbeat, working with disadvantaged young people across the UK.