Rory Peck People

Meet our staff, board of trustees and advisory committee.

Lord Black of Brentwood (Patron)

Lord Black of Brentwood (Patron)

Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group
Lord Black of Brentwood (Patron)
"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 of Brentwood (Patron)

Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group

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.

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Sarah Ward-Lilley (Chair)

Sarah Ward-Lilley (Chair)

Managing Editor, BBC News
Sarah Ward-Lilley (Chair)
Being a Trustee is my way of trying to use my experience at the BBC to help the wider freelance community.

Sarah Ward-Lilley (Chair)

Managing Editor, BBC News

Sarah has had a long-term involvement with the Rory Peck Trust, having produced The Rory Peck Awards for 5 years been 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 those roles, Sarah had a special responsibility for safety, training and welfare.  In her new role, she will be managing 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. Being a Trustee is my way of trying to use my experience at the BBC to help the wider freelance community."

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James Brabazon

James Brabazon

Freelance Journalist and Filmmaker
James Brabazon
Quite simply the Trust watches our back, and without them the work of freelancers worldwide would be harder and more insecure.

James Brabazon

Freelance Journalist and Filmmaker

James Brabazon is an award-winning frontline journalist and documentary filmmaker.  Based in London he has travelled in over 70 countries, investigating, filming and directing in the world’s most hostile environments.  His awards include the Rory Peck Sony International 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.

James has also been nominated for two BAFTAs and two Emmys.  He has made over forty international current affairs films broadcast by the 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 international bestseller book, My Friend the Mercenary, was published by Canongate in June 2010 a memoir recounting his experiences of the Liberian civil war and the Equatorial Guinea coup plot. James joined the Board of The Rory Peck Trust  in 2010.

"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. Quite simply the Trust watches our back, and without them the work of freelancers worldwide would be harder and more insecure. Being connected to the Rory Peck Trust is to be connected to the global community of freelancers – helping to keep our work as productive, and sustainable, and as safe as possible."

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Ciara O'Sullivan

Ciara O'Sullivan

Head of Media Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Ciara O'Sullivan
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 O'Sullivan

Head of Media Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

"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. 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 as a Trustee in January 2015. She brings with her over 14 years of experience in international communications. She currently works as the 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 Television for a time she also spend 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.

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Ben de Pear

Ben de Pear

Editor, Channel 4 News
Ben de Pear
Freelancers cover the stories we can't or don't - but often should.

Ben de Pear

Editor, Channel 4 News

Ben became Editor of Channel 4 News in August 2012. Before that, he was Head of Foreign News at Channel 4 News, following a decade mostly in hostile environments as a foreign producer for ITN and Sky News.  Ben was based in Johannesburg for Sky from 2000-2005 and worked all over Africa, as well as across the Middle East, Asia and Europe. In 1999 he produced Sky's RTS Award winning coverage of Kosovo, and was their Producer in Baghdad for the US led invasion in 2003. In 2004 he obtained the only British TV interview with President Robert Mugabe this century. At Channel 4 News he has helped win over a dozen RTS awards, a BAFTA and 4 Amnesty International Awards for television. Ben has been on the Board of the Rory Peck Trust since 2009.

"The Trust is a vital organization to help those who want to find out the truth, but who don't have the protection and support of a big organization. Freelancers cover the stories we can't or don't - but often should. The Rory Peck Trust supports them and there is no other organization out there doing this work."

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Tira Shubart

Tira Shubart

Freelance Producer and Writer
Tira Shubart
Rory’s bravery and ability to be in the right places was more than matched by his charm and generosity of spirit.

Tira Shubart

Freelance Producer and Writer

Tira 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: the Iran-Iraq War, Nicaragua and the Contra War, the Soviet Coup of ’91, Iran War 1991, the Balkans, Yemen, Jordan, post-2003 Kurdistan, Somalia. 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".  Tira has been on the Board of The Rory Peck Trust since 2000.

“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. Rory’s bravery and ability to be in the right places was more than matched by his charm and generosity of spirit. His career ended in Moscow in 2003, leaving a large Rory-shaped hole in our lives”

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Siobhan Sinnerton

Siobhan Sinnerton

Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs, Channel 4
Siobhan Sinnerton
As a film-maker I know how quickly situations or just downright luck can change.

Siobhan Sinnerton

Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs, Channel 4

Before joining Channel 4, Siobhan spent 4 years at the award-winning Quicksilver Productions in Oxford. Two of those were as Series Editor on 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 3 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. Siobhan became a Board member in 2010.

