Trustees

Our trustees have responsibility in law for the charity, its assets and strategic activities and are all unpaid volunteers. The trustees constitute the Board, the governing body of Embrace the Middle East, which meets four times a year. The trustees also serve on sub-committees comprising Programmes & Partnerships, Finance & Audit, Fundraising and Marketing, Governance and Remuneration.
 

Canon Anthony Ball - Chair

I am a Canon at Westminster Abbey after five years as Rector of Worth, Pound Hill and Maidenbower in West Sussex. During my career with HM Diplomatic Service (1990-2005) I lived in the Middle East for several years, developing links with and learning from many of its Christian denominations. In 2005 I joined the staff of the (former) Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, advising on international, ecumenical, Anglican Communion and inter-religious relations - with a final appointment as his Chaplain. This time left me passionately committed to the role and the flourishing of Christian communities in the Middle East.

I joined the Embrace Board of Trustees in 2012.

Anne Clayton - Vice Chair

After many years in management, HR and organisational development, in 2004 my husband and I moved to Jerusalem where we lived in East Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. We worked with World Vision in the West Bank and Gaza and often travelled to surrounding countries.

On our return to the UK in 2010, I became UK Director of Friends of Sabeel, stepping down in December 2015. I am an HR consultant with Oxford Leaders Ltd, which supports and mentors the leaders of national and international non-profit organisations. I serve on the PCC of my church in North Oxford.

I have a passion to support the Christian community in the Middle East and am committed to helping Christians at home understand the issues and challenges that Christians in the Middle East face.  

I joined the Board in March 2016.

Steve Dengate - Treasurer

Following a career in Financial Services I am now supporting Christian charities and churches with a unique blend of financial and marketing skills with a specific emphasis on mission and purpose. I hold an MSc in Charity Marketing and Fundraising alongside various financial service qualifications.

I consider the role of a Trustee as a great privilege in Stewardship. My involvement with Embrace goes back to 1984 when the Crusader Group I was involved with supporting a young girl through her education at the Cedars Capability Centre in Lebanon. The needs in the Middle East now are no less today than they were then and the work of Embrace as vital today as then. I joined the Board in 2016.

Lisa Toner

Lisa Toner

I am the Infrastructure & Resources Manager in Library & Student Services at the University of Cumbria. I am married and have two sons and two foster daughters. I have written several children's books under the pen name of Lisa Bruce.

I have been interested in the Middle East, and a supporter of Embrace, since working there the summer before going to university. A more recent visit to Israel and the West Bank increased my desire to help those struggling with injustice and hardship.

Tanas Alqassis

I am the regional manager for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa at the Church Mission Society (CMS). I have previously worked for Musalaha, the Holy Land Trust and World Vision. Over the last 20 years I have sat on various boards and travelled widely in the Middle East. I received a master’s degree in leadership from Vision International University in California and a BA in Accounting from Bob Jones University in South Carolina. 

I joined the Board of Embrace in February 2012.

Mariam Tadros
Mariam Tadros

A graduate in Theology and Religious Studies, Mariam also has a postgraduate degree in Conflict Regulation in Divided Societies. Mariam has worked with Tearfund in their operational response in the Kurdish region of Iraq as well as working on the West and Central Africa desk. Mariam is now the Programme Coordinator for Peacebuilding at Tearfund, covering pilot projects in their Peacebuilder movement in the Middle East, providing strategic and technical support to teams globally.  She brings her huge experience and strategic knowhow to Embrace and was appointed a trustee in February 2012.

Trustee Hugh Bradley

Hugh Bradley

I graduated from University College London in Economics and Economic History in 1972 and joined Debenhams PLC on their Graduate Training Scheme. I progressed through a number of positions to become a Regional Sales and Operations Director in 1989 and in 1996 I joined Debenhams Management Board as Communications Director.

I took early retirement from Debenhams in 2004 and became a trustee of Embrace, having been a member of the Embrace’s Trading Committee since 1998.

Madeleine Davies

I have been deputy news editor at the Church Times since 2012, where I write regularly on humanitarian responses in the Middle East.

I have previously worked on the campaigns team at a breast cancer charity, working in partnership with NHS breast clinics to secure improved services for patients.

I joined the Board of Embrace in March 2016.

Trustee Brian McGucken

Brian McGucken

I qualified in medicine, trained as a paediatrician and worked in Ireland and Nigeria before becoming a Consultant paediatrician in Wigan. I took early retirement in 2002 and have since developed my interest in education as both a school and university governor, and in the local community as a parish councillor. I am also a member of the ministry team in my local parish church.

I became involved with Embrace over 30 years ago when I sponsored a nurse in her training at Nazareth School of Nursing and my interest has continued since then.


Kathryn Kraft

I am a Lecturer in International Development at the University of East London. My involvement in the Middle East dates back to 2001, when I first moved to Syria to study Arabic. My postgraduate studies at the American University of Beirut, then at the University of Bristol, focused on questions of religious identity in the Middle East. I have recently taken up a post with World Vision.

After several years working in humanitarian response, my teaching and research now focuses on faith, humanitarianism and development, and empowering local civil society. I am passionate about storytelling as a means of community transformation, and as Kati Woronka I have published two novels about Syrian women.

Trustee John Neate

John Neate

I have extensive experience working within the charity sector, having previously worked for the British Red Cross, and in senior leadership roles with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Prostate Cancer UK and Y Care International. I have a postgraduate Certificate in Africa and International Development, and carried out a strategic review of financial and organisational arrangements for the Israeli Multiple Sclerosis Society.

I'm also on the senior leadership team for the Network Vineyard Church in Reading, and am involved in other initiatives such as becoming the Chair of 'Lift Ghana', and supporting the Vineyard School of Ministry Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Gareth Williams

After two decades working in Investment Banking as a Managing Director in Emerging Markets, I now work with Christians Against Poverty and am a warden at Emmanuel Church Chesham.


I first developed an interest in the Middle East whilst living in Saudi Arabia as a child and went on to study Middle Eastern politics and economics at Durham and Cambridge Universities.
 

Alanna Harris

I am currently training for ordained ministry in the Church of England, and studying for a masters in Theology for Mission and Ministry at Ridley Hall in Cambridge.

Prior to this I worked in charity sector fundraising and events. Most recently, I worked at Tearfund as Head of Events, and previously at Theos, the religion and society think tank.

I joined the board of Embrace in March 2017.