Council of Management
Every member of our Council is passionate about the fight for a better world, and believes that War on Want can make real lasting change with the help and support of our members.
The Council of Management is democratically elected annually by War on Want's members, and has overall responsibility for the direction of War on Want's work. Anyone can become a member of War on Want by joining here.
The current War on Want Council of Management is:
Alia has worked in campaigns and communications for a number of organisations, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace UK and War on Want. She has worked on a broad range of issues such as corporate accountability, human rights, climate justice and militarism and security issues. Alia has also been active in Palestine solidarity work for a number of years.
Shaista has worked as a communications specialist for a number of international organisations including Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Oxfam. Shaista has worked extensively across the Middle East, Pakistan, East and West Africa. Shaista's writing and journalism has been published in a number of international publications including The Guardian, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post and New York Times and others. Shaista contributed to the 2017 anthology, The Things I would Tell You, British Muslim Women Write and is an award-winning stand up comedian and broadcaster. Shaista is the founder of the anti-racism, anti-bigotry digital platform, The Everyday Bigotry Project and is co-founder of the Women's Advancement Hub, WAH, Pakistan and Intersectional Feminist Foreign Policy. She’s a newly elected councillor for Oxford City Council.
Dr Steve Davies is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD), at Cardiff University. He was previously a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences (SOCSI), from which he took early retirement. At SOCSI he taught and carried out research on globalisation, public services and trade unions.
Previously he worked for the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) on privatisation. The PSIRU was funded by UK public service unions and the international public service union federations, EPSU and PSI.
Steve spent eleven years as a full time trade union officer with SCPS/NUCPS (predecessor unions of PCS). He began as a research officer, during which time he worked closely with War on Want on Union Aid and authored a pamphlet for the union on aid as a trade union issue — Towards a Strategy on Aid and Development. He later worked in the General Secretary’s office as Assistant to the General Secretary.
Steve has been a committed trade unionist since leaving school and been active within various unions and workplaces as a rank and file activist, a shop steward, a branch (local) officer, branch committee member, conference delegate, and full-time union official.
Esther is an economist by education, and a qualified public finance accountant (CPFA) by profession. She spent most of her career working as a Finance Director in the National Health Service. Esther now supports a number of community and grassroots charities and organisations as treasurer, and is a member and activist in Unite the Union. Esther also works as a gardener and designer, promoting sustainable and organic methods.
I joined War on Want in 1987 and acted as a trustee for much of that time with a short break over the last two years. I started my career at War on Want as a volunteer and then went on to work for Oxfam and the Soil Association. After a period working in the civil service and local government I now work for the NHS as a communications manager. Like War on Want I have been a long term supporter of the rights of the people of the Western Sahara. I am chair of the Western Sahara Campaign that campaigns for the UK government to act to implement international law and get the UN to organise a referendum of self-determination
Sam has been a long-time trade unionist and activist across a range of labour rights, human rights, and social justice areas. She is currently working at PCS trade union as a Policy Officer covering sustainability, and climate change trade, and is the main representative on the global Trade Unions for Energy Democracy initiative.
Sam previously worked with Amnesty International, supporting membership in Africa, Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and the Americas regions. She is also an anti-war and peace campaigner, a member of the New Lucas Plan project and helps co-ordinate her local Waltham Forest Climate Justice Coalition. She has written and spoken extensively on the need to draw links between multiple crises facing people globally.
Roger McKenzie is an assistant general secretary at Unison - the public services union. Prior to this he was the regional secretary for Unison in the West Midlands and before that the Midlands regional secretary of the Trades Union Congress where he led for unions on the MG Rover Task Force after the closure of the plant at Longbridge. Roger was the first black trade unionist to hold each of these roles. He is also a member of the TUC General Council and the Unionlearn Board. Roger also worked for the TUC as their national race equality officer where he led their work as the secretary to the TUC Stephen Lawrence Task Force as well as well as leading the trade union delegation to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban South Africa in 2001. Roger has also worked for the Public and Commercial Services Union and its parent unions the Public Services, Tax and Commerce Union and the National Union of Civil and Public Servants.
Roger has a long history of political activity having been a member of the Labour Party since 1981 where he also held a number of roles within the Labour Party Black Sections which he led as Chair for two years. He was also a Labour Councillor in Islington North London for 8 years including a number as Chief Whip to the majority Labour group. He is a first dan martial artist in Korean Kickboxing. Roger has been a season ticket holder for Aston Villa football club for many years and is also a keen follower of jazz music. Roger is originally from Walsall in the Black Country and currently lives in Oxford with his wife Kate.
Tony is the current Chair of the War on Want Council of Management. As someone deeply committed to Global Solidarity and Human Rights issues Tony has been an individual member of War on Want, Amnesty International, and Anti Slavery International for over 40 years. He was the Chair of Oxfam Ireland from 2001 - 2010 and a Board member of Oxfam International for the same period. He was also the Chair of the Centre for Global Education in Northern Ireland, 2017 - 2021. Tony is a retired Trade Union Official with Northern Ireland’s largest Trade Union, NIPSA. He is the Secretary of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Civil Services Pensioner’s Alliance (CSPA) and is a member of the CSPA National Council. Always interested in politics Tony is the Chair of the Co-operative Party in Northern Ireland and is a member of the Party’s National Executive.
Mario Novelli is Professor in the ‘political economy of education’ and Director of the Centre for International Education (CIE), at the University of Sussex. He has had a longstanding relationship with War on Want, beginning in the early 2000’s, particularly with War on Want’s human rights and international solidarity work with Colombia. He is a committed trade unionist, a member of the University and College Union (UCU), and an international solidarity activist.
I am a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of East London, an institution dedicated to widening participation in higher education and in offering opportunities to those from non-traditional backgrounds. I am a member of the University and College Union. I have been a supporter of War on Want for many years and a veteran of protest struggles since joining CND in the 1970s."
For over 20 years I worked for the Civil Service trade union movement as a Research and Policy Officer with responsibility for the anti-privatisation campaign in the 1980s. I went on to work for what was The Industrial Society (now The Work Foundation) as a Diversity and Leadership Consultant. Later, as a Director of a Research Consultancy, I lectured on Diversity and carried out a wide range of research projects with the focus on employment conditions in the UK. I am a J.P in the adult court and a Chair and Tier 1 judge in the family courts. I am also the Secretary of our local branch of the Labour Party.
Ben Birnberg, Company Secretary
Ben is an eminent civil rights lawyer and has been involved with War on Want since the early 1970s. As Company Secretary, Ben is not a member of the Council of Management but is appointed by the trustees.
War on Want is a very lean organisation, and we pledge to use every penny we are given to its maximum effect in bringing about a better world for all people.
Our annual report and accounts are publicly available documents, and contain full details of our income, expenditure and balance sheet year on year.