Institute for Global Health


The EDI executive group

The EDI executive group has a membership that is intentionally broad in terms of roles, grade and socio-demographics, and includes both staff and students.

Ibrahim Abubakar (Institute Director)

As director of the Institute for Global Health, contributing to the equality and diversity group is a central part of my role. I attend the IGH EDI executive group meetings to ensure that decisions taken by the group inform actions by the IGH senior management team. I am particularly keen to ensure that our discussions and decisions cover all dimensions of equality including protected characteristics and relevant inter-sectionality that affect the causes of, and solutions to, inequalities

Sarah Amele (PhD representative)

I am a PhD student with the Centre for Clinical Research, Epidemiology, Modelling and Evaluation, based at the Royal Free Hospital. I joined the IGH EDI executive group to try and improve the racial inequality at UCL. My role in the IGH EDI executive group is to provide a student perspective that will help build a diverse and inclusive environment for students at IGH, where they feel a valued, respected, and a sense of belonging.

Alejandro Arenas-Pinto (wellbeing/mental health champion)

I am a Venezuelan clinician who has worked at UCL since 2008 after completing my PhD on HIV treatment. Promoting and protecting mental health has always been a priority for me and hence, together with Valentina Cambiano, I am a wellbeing and mental health champion at IGH.

Asma Ashraf (race quality champion and LBBTQ+ champion)

I have worked at UCL since 2013 as a Research Nurse. I joined the Athena Swan Committee for IGH in 2017 because I felt having a seat at the table would give me a voice to speak up for diversity and inclusivity. 

In the same year I was also asked to join the LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group (LEAG). I joined LEAG because I wanted to contribute to keeping UCL at the forefront of supporting LGBTQ+ individuals; living and working with likeminded people is great but I do believe we need to work towards supporting everyone that we can in being comfortable with gender and sexuality in London and beyond.  It is important to consider the intersections that make up people and to look at them as links rather than in isolation.

I joined the Race Equality Steering Group (RESG) mainly because I took part in a research focus group about race and racism organised within UCL, this highlighted issues that I have been blind to. Being part of the RESG is enabling me to learn more about BAME issues and I am also contributing to racial equality at UCL and wider by talking about race and racism.  

I champion LGBTQ+ and race equality as a member of the IGH EDI. I am very passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion at work and being part of the IGH EDI Team is a very important part of my role as a member of the UCL community.


Loveleen Bansi-Matharu (race equality champion)

I am an epidemiologist and mathematical modeller predominately working in the field of HIV. I have worked at UCL for over 10 years and only recently became aware of issues surrounding race at UCL. I joined the IGH EDI executive group to learn more about these issues, to make others aware of these issues and to tackle inequalities that students and staff may face.  I am a Race Champion of the IGH EDI executive group. My current EDI activities are to: (1) organise a compulsory race training workshop for all members of IGH, with the specific aims of tackling microaggressions that currently are being faced by people in IGH; (2) develop posters to be displayed across the three IGH sites which highlight such microaggressions. 

Fiona Burns (IGH staff survey, Athena Swan self-assessment team)

I am the HIV Clinical Lead at the Royal Free Hospital and an Associate Professor in Sexual Health and HIV in the Institute for Global Health. Like all of us in IGH many of my research interests (health care access, engagement and social inequalities, as well as migrant health) align with the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion – hence my involvement in the IGH EDI executive group.  This year my main responsibility on the executive group has been  the annual staff survey, which we have designed to try and ensure we capture those issues which impact most on day to day working as well as  long term career aspirations.

Valentina Cambiano (wellbeing/mental health champion)

I completed my PhD in Epidemiology at UCL in 2014 and am currently a Lecturer in the IGH. I really enjoys working at UCL, and am very glad UCL encourages flexible working arrangements and am determined to see fairness for all. As part of the IGH EDI executive group, I am a wellbeing and mental health champion together with Alejandro Arenas-Pinto. In May 2019 five teams from IGH took part in the Faculty Step Count Challenge as part the National Walking month.

