Who We Are

Meet our Patron, Board of Trustees, Associates and Executive Director.

Patron & Trustees.

Lord Black of Brentwood (Patron)

Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group

Guy Black

Tira Shubart (Chair)

Freelance Producer and Writer

Sandhiya Sophie Argent

Media Lawyer

Madhav Chinnappa

Madhav Chinnappa

Sally Fitton

Director TV & Film Projects, Secret Compass

Clive Myrie

Chief Correspondent & Presenter, BBC News

Ben de Pear

TV Journalist & Executive Producer / Founder, Basement Films

William Reeve

Independent consultant / Former BBC correspondent

Richard Tolkien

Independent Advisor / Finance Expert

Executive Director.

Jon Williams


Alex Crawford

Special Correspondent, Sky News

Alex Crawford

Lyse Doucet

Presenter and Chief International Correspondent, BBC

Lyse Doucet

Lindsey Hilsum

International Editor, Channel 4 News

Lindsey Hilsum

Raj Parker

Barrister, Matrix Chambers

Raj Parker

James Peck

Director Corporate Functions, Badenoch & Clark

James Peck

James Mates

Europe Editor, ITV News

James Mates

David Verdi

Executive Vice President, Worldwide Newsgathering, NBC News

David Verdi

Adrian Wells

Managing Director, ENEX

Adrian Wells

Lord Black of Brentwood (Patron)

Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group

“I am hugely impressed by the vital work of the Rory Peck Trust… it deserves to be widely supported across the publishing industry.”

Lord Black is Deputy Chairman at the Telegraph Media Group, Chairman of the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) Media Trust, and an Executive Committee Member of the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA).

He is a passionate defender of press freedom and free speech in the UK and across the Commonwealth. From 1996-2003, he was Director of the Press Complaints Commission, and from 2003-2005 he was Director of Communications for the Conservative Party.

He is an active Member of the House of Lords and speaks regularly on matters such as freedom of speech, animal welfare, gay equality and music education. He is also a Churchwarden of St Bride’s Church and a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum.

Sarah Ward-Lilley (Chair)

Managing Editor, BBC News

“Being a Trustee is my way of trying to use my experience at the BBC to help the wider freelance community.”

Sarah has had a long-term involvement with the Rory Peck Trust, having first produced The Rory Peck Awards for five years and then serving as a member of the Board since 2004. She joined BBC News in 1989 as a producer in the TV Newsroom, and after working as a field producer for many years, she became Managing Editor and, later, Deputy Head of BBC Newsgathering. In both these roles, Sarah had a special responsibility for safety, training and welfare. She currently manages all the BBC’s international news bureaux. Sarah is Vice President of the EBU News Committee and an advisor to the Dart Centre (Europe) for Journalism and Trauma.

“I’ve spent much of the last 10 years working to support BBC teams who cover dangerous and difficult stories around the world. These teams are often a mix of BBC staff and freelancers. We ensure that our freelancers have access to training, insurance and contracts, so that they are protected and safe and it’s this awareness of the specific issues and concerns that all freelancers face which has made me so committed to the work of the Trust.”

James Brabazon

Freelance Journalist and Filmmaker

“Quite simply, the Trust watches our back, and without them the work of freelancers worldwide would be harder and more insecure.”

James is an award-winning frontline journalist and documentary filmmaker who joined the Board in 2010. Based in London, he has travelled to over 70 countries, investigating, filming and directing in the world’s most hostile environments. His awards include the Rory Peck Sony Impact Award (2003), the Rory Peck Freelancer’s Choice Award (2003), the IDA Courage Under Fire Award (2004) and the IDFA Joris Ivens Competition Special Jury Award (2004).

He has been nominated for two BAFTAs and two Emmys and made over 40 international current affairs films broadcast by BBC, Channel 4, CNN, SABC and the Discovery Channel. James lectures on the ethics and practicalities of journalism in war zones and has written for The Observer, The Independent and The Guardian. His internationally bestselling book, My Friend the Mercenary, was published in 2010 – a memoir recounting his experiences of the Liberian civil war and the Equatorial Guinea coup plot.

“The Rory Peck Trust is a unique lifeline of help, care and support for freelancers who work under the most difficult conditions, reporting the hardest stories, facing the greatest risks. Being connected to the Trust is to be connected to the global community of freelancers – helping to keep our work as productive, sustainable, and as safe as possible.”

Madhav Chinnappa

“The Trust supports a part of the news ecosystem that often gets overlooked – freelancers.”

Madhav was Google’s Director of News Ecosystem Development, working on partnerships and collaborations between Google and the news industry. In 2015, he launched the Digital News Initiative, which is Google’s overarching framework for engagement with the European news ecosystem. He joined Google in 2010 to focus on Google News & Magazines in the EMEA regions. He has worked in the news industry since 1994 – first in the launch team of Associated Press Television, a year in M&A at United News & Media, and spent over 9 years at BBC News, latterly as Head of Development & Rights.

“I have known, and been impressed and humbled by, the work the Rory Peck Trust has done from the early days of my career at APTV. The Trust supports a part of the news ecosystem that often gets overlooked – freelancers – and yet it is these self same freelancers who play an invaluable role in the news that we all consume. I am honoured to be on the Board.”

Andy Clarke

Bureau Chief, CBS News London

“As the only charity for freelancers, the Trust is a beacon of hope for all those who cover the news without the backing of a large organisation.”