“I am a passionate believer in the Trust’s core functions: emergency assistance for, and safety training of freelancers. As a film-maker I know how quickly situations or just downright luck can change. 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 into hostile environments. ”

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Independent Reporter and Producer
Evan Williams
Through my own work I have experienced first hand the importance of freelancers across the world.

Evan Williams

Independent Reporter and Producer

"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. Twelve years ago I moved to London and started freelancing myself, working for Channel 4 and others, and setting up my own production company. 

Through the courts of all this work I have experienced first hand the importance of freelance work and the needs of freelancers across the world. Through this I have learnt the extraordinary and unique role 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".

Evan Williams has been a print, radio and television journalist for more than 20 years, most recently specialising in TV current affairs programmes and documentaries on a wide variety of international 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 PBS, and he has reported from many of the world's most dangerous environments (Egypt, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Burma). 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.

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Andrea Diez de Sollano

Andrea Diez de Sollano

Director of Philanthropy, UWC Atlantic College
Andrea Diez de Sollano
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.

Andrea Diez de Sollano

Director of Philanthropy, UWC Atlantic College

" 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.

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Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke

Bureau Chief, CBS News London
Andy Clarke
"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 Clarke

Bureau Chief, CBS News London

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. "I was so impressed with the way the Trust helped CBS News support the Brolan family that I knew it was an organisation I wanted to support." 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.
 
Andy became London Bureau Chief in 2011 after serving 5 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 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.

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Giles Duley

Giles Duley

Freelance photographer, writer and story-teller
Giles Duley
Giles joined the Board of Trustees in early 2017.

Giles Duley

Freelance photographer, writer and story-teller

"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.

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Madhav Chinnappa

Madhav Chinnappa

Director of Strategic Relations for News & Publishers, Google
Madhav Chinnappa
"The Trust supports a part of the news ecosystem that often gets overlooked - freelancers"

Madhav Chinnappa

Director of Strategic Relations for News & Publishers, Google

Madhav Chinnappa is the Director of Strategic Relations for News & Publishers, working on partnerships and collaboration 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 (APTV), 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 of the Trust." 

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Advisory committee

The Trust benefits from the active involvement and support of an international and influential advisory committee of freelance newsgatherers, journalist organisations and broadcasters.

A24
Salim Amin
ABC News
Dimitrije Stejic
Agence France Presse
Michèle Leridon
Florence Biedermann
Jacqueline Pietsch
Aljazeera Network
Satnam Matharu
Associated Press
Sandy MacIntyre
Derl McCrudden
BBC
Stuart Hughes
John Simpson CBE
CBS News
Heather Abbott
Channel 4 Television
Dorothy Byrne
CNN
Tony Maddox
Deborah Rayner
Thomas Evans
Columbia School of Journalism
Judith Matloff
Committee to Protect Journalists
Joel Simon
CVP
Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
Bruce Shapiro
France 24
Loïck Berrou
Getty Images
Hugh Pinney
GlobeCast Europe
Gary Champion
Google
Peter Barron
GRN
Henry Peirse
The Guardian
Mustafa Khalili
Hong Kong Free Press
Tom Grundy
Human Rights Watch
Peter Bouckaert
Indigo Telecom
Peter Henderson
ITN / Channel 4 News
Nevine Mabro
Jonathan Miller
Alex Thomson
Journeyman Pictures
Mark Stucke
Native Voice Films
Phil Cox
NBC News
Adrienne Mong
NDR
Hanni Huesch
NewsXchange
Amy Selwyn
Panos Pictures
Adrian Evans
Reporters San Frontières
Christophe Deloire
Rebecca Vincent
RTE
Jon Williams
Reuters
John Pullman
Sky News
Dan Williams
Storyhunter
Jaron Gilinsky
STV Swedish Television
True Vision
Brian Woods
Wall Street Journal
Neal Mann
WDR German Television
Sonia Mikich
Michael Strempel
ZDF
Diana Zimmerman

Kate Adie
Safa Al-Ahmad
Sean Curtis-Ward
Inigo Gilmore
Flora Gregory
Mohammad Ghannam
Chris Hampson
Elizabeth Jones
Jeffrey Kofman
Jonathan Lewis
David Lloyd
Kate Losowsky
Guy Martin
Sebastian Meyer
David Niblock
Jeppe Nybroe
John Owen
Nick Read
Julian Rodriguez
Sorious Samura
Linda Sills
Penny Sukhraj
Anastasia Taylor-Lind
Rodrigo Vazquez

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