Society Advisory Group

The Society Advisory Group advises the Society leadership team and influences how the British Council’s vision and strategy are developed.

The Society Advisory Group reports to the Executive Board. Its formation or disbandment is the responsibility of the Chief Executive. It is a forum for advice and has no decision making or executive powers. 

The members of the Society Advisory Group are listed below.

Society Advisory Group

Claire Dove OBE

Claire is a long-standing leader in the social enterprise movement and leads the Blackburne House Group. She works to support the right to education and training, and to promote entrepreneurship and social enterprise opportunities across the UK’s many diverse communities. In 2013 she received the Queen’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Enterprise Promotion. She is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside.

Society Advisory Groups member Claire Dove OBE

Gweneth Barry

Currently Head of Governance and Programme Advocacy at CAFOD, Gweneth has over 15 years’ experience of civil society development in Africa and Asia, supporting organisations to develop advocacy and governance work with a particular focus on monitoring and evaluation. She developed the Voice and Accountability Tool, an innovative method for monitoring civil society advocacy work and led the establishment of a joint NGO/ DFID learning group on Measuring Results in Empowerment and Accountability.


Society Advisory Groups member Gweneth Barry

Ryan Gawn

Ryan is Head of International Communications for ActionAid International. He is also a Director of Stratagem International, an international public affairs consultancy. Whilst previously based in Pakistan, he ran a multi-channel award-winning campaign for education reform for DFID. He previously worked as Director of Penn Schoen Berland and Regional Manager for Peace Dividend Trust, an economic development NGO in Afghanistan. He is a former editor of Chile’s largest English language newspaper. 

Advisory Group Society member Ryan Gawn

Monica Golding

Monica has a wealth of experience of working with sport and development in both the education and voluntary sectors. She is currently Head of the Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF), which she helped establish, working mainly with the charitable arms of professional football clubs, empowering them to work within their local communities, particularly through social inclusion and engagement initiatives.

Brandon Hamber

Brandon has undertaken consulting and research work and participated in various peace and reconciliation initiatives in Liberia, Mozambique, Bosnia, the Basque Country and Sierra Leone, among others. He has lectured and taught at Colombia University, York University and Ulster University. He remains an Associate of the African Centre for Migration and Society in South Africa. Formerly the Director of INCORE at Ulster University, he is now the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace.

Naila Kabeer

Naila has worked at SOAS, the Institute of Development Studies and DFID.  She has carried out extensive training and advisory work with national and international NGOs and international development agencies. She is currently on advisory editorial committees for the journals Feminist Economics, Development and Change, Gender and Development and on the boards of the Women’s Rights Programme of the Open Society Foundations and of the International Centre for Research on Women.

Society Advisory Group member Naila Kabeer

Nazneen Kanji

Nazneen is a social policy specialist with experience in international development research, teaching and consultancy.  She has worked in government, international NGOs and think tanks. She has a PhD in gender and social policy from the London School of Economics (LSE). Her main research is related to wellbeing and livelihoods, taking into account gender and generational difference. Most of her work has been carried out in Africa, South and Central Asia.

David Steven

David Steven is a director and consultant at River Path, and a Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University, where he specialises in the development of Agenda 2030, international relations, and partnerships. David also currently serves as Senior Strategic Adviser for the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

Yasmin Waljee OBE

Yasmin is an international human rights lawyer with a strong interest in business and human rights. She is responsible for the development and delivery of the international Pro Bono Practice at Hogan Lovells. As well as being part of the firm's Citizenship panel, she manages the worldwide giving initiative and community investment programme with members of the corporate responsibility and citizenship team. Yasmin also co-leads the social enterprise and social finance practice for the firm.

Society Advisory Group member Yasmin Waljee