Andy first became involved with the Rory Peck Trust in 2006 when staff cameraman Paul Douglas and freelance soundman James Brolan were tragically killed by a terrorist bomb in Baghdad. Since the untimely death of his colleagues, Andy and CBS News London have organised a number of charitable events to raise money for the Trust.

He became London Bureau Chief in 2011 after serving five years as the Deputy Bureau Chief. Before that, Andy spent two decades covering stories around the globe as a producer for CBS News, more often than not in hostile environments. He was also based in Tokyo and reported from the Far East for five years. Andy is the recipient of two national Emmy Awards and an Overseas Press Club of America Award for his coverage of the Kashmir Earthquake in 2005.

Ben de Pear

TV Journalist & Executive Producer / Founder, Basement Films

“Freelancers cover the stories we can’t or don’t – but often should.”

Ben has been on the Board of the Rory Peck Trust since 2009. In 2022, he set up Basement Films to make revelatory, extraordinary and memorable television. He was executive producer of the Oscar-nominated For Sama and led the investigations into Sri Lanka’s civil war, which culminated in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields.

He spent 10 years as Editor of Channel 4 News, during which time the programme won an unprecedented number of awards, including 4 BAFTAs, 5 International Emmys and scores of RTS and other awards for its coverage of the war in Syria and exposés like Cambridge Analytica Undercover. It also provoked the ire of the government with investigations into election expenses, the Brexit campaign, and by replacing Prime Minister Boris Johnson with an ice sculpture when he refused to appear in the country’s first-ever political leaders’ climate debate.

“The Rory Peck Trust is a vital organisation helping those who want to find out the truth, but who don’t have the protection and support of a big organisation. There is no other organisation out there doing this vital work.”

Andrea Diez de Sollano

Director of Philanthropy, UWC Atlantic College

“As an RPT Trustee, I hope to help broaden its global network of supporters, so it becomes a long-lasting initiative for future generations of freelancers.”

“I am a firm believer in the freedom of information and having worked in the international arena for more than thirteen years has made me value the importance of reliable information and supporting those who go out to seek it.”

Andrea joins us with thirteen years of experience in Philanthropy and International Relations. She is a senior member of the Kew Foundation, the second fastest growing charity in the UK. She is now responsible for broadening RBG, Kew’s global high-net worth relationships, developing and implementing the fundraising strategy for Europe and Latin America, with a special focus in Mexico and Brazil.

Andrea’s past experience includes working for the British Mexican Society, the Mexican Embassy in London and the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry. She is an International Relations postgraduate from the London School of Economics, and speaks fluent Spanish, French and English.

Giles Duley

Freelance photographer, writer and story-teller

“Giles joined the Board of Trustees in early 2017.”

“Photography is a particularly solitary profession and as freelancers we are used to working alone. When you are injured doing that work, it can be even more isolating. That’s where RPT steps in, and I know from personal experience, it’s not just the financial support: it’s the chats on the phone, the follow-ups to make sure you are OK. When I needed support RPT reminded me I was not alone.”

Giles Duley, Hon FRPS, worked as a successful fashion and music photographer for ten years. However, having become disillusioned with celebrity culture, he then abandoned photography and left London to work as a full-time carer. In this role he rediscovered his craft and its power to tell the stories of those without a voice. He returned to photography in 2000, personally funding trips to document the work of NGOs and the stories of those affected by conflict across the world. In 2011, Giles lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan whilst photographing those caught up in the conflict. He was told he would never walk again and that his career was over. Characteristically stubborn, Giles told his doctors “I’m still a photographer”, and returned to work less than 18 months later.

Giles went back to Afghanistan in 2012 to complete his original assignment. His return was the feature of the award-winning Channel 4 documentary, Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline. Numerous papers and magazines have since featured his work, and he has talked about his experiences on television, radio and at several international and national events. In 2013 Giles won the May Chidiac Award for Bravery in Journalism and the AIB Founders Award for Outstanding Achievement, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He is also a trustee of the Italian NGO Emergency and ambassador for Sir Bobby Charlton’s landmine charity Find A Better Way.

Ciara O’Sullivan

Head of Media Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

“As a Trustee I hope that I can bring my broad experience to help amplify the voices of those the Rory Peck Trust has helped.”

Ciara joined the Board in January 2015. She has over 15 years of experience in international communications. She currently works as Head of Media Relations for the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, where she is tasked with raising awareness of the value of plants and botanical science globally.

She was previously the Media Manager at the development charity VSO and a Communications Consultant for The World Bank in Washington DC. After working as Acting Head of PR at BBC World Televisionm she also spent the period between 2003-2007 working as a freelance journalist, based in Brazil. She currently sits on the board of the Irish VIVA Aid charity, which supports veterinary aid and training in developing countries.

“I’ve had an interest in the Trust’s work since my early days working in the BBC News press office, where I used to publicise the Firing Line programme featuring the annual finalists of the Rory Peck Awards. I watched admiringly as freelancers were seen taking risks to tell important stories in some of the hardest places to work on earth, and it made me appreciate how much they need to have somewhere with their interests at heart when things don’t go well.”.

Siobhan Sinnerton

Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs, Channel 4

“As a film-maker I know how quickly situations or just downright luck can change.”

Siobhan joined the Board in 2010. Before joining Channel 4, Siobhan spent 4 years at the award-winning Quicksilver Productions in Oxford. Two of those years were as Series Editor of Unreported World and as an Executive Producer on Dispatches and First Cut. Previously, Siobhan worked at ITV/Granada making a wide range of documentaries and current affairs programmes. In 2012, Siobhan took a secondment from Channel 4 to make Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline, a documentary about British freelance photographer Giles Duley, who lost three limbs when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan. She believes that Giles’ experience demonstrates how, more than ever, the community of journalists and film-makers need to look after freelancers reporting from difficult places.

