Meet the team

We have an experienced and passionate team of experts working across our portfolio of international development projects. Read more about their diverse backgrounds, broad skill sets and experience on the ground in countries worldwide.


Dr Jo Beall
Director Education and Society

Jo was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, with responsibility for academic matters, social responsiveness, external relations and international strategy. Jo has published numerous books and academic articles in the areas of gender, social policy, urban governance and development and state fragility. Jo serves on a number of panels including the British Academy's South Asia Area Panel and the Council of Overseas Development Institute.

A photo of Jo Beall, Director Education and Society, British Council

Tracy Ferrier
Head of Skills

Tracy has over 17 years’ experience in skills development and professional education, working in and with the public, private and charity sectors. She leads our work in vocational education and skills development. She has worked with policy makers around the world on skills strategies and advised on large technical assistance projects in Azerbaijan, Iraq and Libya. Her previous role was Associate Director at the Mackinnon Partnership. She is a Board Member of OCN London.

A photo of Tracy Ferrier, Head of Skills, British Council

Chris Cooper
Senior Skills Adviser

Chris is an economist with over 20 years’ experience in the vocational education, skills, employment and business support policy environment. He now leads on the British Council's skills sector technical assistance work in the UK. Chris has previously worked in consultancy and managed over 150 projects supporting policy development for national governments and their agencies, as well as social partners.

A photo of Chris Cooper, Senior Skills Adviser

Rebecca Ingram
Senior Schools Adviser

Rebecca is a development and education specialist, who has worked across programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She leads on the technical input for our primary and secondary school programmes, ensuring we bring the latest practice to our project design and learn effectively from implementation. She specialises in primary and secondary education, community-based school governance and girls’ education, and has a specific interest in rights-based approaches.


A photo of Rebecca Ingram, Senior Advisor, Schools, British Council

Dr Colin Jacobs
Head of Governance and Civil Society

Colin has 20 years’ experience in the public sector and a doctorate in public administration reform in developing countries. He has substantive experience of developing monitoring and evaluation systems in developing and transitional countries, and of leading civil service development programmes. He has managed large scale donor projects in the areas of public sector reform, service delivery, human resources and institution building in government and civil society.

A photo of Colin Jacobs, Head of Governance and Civil Society

Janice Drewe
Senior Justice and Security Adviser

Janice leads our work in justice and security with an emphasis on access to justice and human security.  She had a key role in managing the delivery of the DFID-funded Justice Sector Development Programme in Sierra Leone. Prior to joining the British Council, Janice had a long career implementing development programmes in the Pacific, East Asia, South Asia and Africa, working alongside institutions and civil society.

A photo of Janice Drewe, Senior Justice and Security Adviser, British Council

Gillian Cowell
Senior Governance and Civil Society Adviser

Gillian leads our work in engaging with and supporting the development of civil society. She also leads on our work in gender equality. Since joining the British Council, she has managed development contracts on behalf of donors including the World Bank, EU and DFID. She has worked in Romania, Turkey and the Middle East, leading British Council governance and civil society programmes and responding to issues including child protection and addressing violence against women and girls.

A photo of Gillian Cowell, Senior Adviser, Governance and Civil Society

David Knox
Governance and Evaluation Adviser

David has over 20 years’ experience of working in development. His roles have included country aid policy, programme manager, project monitor and evaluator, and business development manager. His current focus is on fragile and conflict-affected states. He was previously on a secondment at the Tutu Foundation UK as acting Chief Executive, overseeing capacity building and accompanying frontline activists working with people in or at risk of conflict.

A photo of David Knox, Governance and Evaluation Adviser

Sally Robinson
Head of Global Business Development

Sally has over 25 years’ experience in the development sector and extensive knowledge of the management and delivery of technical assistance projects. Her experience includes long-term postings in Africa and shorter term inputs, particularly in Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as research on the environmental basis for poverty reduction in Central Asia. Her work has focused on education development as well as a range of governance and civil society projects.


A photo of Sally Robinson, Head Global Business Development, British Council