Grants committee

The Grants Committee makes decisions on grants up to £350,000 and oversees the initiative’s grant-making and direct work to deliver the strategy and live its values. The Committee includes three Justice Collaborations Trustees:

  • Jen Ang (Chair)
  • Jacqui Broadhead
  • Matthew Smerdon

It also includes three external members who bring lived and learned experience of the UK immigration system, alongside a wide range of skills and expertise. They are:

  • Dylan Fotoohi
  • Dami Makinde
  • Ali Torabi
Jen Ang Chair
Jen Ang

Jen is a co-Founding Director of JustRight Scotland, a human rights legal charity, responsible for its development as well as overseeing our policy, research and strategic comms and campaigning work. She is an experienced human rights lawyer, qualified to practice in Scotland, England and Wales, and New York State. She is a legal expert on asylum, human rights and children’s rights, and on the rights of survivors of torture.  Jen is also a lecturer in law with the Open University in Scotland, and an enthusiastic advocate of widening access to education for all.  She enjoys walking in remote parts of Scotland, in the mountains or along the coasts.

Jacqueline Broadhead
Jacqueline Broadhead

Jacqui is the Director of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity at the University of Oxford where she manages a wide portfolio of knowledge exchange and research projects on migration. Jacqui’s own work focusses on local government and migration, integration and inclusion.  Prior to this, Jacqui managed the Refugee and Migrant Team at Islington Council, providing social services support to families and vulnerable adults with No Recourse to Public Funds. In 2016, she received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to travel to cities in the United States and Italy to understand how cities can better integrate migrants. It is this experience, alongside her role in delivering the council’s contribution to the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme that have informed her commitment to the vision of Justice Together Initiative.

Dylan Fotoohi
Dylan Fotoohi

Dylan is Programme Manager at Migration Exchange funder network, and founder of Refugees for Justice. He has previously worked as a Service Manager and a Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council, and as a Senior Community Development Officer at Freedom from Torture. Dylan has a degree in Community Development and a Master’s degree in Global Migration and Social Justice from the University of Glasgow. He is a member of Young Academy of Scotland – Royal Society of Edinburgh.  Dylan is originally Kurdish. He was born in Mahabad, a beautiful town in Eastern Kurdistan – Iran. He has been living in the UK since 2013 and is now based in Glasgow, Scotland. He is fascinated by nature, obsessed with pistachio, Turkish coffee, and chess.

Dami Makinde
Dami Makinde

Dami is an activist, a campaigner, a public speaker, and a community organiser. Her passion for activism began when she, and many other young migrants like herself were faced with an injustice that prevented them from achieving their potential and contributing fully to the British society they call home. In 2017, Dami was seconded to the London Mayor’s office and began a forum to build a bridge between the Mayor and all London migrants. In the same year, she became an Eisenhower Youth Leader, and has spoken out against the UK’s hostile environment worldwide. In 2019, Dami co-founded an organisation called We Belong, which tackles systemic barriers that young migrants are facing and prevents them from living a fulfilled life.

Matthew Smerdon
Matthew Smerdon

Matthew joined TLEF in October 2013 as its first chief executive.

He has had longstanding involvement in the role of law as a tool for social justice, both through grantmaking and work in delivery charities. Matthew has worked in the foundation sector since 2004 when he joined the Baring Foundation as deputy director.

Previously, he was director of community work at Community Links in east London, where he continued as an advisor from 2004-2012; and, from 2007-2009, was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Council on Social Action. He is the author of publications on legal advice, social action, public services, the voluntary sector and grant-making.

In September 2013, Matthew was appointed to the Civil Justice Council. He is the vice-chair of governors at a primary school local to his home in Hackney.

Ali Torabi
Ali Torabi

Ali came to the UK as an asylum seeker in 2005 and finally became a naturalised citizen in 2018. For the past three years, Ali has worked as the Brexit Lead for the Trades Union Congress. Prior to that, he has a decade of experience in charities, government departments and business start-ups. Outside of the day job, he was the founding chair of EachOther (formerly RightsInfo) and is a trustee of Safe Passage International.