BOARD OF TRUSTEES

We have a voluntary Board of Trustees who have the ultimate responsibility for directing nia and ensuring that the organisation is well-run. Our trustees include women with a wide range of skills and include women who have experienced gender-based violence and ex-service users of nia:

Ruth Tweedale is currently a senior lecturer at Roehampton University Law School. She qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and is a specialist in family and criminal law and women’s rights having held the position of Senior Legal Officer at Rights of Women, a leading women’s legal rights charity. Ruth is a passionate feminist and a women’s rights activist. She has extensive knowledge on the law and policy concerning violence against women and girls in England and Wales. Ruth’s policy and research work is focused on sexual violence, forced marriage, domestic violence and children.

Lola Okolosie is an English teacher at an all-boys comprehensive school located in the heart of London and a columnist for The Guardian, her work focuses on issues ranging from: social inequality; feminism; race and education. Her writing won her the End Violence Against Women Coalition’s opinion writer of the year award. 

Sophia Antoniazzi is a Youth Educator and workshop facilitator working with children and young people to raise awareness of the impacts and reduce the prevalence of knife-crime. She is a campaigner in issues relating to sexual exploitation and sexual violence. Sophia was formerly a peer mentor and ‘young trainer’ to professionals on issues including sexual exploitation of children and young people and sexual violence. 

Felicity Slater works in policy, advocacy and campaigns for a national charity. Previously, she worked for an MP, leading on a range of communications and media activities. Prior to that, Felicity worked for a number of think-tanks, including as Head of Partnerships and Events at the Fabian Society, where she grew the society’s income and professionalised its high-profile events programme. Felicity helped devise and set up a mentoring programme for women aspiring to careers in politics and public life, now in its seventh successful year.

Mina Rai is a civil liberties solicitor at Stephenson’s Solicitors LLP. She specialises in advising vulnerable adults with mental health issues, physical disabilities and those who lack mental capacity to obtain care and support to meet their needs, and matters before the Court of Protection. Before becoming a solicitor, Mina worked at Rights of Women for a number of years and was heavily involved in international volunteering projects.

Grace Banks is a journalist, editor and brand consultant who has written for The Guardian, New York Times, Interview Magazine, Vice, AnOther, Broadly  and others, she was formerly an editor at NBC News London. She is the author of Play With Me: Dolls, Women and Art published by Laurence King Publishing. 

Becoming a trustee can help bring new skills to the board of nia and also help you to develop new skills, gain experience and learn more about providing services to women and children who have experienced gender-based violence. Please click here if you are interested in finding out more and considering joining our board of Trustees

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Senior Management

Karen Ingala Smith has been Chief Executive of nia since 2009. Under Karen’s leadership, nia has maintained an undaunted feminist commitment to ending male violence. During an unfavourable economic climate, Karen has built upon nia’s reputation for innovative and creative ways of responding to the needs of the women and children it serves and become a highly regarded organisation championing an integrated approach to addressing all forms of male violence against women and girls.
With over 27 years experience in the women's sector which encompasses frontline delivery, and operational and strategic management, Karen is a leader in feminist-informed service provision. She was awarded the Positive Role Model for Gender at the 2014 National Diversity Awards. Karen is co-creator of The Femicide Census with Women’s Aid (England), supported by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Deloitte LLP and founder of the campaign Counting Dead Women. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Voluntary Sector Management and is currently a PhD candidate researching men’s fatal violence against women.   

Jodie Woodward joined nia in 2008 to set up The Emma Project, a pioneering specialist service for women escaping male violence who have problematic substance use. She has since developed East London Rape Crisis, including ensuring the organisation attained the Rape Crisis National Service Standards. She is currently the Vice Chair of Rape Crisis England and Wales. Prior to working at nia Jodie worked in numerous frontline roles in the homelessness and substance use sector which led to a desire to ensure that women who have experienced multiple disadvantage have access to women- centred, feminist services. Jodie holds an ILM Level 7 in Strategic Leadership

Nadine Evans is a highly driven, motivated and conscientious Finance Manager who has many years of expertise and knowledge within a charity financial environment and six years of invaluable experience in managing, controlling and navigating the successful finance department within nia. She is a committed and dedicated feminist who is extremely passionate about her work, the organisation’s ethos and values, and ending violence against women and girls.

Caroline Murphy joined nia in 2017 and brings over 10 years’ experience of working to end male violence against women, girls and children. She has delivered and developed a range of specialist services including refuge provision for Irish Traveller women and trauma-informed services supporting women involved in prostitution. Caroline returned to the women’s sector in 2017 because she believes that women-only organisations are those best placed to support women’s individual and collective needs and offer the services most valued by women who have experienced male violence. 

Heather Harvey has been working on women’s human rights and specifically violence against women for over 20 years in the UK and overseas. Her experience includes three years working on forced marriage with the foreign office. She led Amnesty International UK’s Stop violence against women campaign for five years (before Amnesty’s disappointing position on prostitution) with a focus on trafficking, impact of conflict on women, no recourse to public funds was head of research and development at Eaves for five years.