“I am a passionate believer in the Trust’s core functions: emergency assistance for, and safety training of freelancers. When I’ve been in dangerous places I’ve nearly always been on assignment, and had someone at the end of a phone to step in when things go wrong. I’ve had insurance, medical evacuation cover, and all the things that make a terrible situation more bearable. But so many freelance newsgatherers don’t have that person at the end of phone. It’s left to their families or friends to try to work out what to do. As a commissioning editor, I believe passionately in the importance of training, particularly first aid training, for people going to hostile environments.”

Evan Williams

Independent Reporter and Producer

“Through my own work I have experienced first-hand the importance of freelancers across the world.”

Evan has been a print, radio and television journalist for more than 20 years, most recently specialising in current affairs programmes and documentaries, particularly investigations.

He currently works as an independent Reporter and Producer. His work has featured on a number of major news programmes, including Channel 4’s Unreported World and on PBS, and he has reported from many of the world’s most dangerous environments. He previously worked as one of two Senior Staff Reporters with the Australian ABC’s Foreign Correspondent programme, and between 1992-1997 was Australian ABC’s Southeast Asia Correspondent.

Evan has been a finalist for several Australian Walkley Awards, won commendations for TV interviewing and won several New York Festival TV Awards.

“In my 25 years covering international TV News and Current Affairs, I have worked many times with freelance camera people and journalists in some of the toughest parts of the world. Through this I have experienced the extraordinary and unique role that the Rory Peck Trust plays in helping the vital work of freelancers, many of whom are in dangerous and vulnerable situations due to their commitment to telling the truth.”

Alex Crawford, OBE

Special Correspondent, Sky News

“The Trust does tremendous work highlighting the role of freelancers, and helping them when it’s difficult to get media organisations to take responsibility.”

Alex is based in South Africa. She reports across the continent and is deployed to big stories around the world. Formerly based in Sky’s Dubai bureau, Alex has reported on the Gulf and the Middle East, most recently covering the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya. Her work has been recognised by the Foreign Press Association numerous times. She has been cited in the Bayeux War Correspondents Awards for her reports from hostile environments every year since 2007. She is also a four-time winner of the Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year Award. Alex is married and has four children.

“Wherever I have reported, from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the Middle East and the ‘Arab Spring world’, I have been indebted to the army of freelancers and casual workers who have toiled alongside me in the most difficult and challenging of situations. They’ve helped me, engineered access for me, organised interviews with the people who count, got me out of the brown stuff, been fantastically brave and been an incredible inspiration all round. Somehow they have tolerated me and educated me to boot – usually for very little financial gain and at tremendous potential cost to their lives, families and well-being. I look at some of the journalism produced by those who the Rory Peck Trust has helped and those recognised at the Rory Peck Awards and I leave feeling knocked-out by the bravery, the tenacity, the determination and the sheer skill and talent of these individuals and teams.”

Lyse Doucet

Presenter and Chief International Correspondent, BBC

“The Rory Peck Trust is an organisation that, in a big way, tells freelance journalists you are not on your own. None of us should forget what it’s like to be a freelancer.”

Lyse has been reporting for the BBC for over 30 years, with posts in Abidjan, Kabul, Islamabad, Tehran, Amman and Jerusalem. In 1999, she joined the BBC’s team of presenters, but most of her time is spent going back to regions where she lived, and also discovering new ones. Lyse often presents from the field for BBC World News and the BBC World Service’s flagship Newshour programme, as well as the News Channel. She works as a correspondent, reporting across the BBC’s global and domestic TV and radio outlets. She also writes for BBC online and posts – judiciously! – on Twitter and Facebook. Lyse feels at home in many places, but is still Canadian. She was educated in Canada at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, and has been awarded several honorary doctorates, as well as major journalism awards.

“Who could ever forget Rory Peck? And who can forget what it’s like to be a freelancer? I first met Rory when I moved to Pakistan in 1988 to work as a freelancer for the BBC and others. Rory’s curiosity and courage to pursue the compelling stories of the Afghan war drew many to him. Many journalists share his drive and determination to tell the stories of our time that must be told. Many are freelancers who work with constant risk and uncertainty. They need our support – when they are in the field in pursuit of stories that matter, and when they are in difficulty or danger. That’s why I support the Rory Peck Trust. It’s a small way to pay tribute to a colleague and friend whose determination to be where it mattered cost him dearly.”

Lindsey Hilsum

International Editor, Channel 4 News

“Nowadays, freelancers are under more pressure than ever, both financially and in terms of safety. I have always admired how the Rory Peck Trust provides support to freelancers and celebrates their work with the Awards.”

Lindsey was based in Kenya as a freelancer at one time and has been a supporter of the Rory Peck Trust for many years. She has covered the major wars and refugee movements of the past three decades, including Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. She has also reported extensively on the Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya, from Iran and Zimbabwe, and was Channel 4 News China Correspondent from 2006 to 2008.

She is the author of In Extremis; the Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin and has been Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year. She has also won the Charles Wheeler Award, the James Cameron Award and recognition from the One World Media and Amnesty International Awards. Before becoming a journalist, she was an aid worker, first in Latin America and then in Africa.

“I used to be a freelancer so I know what it’s like to screw your courage to the sticking place and ring up an editor – and then do it again when you’re turned down.”

