UCL Policy Lab


Our Advisory Council

Our diverse and experienced Advisory Council work with us to shape an effective strategy for the Lab, connecting UCL research and expertise with those working to bring about change.

Sir Trevor Chinn, Business leader and philanthropist, former Chair of the Mayor’s Fund for London

He retired in April 2003 as Chairman of RAC plc (formerly Lex Service PLC) after 47 years service. From 2002 to 2005 he was Chairman of Kwik-Fit during the period of its ownership by CVC.  From 2004 to 2007 he was Chairman of the AA also whilst owned by CVC. He is Director of Who Can Fix My Car, the largest on-line marketplace for car repairs in the UK and Chairman of SG Fleet UK. In 1999 he was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, as Vice Chair of the Commission for Integrated Transport, stepping down in June 2004.  He was also asked to form the Motorists’ Forum which he chaired until December 2010. In 2008 Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, appointed him as Chairman of the Mayor’s Fund, an independent charity addressing the large scale issues of poverty of children and young people in this city. He remained Chairman until June 2011. He was Chairman of the Joint Israel Appeal from 1973 to 1993.  He is a  Vice President of the Jewish Leadership Council. He was awarded the CVO in 1989 and a knighthood in 1990 for his charitable activities.

Henry Curr, Economics Editor, The Economist

Henry Curr is The Economist’s chief commentator on economics and oversees coverage of the subject throughout the newspaper. Henry has written over 20 cover stories on subjects ranging from the future of central banking to “millennial socialism”, and he is the author of special reports on inflation and the world economy after the covid-19 pandemic. He frequently appears on television, radio and podcasts.

Before becoming Economics Editor in 2018, Henry covered the British economy from London and the American economy from Washington DC. In 2019 he was highly commended in the “Journalist of the year” category at the Wincott Awards for business, economic and financial journalism. In 2021 he won the Society of Professional Economists’ Rybczynski Prize for economics writing.

Before joining The Economist Henry worked for a consulting firm. He has an M.Phil with distinction in economics and a B.A in PPE from the University of Oxford, where he was the John Hicks Foundation prize winner.

Chrisann Jarrett, Chief Executive and Founder, We Belong

Chrisann is the CEO of We Belong, the UK’s first national migrant youth-led organisation working to improve individual outcomes and driving systemic reform to the UK immigration system. We Belong believed in Lived Experience Activism and builds on the success of the Let Us Learn project, founded by Chrisann in 2014 which focussed on campaigning and strategic litigation, changing student finance policy impacting 2,000 young migrants every year. Chrisann has led sustained national campaigns accelerated path to citizenship impacting over 330,000 children and young people. After graduating with a law degree from the LSE, Chrisann was a Policy Advisor to the Deputy Mayor of London on Social Integration and has spoken at the United Nations on the topic of mainstreaming youth in global migration governance. Since 2021 she has been an independent consultant for Trusts and Foundations working to advance systems change and youth-led activism in the UK.

Hetan Shah, Chief Executive, British Academy 

Hetan is chief executive of the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. He is Chair of Our World in Data, a website providing long run data and evidence on global challenges. Hetan was appointed in 2024 by the UK Parliament to the board of the National Audit Office, the UK’s independent spending watchdog. He is Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, Kings College London and a Fellow of Birkbeck College, University of London. Hetan serves on a number of other advisory boards including at the Resolution Foundation and the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.

Sonia Sodha, Chief Leader Writer and Columnist, The Observer and associate editor, Prospect

Sonia Sodha is chief leader writer and columnist at the Observer. She also makes documentaries on economic and social issues for Radio 4 and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky News and Channel 4 as a political commentator. Prior to her career in journalism, Sonia spent ten years working in policy and politics: initially for the think tanks IPPR and Demos, where she led programmes of work on education and social policy; then as a senior policy adviser to Ed Miliband when he was leader of the Labour party; and then in a series of strategic roles for charities including Which?, the Dartington Social Research Unit and Generation Change. She is a trustee of the Trust for London (and chairs one of its two grant-making committees) and the Indigo Trust.

Dame Julia Unwin, Former Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust

Dame Julia Unwin is an experienced non-executive, speaker, consultant and mentor. She was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for a decade until the end of 2016. In 2017 she launched and chaired the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in England, which reported in November 2018, and held a fellowship with Carnegie UK Trust 2017/18 considering the role of kindness in public policy. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to philanthropy, governance, the voluntary sector and its relationship with government. Her publications include ‘Why Fight Poverty?’, ‘Kindness, Emotions and Relationships’, the ‘Blind Spot in Public Policy Making’ and ‘The Grant Making Tango’. She is currently a non-executive director of the Mears Group PLC and of Yorkshire Water.  She is the Inaugural Chair of Smart Data Foundry based at Edinburgh University.  She also chairs the Board of Governors at York St John University. In 2010 Dame Julia was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in the Charity Awards and has received honorary doctorates from three universities. In the 2020 New Year Honours she received a DBE. For more information about Julia please visit her website. 

William F. Maloney - World Bank, Chief Economist for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region

William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for the LAC region at the World Bank. He has previously held various positions including Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America, Lead Economist in the Development Economics Research Group, Chief Economist for Trade and Competitiveness and Global Lead on Innovation and Productivity. He was most recently Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) Vice Presidency. From 2011 to 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes and worked closely with the Colombian government on innovation and firm upgrading issues. His research activities and publications have focused on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labour markets, and innovation and growth, including several flagship publications about Latin America and the Caribbean.