Our team

A Benamara

Video Producer

Abdul grew up in Tottenham, London. After witnessing the 2011 London riots as a young teenager he became interested in politics beyond the ballot box. He wanted to understand how events like the shooting of Mark Duggan can catalyse public unrest. Abdul continued to explore these interests by studying politics and international relations at SOAS. During his time at university he became disillusioned with academia and began exploring other mediums of knowledge production that led him to video and film production. Abdul is fascinated with reflecting the socioeconomic realities of everyday life through film and co-production.

Ali Norrish

Ali Norrish

Schools & Research Manager | @ali_norrish

Ali grew up in Portsmouth, studied English and thinks economics is more about words and feelings than maths – it’s really a story we use to make sense of how the world works and what people do. Ali worked in tutoring, marketing and set up a pop up shop before she came to Economy, where she runs our research and designs our schools programmes. She’s passionate about how we can use people’s experiences to redesign the world we live in – you can read her research on how ordinary people understand economics and how it makes us feel here. Ali lives on a boat, is undefeated at Boggle and loves the internet cat Pusheen.

Beth Leslie

Beth Leslie

Editor

Beth is a writer who became interested in economics when she realised it was a great way to both better understand the world around her and to win more pub quizzes. She is the author of What is the Economy?, a fun(ish) guide to economics for people who don’t like economics. She divides her time between being Economy’s Editor, hunting out the world’s most scenic hikes, and spearheading her one-woman mission to discover the best pubs in London.

Clare Birkett

Clare Birkett

Associate Director – Training and Organising

Clare believes that creating community is key to empowering people to create the societal change they want to see. Her job is to lead on Economy’s workshops and courses for adults that support people, especially those furthest from power, to shape the economic decisions that affect them. Clare brings to the role over a decade of experience working across the new economy, international development and environment sectors, in a range of communications and operations roles. Clare is a keen netballer, and also dabbles in some singing, cycling and sewing.

Fatima Iftikhar

Fatima Iftikhar

Associate Director – Communications and Campaigns

Working across policy, higher education, campaigning and community building, Fatima’s interest in economics grew as she grappled to understand how we change systems that are deepening inequality. Leading Economy’s Voice, Conversation and Decision Making work, she believes the answers lie in the knowledge and expertise of marginalised communities that are currently structurally excluded from economic decision making. Alongside work Fatima is an Aziz Foundation Scholar, studying a Masters in Social Policy and Social Research. In her spare time you can find her cooking, crocheting and planning travels across the world.

Jonah Earle

Jonah Earle

Chief Executive | @Jonah_Earle

Jonah worked for the Big Issue after leaving school and then went to university just before the fees went up. There he felt that the economics he was taught wasn’t helping him understand the world and he helped set up the Rethinking Economics student movement. He’s a co-author of a book called The Econocracy: on the perils of leaving economics to the experts and does research on how to build better local economies. He also loves playing football and is a lapsed part-time poet always hoping to make a comeback.

Juliet Michaelson

Juliet Michaelson

Deputy Chief Executive

Juliet is a longstanding champion for economics that makes sense of real people’s lives: she spent eight years promoting measurements of happiness and wellbeing as an ultimate economic indicator. A researcher by training, she has undertaken policy and operations roles in a variety of organisations involved in reimagining what economics is and how it can be done well. Outside work Juliet is reviving her rusty piano playing in-between parenting her two young children (and slightly older cat).

Trustees

Aoife O'Leary

Aoife O’Leary

Aoife is a lawyer who uses her skills to advocate for the environment. Having campaigned for years to get planes and ships to pay for the pollution they admit, she was constantly told that it was all about the economy when trying to persuade policy-makers to do something (anything!) for the climate. So she took up economics on the side, was disappointed by what she found but then was delighted to discover Rethinking Economics (which she is also a trustee of) and Economy.

Ben Hughes

Ben Hughes

Ben is Chair of Trustees at Economy. He has worked across the charity sector for many years, developing and leading membership associations that work towards social justice. He is now applying his long held interest in the role and independence of civil society, in academic research on the growing gap between have lots and have nots. With economics being at the heart of this, Ben’s motivated by developing an all together different approach –  that’s shaped by, works for and is understood by everyone.

Ken Hayes

Ken Hayes

Ken is a beekeeper and gardener who works at a community charity where he supports people to learn new skills, meet others and get a break from any challenges they might be facing. He became interested in economics when working for the Environment Agency to reduce the impact of environmental regulations on business and has since completed an MSc. in Political Economy. He loves the great outdoors and has an interest in sustainable building technologies, which he experiments with at home.

Louise

Louise Russell-Prywata

Louise is a charity sector professional with over 12 years’ experience in campaign and organisation development, public policy and fundraising. Louise is Director of Policy and Programmes at Open Ownership, a tech-meets-policy initiative driving the global shift towards transparency over who owns companies, and a Senior Atlantic Fellow at the London School of Economics. Previously Louise spent five years with the anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International UK, serving as Head of Development. Earlier in her career, she co-founded the successful youth media outlet Reprezent FM, and worked as a fundraiser and for local and national non-profits. When she’s not reading about economics and talking about why it matters, Louise spends her time running a long way quite slowly.

Matt

Matt Giugni

Matt is a qualified accountant with over 8 years’ experience in providing financial services in both practice and industry settings. After 8 years at PwC Australia, Matt is now the Financial Director at digital growth agency Found. Matt became interested in economics in high school and went on to earn a double degree in Economics and Commerce from the Australian National University. When he’s not playing rugby he enjoys exploring London and travelling Europe… pre-COVID

Mehroosh

Mehroosh Tak

Mehroosh is a lecturer in agribusiness at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. An economist by training, she spends most of her time researching global food systems. Her work sits at the nexus of agriculture, food and nutrition. Mehroosh regularly provides monitoring and evaluation support to international donors, such as the UNICEF and FCDO.

Meena

Meena Bharadwa

Meena has a background in community development and social justice and has been working alongside communities for the last twenty years. She currently based in the West Midlands working for a national charity that supports communities to create a fairer society. Meena is really keen to shift power towards communities and especially those who are facing economic deprivation and those who are furthest away from decision making. Meena has always been interested in economics but in a way that relates to everyday people in their everyday lives.

Rachel

Rachel Rickard Straus

Rachel is a money journalist. She is currently deputy personal finance editor at The Mail on Sunday and was previous editor of Moneywise and presenter of the Big Money Questions show. She specialises and revels in writing and speaking about the economy, personal finance and investing for a mainstream audience.

Will Jeffwtiz

Will Jeffwitz

Will is Head of Policy at the National Housing Federation. He has previously worked in policy roles in the civil service and the charity sector. He was a student organizer with the Rethinking Economics movement while studying for an MA in Political Economy.