Raj Parker

Barrister, Matrix Chambers

“Without the Rory Peck Trust, independent and free journalism would be significantly poorer. I am proud to be an Associate of the Trust.”

Raj is a solicitor, advocate, mediator, arbitrator and a Crown Court Recorder, a Director and Trustee of the RCJ Advice Bureau and International Justice Mission (UK). He was a Trustee of The Rory Peck Trust from 2002–2011. As a result of his ongoing commitment, the Trust continues to benefit from pro-bono legal support when necessary.

“I am pleased to have been involved with the Trust for more than 20 years. My connection dates back to Rory Peck himself, who was the elder brother of my best man Colin. As a commercial lawyer who specialises in contentious work and crisis management for large corporations in many industry sectors, I know how difficult some parts of the world are and how unpredictable they can be. The Rory Peck Trust does extraordinary work to support freelance newsgatherers and their families.”

James Peck

Director Corporate Functions, Badenoch & Clark

“Now more than ever, I understand the importance of the Trust’s work as the environment for freelance journalists becomes more and more dangerous.”

James is a head hunter in Geneva, Switzerland where he has lived since 2004. As the eldest son of Rory, he has been attending the Rory Peck Awards since they began in 1995 and has seen the Trust grow and change with the times. He is proud to represent the Peck family and maintain the strong links that have been formed since his stepmother Juliet started the charity.

James Mates

Europe Editor, ITV News

“I am hugely proud to support the work the Rory Peck Trust does – work that no other charity is doing – and believe it must only get stronger as the demand, sadly, increases.”

James began his career as an editorial trainee at ITN, and has held various roles, including Diplomatic Editor and Washington and Moscow Correspondent. His assignments have covered the refugee crisis in Yugoslavia, the NATO invasion of Kosovo, Yeltsin’s attempt to put down the uprising in Chechnya and the Arab Spring uprisings and Rwanda, where he reported on the Central African Republic’s genocidal civil war. As the only television journalist left in the capital Kigali in 1994, James watched the city fall to the rebel army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Together with his ITN/C4 News colleague Alex Thomson, James has been instrumental helping to generate significant funding support from the media for the Trust’s work.

“I got to know Rory and Juliet Peck well when we all lived in Moscow in the early 90’s. Our children are the same age and used to romp together for hours on the floor of the wonderful Peck ‘dacha’ on the outskirts of the city. The RPT continues to be a magnificent tribute to two very special people.”

David Verdi

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Newsgathering, NBC News

“We at NBC News are proud and honoured to support the Trust, these journalists and their families around the world.”

David joined NBC News in 1990 as a producer on Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. He served as Assistant News Director from 1992-1993 and Executive News Director from 1993-2005. David has 33 years of experience and is the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for the 2011 Best Video Newscast, “Iraq, The Long Way Out”, NBC News live coverage of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. David has championed the Trust for many years, and his support led to NBC becoming the first broadcaster to make a long-term financial commitment to support the Trust.

“A free press, exposing injustice, brutality and private and governmental corruption, is essential in protecting the rights of individuals and societies around the world. Freelance journalists, at their own peril, are often at the forefront of this reporting. The Rory Peck Trust’s support of these freelancers and their families is vital to enabling this type of journalism. Without such support, truth and justice would be the casualties. When NBC News lost our freelance soundman outside of Fallujah, Iraq in 2003, the Rory Peck Trust provided financial and emotional support to his family.”

Adrian Wells

Managing Director, ENEX

“Who is there to help them when things go wrong? For nearly 20 years, the answer to that question has been: the Rory Peck Trust.”

Before joining ENEX, Adrian spent his career working for both BBC and Sky News. Previously he was Launch Director of Sky News Arabia, Head of Foreign News at Sky and has held various positions at BBC News, including World Assignments Editor and Middle East Bureau Chief. Adrian joined the Board of Rory Peck Trust in 2004 and was Chairman from 2009–2011. During this time, he encouraged the Trust to re-engage with its core community of supporters, both freelance and media, and stepped up efforts for new sources of funding.

“Anyone working in international news knows that a good local fixer, driver, cameraman or journalist is the key to getting a good piece of journalism on the air or published. Freelancers, whether locally based or intrepid newsgatherers from abroad, are very often the first to a story. They break news without the support structures of big broadcasters, safety officers and 24-hour news desks to help them. I’ve worked with the Trust for much of my professional life and am proud of the work they do. Often the most valuable contributions are behind the scenes and away from the headlines. It’s vital that everyone in the industry continues to support the RPT.”

Tira Shubart (Chair)

Freelance Producer and Writer

“Rory’s bravery and ability to be in the right places was more than matched by his charm and generosity of spirit.”

Tira has been on the Board of The Rory Peck Trust since 2000. She first met Rory Peck in Bucharest during the Romanian Revolution in 1989.

Tira has worked as a news and documentary producer for British, Canadian and American television networks, and for Frontline News Television, covering stories in over 50 countries. Recently, Tira has worked extensively in East Africa. She co-authored the book Lifting the Veil: Life in Revolutionary Iran and has written for the UK and US press. Tira also wrote and produced a BBC comedy series about journalists, Taking the Flak.

“Within a few hours of first meeting Rory, we were caught in several street battles, had commandeered the car of a fleeing Securitate officer after we fed our video to London, and then watched the National Library burn to the ground. By the end of that memorable week, Rory seemed to know everyone in Bucharest and all doors opened for him. His career ended in Moscow in 1993, leaving a large Rory-shaped hole in our lives.”

