Team

Meet the Work Foundation Team

Our Team

Ben Harrison

Ben Harrison

Role: Director of the Work Foundation

Email: b.harrison1@lancaster.ac.uk

Ben became Director of the Work Foundation in February 2020.

He has 15 years’ experience of working across the public, private and third sectors. Previously Ben was a member of the Senior Management team at The National Lottery Community Fund, the Director of Communications and Development at national think tank Centre for Cities, and worked as an economic development specialist at PwC. In 2010 he established and led Future of London and began his career at the Institute for Public Policy Research. He has appeared regularly in the media, and chairs and speaks at a wide range of events across the UK.

Melanie Wilkes

Melanie Wilkes

Role: Head of Research

Email: m.wilkes@lancaster.ac.uk

Melanie is Head of Research at the Work Foundation and is leading on the development of our new research and influencing programme. She joined the Work Foundation Policy Team in 2018, and since then has been involved in projects spanning skills, insecurity, management practices and workplace wellbeing. She has extensive experience in research and policy development within the charity sector, most recently working with Scope, where she led a team developing solutions to tackle the disability employment gap. Prior to this she held policy and service user engagement roles at Hestia Housing and Support.

Jon Fitzmaurice

Jon Fitzmaurice

Role: Head of Engagement

Email: j.fitzmaurice@lancaster.ac.uk

Jon joined the Work Foundation as Head of Engagement in December 2021 and leads on our external engagement strategy for stakeholders, policymakers, practitioners, and the general public. Previously, he worked for the British Science Association for 10 years in several roles including, most recently, as Head of Policy, Partnerships and Impact. In this role, he led the BSA’s thought-leadership work and was the Secretariat of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. Jon started his career at the Institute for Citizenship and was a founding trustee of the educational charity, Children for Rwanda.

Rebecca Florisson

Rebecca Florisson

Role: Policy Advisor

Email: r.florisson@lancaster.ac.uk

Rebecca Florisson is a Policy Advisor at the Work Foundation, where she analyses labour market data as well as large longitudinal and WF bespoke survey datasets. Most recently, she co-authored the PEC Policy Review: Getting in and getting on in the creative industries, as well as The Looking Glass: mental health in the UK’s film and tv and cinema industry. Her main focus is on insecurity at work, social- and career mobility and diversity and inclusion issues. She joined the Work Foundation in 2018, prior to which she worked at the European agency, Eurofound, where she contributed to research on working conditions in gigwork, organisational restructuring, and scoping the future impact of technological change on the workforce- and skills composition of the manufacturing sector in Europe.

Trinley Walker

Trinley Walker

Role: Policy Advisor

Email: t.walker9@lancaster.ac.uk

Trinley joined the Work Foundation in November 2019, as Policy Advisor. Prior to the Work Foundation, Trinley worked at the New Local Government Network, as Senior Researcher, where he authored reports on public service reform. He has held other roles at further think tanks, NGOs and at a central government department. Trinley holds an MSC from the University of Amsterdam and a BA from the University of Essex, both in Political Science.

Asli Atay

Asli Atay

Role: Policy Advisor

Email: a.atay@lancaster.ac.uk

Asli joined the Work Foundation in April 2022 as a Policy Advisor. Previously, she was a Researcher at Learning and Work Institute (L&W) where she managed projects on various topics such as the relationship between health and employment, the future of work, and migrants’ access to English language training. Prior to that she worked at Demos and another think tank based in Istanbul, Turkey. She also has experience working with refugees and asylum seekers at a humanitarian aid organisation. She holds an MPhil in Political and Economic Sociology from the University of Cambridge

Dr Olivia Gable

Dr Olivia Gable

Role: Policy Analyst

Email: o.gable@lancaster.ac.uk

Dr Olivia Gable joined the Work Foundation as a Policy Analyst in 2019. She has been leading the development of a new work programme on insecurity, and she previously supported delivery of the Skills, Talent and Diversity workstrand for the Policy and Evidence Centre for the Creative Industries. Some of her research interests include the quality of work, pay, equality and the creative sector. Olivia has held various impact and research roles in public, charity and cultural sector organisations, including music charity PRS Foundation and the social enterprise Insight for Good. She completed her PhD in 2019 at the Open University on the value of public funding for popular musicians’ careers, looking at the Momentum music fund.

Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Role: Policy Analyst

Email: h.taylor11@lancaster.ac.uk

Heather joined the team in March 2020 after completing the Ambitious Futures Graduate Scheme, where she worked across various professional services functions within SOAS and Goldsmiths University of London. Heather has a particular interest in workers’ rights and protection issues, including the right to disconnect, post-Brexit regulatory changes, and key issues in the UK gig economy. Most recently, she has worked with colleagues from the Work Foundation and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) on a policy briefing and employer guide to making hybrid work inclusive. Heather graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018 with MA (Hons) English and Philosophy.

Sonia Stevenson

Sonia Stevenson

Role: Work Foundation Coordinator

Email: s.stevenson1@lancaster.ac.uk

Having worked for Lancaster University Management School for five years Sonia joined the Work Foundation as Office Coordinator in 2020. Experienced in office administration, event planning and demonstrating a high level of organisational skills, Sonia works to support the team with their research program.

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