Jane Cavanagh (vice chair)

I completed my PhD in 1998 focusing on disempowered groups (Others) in power-laden situations.  This natural affinity with disadvantaged groups led to a career in Widening Participation for 17 years in UK regional Universities and Australia.  On returning to the UK, I took up a role with UCL Institute of Child Health and became a leading member of their Athena SWAN committee as it successfully transformed its practices to gain a Silver award.  In 2017, I joined IGH as Institute Manager and I am the Co-lead for the IGH EDI executive group.  Opportunities to raise issues on equality arise daily and challenges to in-built bias are a feature of my work.  Helping staff to navigate UCL systems, challenging UCL to be a sector leader on equality and making a small positive difference to the working lives of institute staff give me a lot of job satisfaction.

Andrew Copas (parents and carers)

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Nigel Field (widening participation subgroup member)

I am Director of the Centre for Molecular Epidemiology and Translational Research at IGH, and am based at Mortimer Market Centre. My focus in the IGH EDI executive group is on issues linked to the large and diverse IGH educational programme. I am an adoptive parent and am currently working less than full-time.

Lara Goscé (gender equality champion)

I am a Research Fellow in mathematical modelling in epidemiology and global health. I am interested in the study of spreading mechanisms inside populations and have a passion for teaching, co-leading the module Modelling for Decision Science, part of the MSc in Health Economics and Decision Science. I am a keen believer of the importance of equal opportunities for individuals of any gender, race and social background. In April 2019 I organised the event thinkAcademia, a day-long workshop aimed at girls from varied socioeconomical backgrounds, showcasing further education and research careers.

Guy Harling (website champion)

I am a Senior Research Fellow in IGH also working at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa. I believe strongly in the importance of making active efforts to improve the culture and environment of UCL over a wide range of dimensions. I support the IGH EDI executive group through organisation of the group’s website. 

Gerard Abou Jaoude (widening participation champion)

I am a researcher at the Centre for Global Health Economics and a part-time PhD student. I have been involved in teaching activities at IGH Guilford street and more recently at the Institute for Women's Health. I first got involved in Widening Participation (WP) at UCL in March 2018, and am now a member of the WP subgroup of the IGH EDI executive group. I joined because of an interest in improving educational opportunities and outcomes experienced by adolescents and young adults from lower income and BME backgrounds.

Lele Rangaka (mentoring)

I am a Clinical Associate Professor at the Institute for Global Health Centre for Pragmatic Trials and MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL.  Throughout my career, I have benefited from having great mentors around me- young, old, more or less experienced than me. Mentorship is integral to how we learn and grow. My specific role on the EDI executive group is to champion the mentoring scheme at IGH.

Alison Rodger (chair)

I am a professor of infectious diseases at IGH and am based at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust where I am also a consultant in infectious diseases and HIV.  I am committed to tackling equality, diversity and inclusion issues both at UCL, and also through my senior leadership roles in the NHS. I provide strategic leadership on the IGH equality, diversity and inclusion agenda ensuring best practice in the working environment for all staff.  

Shivani Singh (Director of Education, widening participation subgroup member)

I am the Deputy Director of Education and lead the iBSc in Global Health.  I am based in the IGH Guilford Street office. My involvement in the IGH EDI executive group comes from an interest in addressing issues of racial and gender imbalance found in UCL amongst staff and students. I am a Fair Recruitment Specialist, sitting on interview panels across the university, as well as a member of the Widening Participation subgroup of the IGH EDI executive group. I have recently joined the UCL Medical School EDI group as well as the Critical Race and Social Justice Collective. 

Colette Smith (IGH staff survey, Athena Swan self-assessment team)

I completed my PhD in Epidemiology at UCL in 2007, and I am currently working as an Associate Professor in Biostatistics/Epidemiology in the Institute for Global Health. I value the Institute’s genuine commitment to offer everyone the same opportunities, such as by encouraging flexible working and only arranging institute events during core hours. My specific roles on the IGH EDI executive group are to help deliver the Institute Staff Survey and as a member of the Athena Swan Self Assessment Team.

Ian Williams (vice chair, IGH staff survey lead)

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