Leanne Dmyterko

Senior Communications, Marketing and Events Manager

Originally from Canada, Leanne joined the Rory Peck Trust team after nine and a half years at One World Media, where she served as Deputy Director, leading on events and communications and working closely with the Director on fundraising, financial management and strategy. In her spare time, she is also Co-Director and Curator of the Gustav Metzger Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to stimulating social change through art. She has worked in the charity, arts and public sectors in the UK and abroad, including at the Canadian Space Agency, Camden Arts Centre and International Institute for Environment and Development. She has a BA in Anthropology with a specialisation in Journalism and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, and an MA in Art History with a focus on globalisation from UCL in London.

Clothilde Redfern


As Director of the Rory Peck Trust, Clothilde is responsible for raising the profile of the Trust in the UK and internationally, building relationships to bolster its programmes and widen its reach. She works closely with the Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee to ensure freelance journalists are supported to work safely and professionally and get the assistance they need in a crisis.

Clothilde started her career in France working for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. After a year in Sydney working for Marie Claire Magazine, she moved to London in 2005 and joined the Media Trust’s production team, making documentaries for the Together Channel – of which she is now a proud shareholder. She then spent four years at Channel 4 working in the Documentaries department. Prior to joining the Rory Peck Trust, she was the Director of One World Media, a non-profit organisation supporting journalists and filmmakers to report from developing countries. She has been a member of the advisory board for the Department of Media at Brunel University and currently sits on the Board of the ACOS Alliance.

Lauren Sproule

Digital Communications Officer

Lauren is new to the world of non-profit after working as a freelance multimedia journalist back home in Canada, as well as in London. She has been a reporter for rural newspapers and most recently a freelance Associate Producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Some of her written work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as The Globe and Mail and Broadview Magazine. In her spare time, she also works as a freelance television and event producer. Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing from York University and a Master’s of Journalism from Carleton University.

Hannah Graf


Hannah is currently a third-year student at Syracuse University pursuing a dual major in Newspaper and Online Journalism and Political Science. Originally from north of Boston, United States, she is currently studying abroad in London, England. At school, she contributes writing to The Daily Orange, an independent student newspaper, and Live from Studio B, a late-night comedy show.

Business Manager

The Rory Peck Trust’s Business Manager monitors and regulates payments to grant recipients, as well as managing the finances and preparing accounts for the organisation.

Journalist Assistance Manager

The Journalist Assistance Manager leads on all assistance provision, working to the Trust’s remit and sustaining its unique role within a community of civil society organisations working to support journalists around the world.

Eurasia Officer

The Eurasia Officer sits within the Journalist Assistance team at the Rory Peck Trust. The
key priorities of the role are to research and verify cases, distribute assistance grants to
beneficiaries in the Eurasia region in line with the Trust’s criteria, protocols and guidelines
and maintain the Trust’s relationship with partners in the region.

Africa Officer

The Africa Officer sits within the Journalist Assistance team at the Rory Peck Trust. The
key priorities of the role are to research and verify cases, distribute assistance grants to
beneficiaries throughout Africa in line with the Trust’s criteria, protocols and guidelines
and maintain the Trust’s relationships with partners in the region.

Middle East and North Africa Officer

The Middle East and North Africa Officer sits within the Journalist Assistance team at the Rory Peck Trust. The key priorities of the role are to research and verify cases, distribute assistance grants to beneficiaries in the Middle East and North Africa in line with the Trust’s criteria, protocols and guidelines and maintain the Trust’s relationships with partners in the region.

William Reeve

Independent consultant / Former BBC correspondent

“Since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, freelance journalists around the world face increasing challenges which need addressing on many levels.”

William is a former BBC foreign correspondent, editor and producer, who now works as an independent consultant advising governments and other organisations on how to optimise their strategic communications, especially at challenging times.  This has included setting up and managing training programmes for journalists and for officials and others who work with the media.  

William has more than 30 years of broad experience within Afghanistan, where freelance journalists continue to face considerable dangers. 

Sandhiya Sophie Argent

Media Lawyer

“I am committed to ensuring that freelancers, in particular, have recourse to the support that they and their families need, which is very much in alignment with the Rory Peck Trust.”

Sandhiya Sophie Argent is a Media Lawyer and a passionate advocate for freedom of expression. She routinely advises journalists and programme-makers working on the News and current affairs investigations, which often involve challenging legal, regulatory and ethical issues.  

She has come into contact with many journalists and programme-makers who work tirelessly in pursuit of stories of public interest and often put themselves at great personal risk and stress in the process. She has been heavily involved in considering risk assessments for travel to hostile environments and this has further highlighted the importance of creating a safer environment for those involved in newsgathering.

Clive Myrie

Chief Correspondent & Presenter, BBC News

“Rory’s lasting legacy through the Trust has been to allow so many people to continue to work in a precarious business where there are no guarantees for safety or income. I’ve come across so many men and women in the field from Afghanistan to Mexico, Libya to East Timor, who are able to pursue their love and desire to try to help better inform the world of what’s going on, and by doing so perhaps even help make the world a better place, because of the work of the Rory Peck Trust.”

Clive Myrie has worked for the BBC for more than 30 years. A foreign correspondent based in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Singapore, Washington, Paris and Brussels, he returned to London in 2010 to anchor BBC News programmes, as well as deploy to major stories around the world. During the 2003 Iraq War, he was embedded with Royal Marines from 40 Commando. Clive is the winner of numerous citations and awards, including a Golden Nymph from Monte Carlo, the Royal Television Society for coverage of the war in Yemen, the David Bloom Award and a Peabody Award. His work has been recognised by the Foreign Press Association, London Press Club, twice by the Prix Bayeux War Correspondents Awards, BAFTA and the Emmys.

In 2021, the Royal Television Society awarded Clive the Television Journalist of the Year Award and the Network Presenter of the Year Award.

Tira Shubart

Chair of the Trust / Freelance Producer and Writer

Tira has been on the Board of The Rory Peck Trust since 2000. She first met Rory Peck in Bucharest during the Romanian Revolution in 1989.

Tira has worked as a news and documentary producer for British, Canadian and American television networks, and for Frontline News Television, covering stories in over 50 countries. Recently, Tira has worked extensively in East Africa. She co-authored the book Lifting the Veil: Life in Revolutionary Iran and has written for the UK and US press. Tira also wrote and produced a BBC comedy series about journalists, Taking the Flak.

Sally Fitton

Director TV & Film Projects, Secret Compass

‘Safety can be considered an inconvenience when focussing on the editorial, but good planning is never wasted. Safety and security should be just part and parcel of the process and be applied to all members of the crew’.

Sally provides safety, security and risk management advice and support across a wide range of media commissioned by major broadcasters and streamers – ranging from newsgathering, reality TV to natural history documentaries. She joined Secret Compass from the BBC, where she was the BBC High Risk Advisor for Current Affairs and the World Service.

Sally is a keen advocate of media safety and risk management. She was previously on the Board of ACOS Alliance and lectures internationally on journalist safety.  She designed and delivered the BBC’s ‘Managing High Risk Deployments’ course for senior editorial staff. Sally has a strong background in crisis and disaster management as a British army officer, media advisor and Chartered Security Professional, along with experience of multiple military operational tours.

Richard Tolkien

Independent Adviser / Finance Expert

Richard has a long-standing interest in journalism and brings great expertise in corporate financial services to the Board. He started his career at HM Treasury, including 2.5 years as Assistant Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Geoffrey Howe. Hewent onto corporate finance where he worked as a Director with Morgan Grenfell, before moving to HSBC, where he was Managing Director and later an Executive Director of Macquarie Bank.

Richard was also senior non-executive director of the Parkwood Group plc and of Share plc until 2020. After 25 very full-time years of investment banking, he became an independent expert witness in arbitrations and litigation and has advised on numerous cases in the UK and internationally. Richard also serves as a Trustee and the Chairman of Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research and as the Treasurer of St John’s Church, Boldre.

Jess Search

Co-founder and Chief Executive of Doc Society, supporting the social, political and cultural impact of independent documentary filmmakers around the world.  Doc Society works with many high risk films (CITIZENFOUR, Welcome to Chechnya, Dirty Wars, Softie) and created the independent documentary filmmakers resource Safe+Secure.film.   

She is also chair of IPPR, the leading progressive think tank in the UK working on economic and climate justice policy.  Board member of Kickstarter, Public Benefit Corporation and crowdfunding leader.  Trustee of MSI Reproductive Choices, the world’s largest abortion and family planning provider. MBA from Cass Business School. Once a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4.


Natasha Doff

Natasha is a Senior Editor at Bloomberg News in London, responsible for commissioning and editing features and working with reporters across Europe to cover the biggest news stories of the day. Her experience includes a decade of reporting on the ground from Russia, most recently in Bloomberg’s Moscow bureau until 2021. During that time she covered the deepening economic tensions between Russia and the West and the Kremlin’s moves to safeguard itself from the threat of sanctions as it prepared for war. 

James Leach

Category Head, Sony Europe

James has been at Sony for over 15 years and is now responsible as Category Head for Camcorders and Professional Audio within the News & Broadcast area, focusing heavily on professional content acquisition and solutions. He works with hero products such as the Sony FX9, Z280 and Z750, which are predominantly used by a large number of journalists to capture news content from all over the world.

Federico Escher

Federico is an Italian Journalist who is the Head of Foreign News at Channel 4 News. He has worked there for over a decade as a Programme Editor, a Foreign Affairs producer and as Series Producer of The Fourcast, Channel 4 News Podcast.   

In his time at Channel 4 News he produced the award winning series of reports “Inside Aleppo” with the Syrian Film-Maker Waad Al-Kateab, led the Bafta winning coverage of the Bataclan attack in 2015 and produced coverage from Europe, the Middle-East and the Americas. He was previously a Senior Producer based in Buenos Aires and in his hometown Rome for Associated Press Television News. 

Peter Murimi

Peter is a multiple award-winning Kenyan documentary director/producer focusing on hard-hitting social issues. His feature-length documentary I Am Samuel (2020) tells the story of a gay Kenyan man’s struggle for acceptance and has been shown at more than a dozen film festivals, including Hot Docs, BFI and Human Rights Watch.

Murimi has led numerous investigations for BBC Africa Eye including The Baby Stealers (2020), which exposed a child trafficking syndicate and led to multiple arrests, and Suicide Stories (2019), for which he won the Rory Peck News Features Award. He has made films in 30 African countries for major media outlets including Al Jazeera and Channel 4 News. His first major win was the CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Award for his intimate film about Female Genital Mutilation among his Kuria community, Walk to Womanhood (2004).

Christina Marker

Christina is a Senior Foreign News Editor at Sky News, the Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year. In 2022, her main focus has been managing the extraordinary content from the teams in Ukraine.

A Danish-Filipino journalist, she has mainly been based in London for over twenty years.

Before joining Sky, Christina helped set up and restructure newsgathering operations at NBC News, Vice News and Euronews. She also worked as a news editor and producer at Al Jazeera English in London and Doha.

Christina helped produce the award-winning documentary 10 DAYS AT SEA: The Real Story of the Aquarius. The film tells the story of the rescue vessel the Aquarius, which became unexpectedly caught up in Europe’s bitter dispute over migration in 2018.

Juliette Hollier-Larousse, Global Video Director AFP.

A graduate of France’s CFJ Journalism School and with a Bachelor’s degree in history, Juliette Hollier-Larousse joined Agence France Presse in 1988. She began as a reporter in Marseille, then Nice, shifted to the Audio Service, and subsequently worked on the General News Desk and on the Africa Desk, covering stories like the aftermath of the Dayton agreement in Bosnia, the DR Congo crisis or the Greenpeace campaign against French nuclear tests in Mururoa.

Moving to Nairobi in 1998, she was first a reporter and then News Editor in charge of covering East Africa and the Great Lakes region, covering among other breaking news the terror attack on the American embassy in Nairobi. Later she was appointed as news editor of the Europe Desk, head of Infographics and International Multimedia Coordinator, before becoming deputy to the Global News Director in June 2009. She was Director of the Latin American region from July 2012 to April 2017, overseeing the coverage of the World Cup in Brazil and the Rio Olympics, the Venezuela crisis, the death of Fidel Castro and the corruption scandal in Brazil, as well as the development of a high quality video coverage of Latin America.

She is currently the Global Video Director.

Alix Kroeger, Freelance Journalist

Alix is a freelance journalist and former international managing editor of the New Statesman. Previously she was at the BBC, where she was on the world desk of the news website. She has reported for the BBC from across Europe, including as a reporter in Brussels and a stringer in post-war Bosnia. She was the launch editor for the BBC’s Serbian-language news website and was also part of the launch team for BBC Persian TV, working with correspondents in Kabul, Washington DC and Dushanbe.

Yann Tessier, Global Head of Output, Video News Reuters

A former print and television correspondent, Yann Tessier is currently Global Head of Output at Reuters where he helps direct the international news agency’s video coverage and content.

During his career, Yann has worked in Brussels, Paris, Italy, the Mideast and Tokyo and travelled extensively covering the major news stories that have defined the last couple of decades.

Jon Williams

Jon is the Executive Director of the Rory Peck Trust. A three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and editor, he leads the organisation’s staff, overseeing the Trust’s fundraising, governance, programmes and operations and delivering the mission agreed with the Board of Trustees.

In a three-decade-long career in journalism, Jon led the global newsgathering operations of both the BBC and the US broadcaster ABC, becoming Managing Director of RTÉ News where he led the digital transformation of Ireland’s public broadcaster.

As the BBC’s World News Editor, Jon directed the coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the reporting of the Arab Spring, winning two Emmy Awards for Middle East reporting. He headed a team of more than 200 journalists in 30 different countries, serving audiences in both the UK and around the world, travelling extensively, including to Iran, Libya and North Korea. In 2013, he joined ABC News, spending four years in New York as International Managing Editor, winning a third Emmy for ABC’s reporting of the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

In addition to his work with the Trust, Jon serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists where he chairs its Journalists Assistance Committee.

Anealla Safdar

Europe Editor, Al Jazeera

Anealla is an editor at Al Jazeera, where she has worked for more than a decade, and is responsible for European coverage on aljazeera.com. Her role is split between breaking news and working with writers from across the continent on long-form features.

Since February 2022, she has been focused on the Russia-Ukraine war – managing live content, commissioning narrative essays and analytical snapshots, and providing readers with global perspectives on the conflict. During her career, much of her reporting has centred on marginalised communities, police abuse of power, and the intricacies of populism.

Marina Sapia

Chief World Desk, In Mezz’Ora RAI 3

Born and raised in Italy, Marina previously led the international desk at RAI Tg1, the first news programme in Italy. Until January 2022, she directed the world desk at Rainews 24, the allnews channel of RAI, where she had started as morning news anchor.

As a field reporter, Marina covered Subsaharan Africa, the Sahel and the United States. She produced long-form reports about the US prison in Guantanamo and Niger. Before joining the Italian national broadcaster, she worked for the Associated Press TV, covering Italy, the Vatican and Europe.

Daniel Rząsa

Google News Lab Lead for Central & Eastern Europe

Daniel leads Google News Lab in Central & Eastern Europe, which is a part of a global team at Google that helps journalists fight misinformation, grow diversity in the media industry and thrive in the digital age.

He joined Google in 2022, after over a dozen years of working in a range of editorial roles in European newsrooms. Daniel specialises in and speaks publicly on a variety of journalism-related topics, such as fact-checking and verification, data journalism and cybersecurity.

He holds an MA in financial journalism from City, University of London. He also graduated from the Council of Europe’s Visegrad School of Political Studies, as well as several journalism fellowships around the world, such as the Foreign Correspondents’ Programme in Helsinki, EU Journalism Training at Euractiv.com in Brussels and Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation’s summer schools in New York and Shanghai.

Kirsten Dewar

Global Senior Director, Dataminr

In her current role, Kirsten supports the implementation and integration of Dataminr in over 1,500 newsrooms worldwide and manages a multi-million dollar portfolio of media clients in broadcast and publishing. Prior to Dataminr, she gained a decade of experience in journalism, working primarily for Al Jazeera and CNN in Europe and the Middle East.

Passionate about building the newsroom of the future, Kirsten is driven by her love for journalism, drawing from her experience in the field and in newsgathering to provide the best advice on building a sustainable structure for news organisations worldwide by using technology, including AI.

Diana Magnay

Moscow Correspondent, Sky News

As the Moscow correspondent for Sky News, Diana has travelled back and forth to Russia and Ukraine since 2014, covering the uprising on the Maidan, annexation of Crimea, war in Donbas and numerous Navalny protests. She moved to Moscow permanently in 2018, just before the Skripal poisoning, and remained through COVID lockdowns and the war in Ukraine.

Before joining Sky in January 2018, she reported for CNN for more than a decade across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She also worked freelance for Channel 4 News while completing a masters in War Studies at King’s College London, for which she won the Director’s Prize for International Peace and Security.

Annette Dittert

Bureau Chief & Senior Correspondent, ARD London

Annette is a foreign correspondent and filmmaker with over 40 years of experience working around the world. In 2001, she became the ARD-correspondent in Poland. From 2005 to 2006 she travelled through China, India and Africa for a four-part documentary that received a Adolf-Grimme-Preis and a nomination for an International Emmy Award. From 2006 to 2008, Annette was the Bureau Chief and Senior Correspondent for ARD in New York and since 2008 has worked in London. In 2019, she was awarded “political journalist of the year” for her reporting on Brexit.

Vara Szajkowski

Commissioner and Executive Producer, Documentaries, BBC

Vara is an award-winning Executive Producer who has worked on dozens of international documentaries for BBC News, BBC2 and the This World and Our World strands. She is currently in charge of scheduling and commissioning for the BBC News channels non-live programming and is Commissioning Editor of the Unspun World current affairs series on BBC 2.


Jonny Taylor

Original Documentaries, Netflix

Jonny commissions original documentaries out of the UK for the global streaming platform Netflix. He has worked across titles such as Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer, Tiger King and American Murder. Prior to Netflix, Jonny worked at Rogan Productions as an Executive Producer.


Harjeet Chhokar

Unscripted, Commissioner, Amazon Studios

Harjeet is an Unscripted Executive in the UK Originals team at Amazon Studios. He works across the unscripted spectrum on a variety of projects, including All or Nothing ArsenalThree Mothers, Two Babies and a Scandal and The Greatest Show Never Made.

Prior to joining Amazon, Harjeet was a Factual Commissioning Editor at Channel 4. Before entering the world of commissioning, Harjeet spent over 15 years in production, working his way up to a series producer on documentary series such as Ambulance and Pilgrimage.

Sacha Mirzoeff

Documentary Commissioner & Head of Channel 4 Bristol

Sacha looks after both returning series and mini-series, but also specialises in commissioning high-profile films, several of which have been nominated for or winners of Grierson Awards, the Emmys and the Broadcast Awards. He also commissions cinema documentaries with Film 4, now in production.

Before Channel 4, he was the Founder and Creative Director of Bristol-based Marble Films, which
won a BAFTA for best single film and the Grierson Science Award for Locked In – Breaking the Silence.

As a freelance director, Sacha was a multi-award-winning filmmaker in both social issue and natural history documentaries that pushed the boundaries of factual television. He is a trustee for the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, The Royal Television Society in the West of England and the Culture Board in Bristol.

Alanna Satur

Deputy Director, International Newsgathering, NBC News

Based in London, Alanna works with the International News Desk and Foreign Bureaus to cover news for all NBC News platforms. In her eight years at NBC, she has helped coordinate coverage of the war in Ukraine, the Coronavirus pandemic and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. She previously worked as a Field Producer based in her hometown, Toronto.

Anna Dickeson

Commissioning Editor, BBC

Anna recently joined the BBC as a commissioning editor working across documentaries, science, history, religion and natural history.

Previously, she was the Creative Lead at The Garden Yorkshire, where she helped manage the company’s expansion into the North. Prior to this, Anna worked as a freelance Series Producer/Director and has extensive experience of fixed-rig series and high-profile original observational documentaries, including Series Producing and Directing the first series of The Secret Life of the Zoo (C4). 

As well as developing various series, including the BBC’s Grand Party Hotel, Anna has produced and directed on a number of BAFTA-winning and RTS-nominated series and singles  including Educating the East End and One Born Every Minute, as well as producing on the first three series of 24 Hours in A&E.

Ronke Phillips

Senior Correspondent, ITV News

Ronke’s career as a journalist includes stints in print, radio and television, as a presenter and reporter in both national and regional media, in the UK and abroad.

As a multi-award-winning journalist, Ronke has worked on big investigations and breaking stories, including the murders of Stephen Lawrence and Victoria Climbie, the July 7th bombings of London, the murder of Lee Rigby, the recent terrorist attacks at London & Westminster bridges and the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Ronke is also a vocal advocate for greater representation within the media and is ITN’s first-ever Editorial Diversity Partner. In her role, she works closely with ITN Productions, Ch4, Ch5 and ITV newsrooms and the ITN Senior leadership team to better represent diverse voices in all editorial decisions and create new career paths to senior levels of the company for diverse staff.

Justine Redman Evans

Evening News Producer, CBS

Justine is a veteran international field producer for CBS News, based in London. For nearly 25 years, she has traveled the world – from Europe, to the Mideast, Africa, North America and Asia. More often than not, she finds herself in the most inhospitable corners of the planet reporting on everything from politics to natural disasters, but with a passionate focus on terrorism and conflict, especially in Iraq, Gaza and Ukraine. She was previously based in Washington for CNN.