Team

Meet the Work Foundation team

Our team

Ben Harrison

Ben Harrison

Role: Director of the Work Foundation

Email: ben.harrison@lancaster.ac.uk

Ben has been Director of the Work Foundation since February 2020. He was previously a member of the Senior Management Team at the National Lottery Community Fund and the Director of Communications and Development at national think tank Centre for Cities.

A labour market and economic development specialist, he has nearly 20 years experience of working across the public, private and third sectors. As Director of the Work Foundation, Ben has led the development of a new strategy for the organisation, focussed on supporting those facing structural disadvantage in the labour market to access secure, well paid employment. He is currently a Commissioner on the Pathways to Work Commission which is focussed on the design of new policy interventions to tackle economic inactivity, and a member of the Expert Group contributing to the development of policy proposals for a Minimum Income Guarantee in Scotland. He appears regularly in the media, and chairs and speaks at a wide range of events across the UK.

Alice Martin

Alice Martin

Role: Head of Research

Email: alice.martin@lancaster.ac.uk

Alice joined the Work Foundation as Head of Research in September 2023. She has over a decade of experience researching the UK labour market with a particular focus on insecure forms of work, worker voice and employer conduct. Previously, Alice worked as a specialist advisor on labour rights at Pensions and Investments Research Consultants (PIRC ltd) and as editor there of a publication on industrial relations and employment policy for financial sector audiences. Prior to this Alice was Head of Work and Pay at the New Economics Foundation where she co-authored publications on trade unions, working time, and economic inequality. Alice started her career training in banking reform advocacy at the Consumers Association, Which?, and was a founding trustee of educational charity Rethinking Economics.

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: Principal Analyst

Email: r.florisson@lancaster.ac.uk

Rebecca joined the Work Foundation in 2018 and leads our research programme on insecure work. She has expertise in labour market precarity, social mobility and working conditions. She applies cross-sectional and longitudinal data analysis to important research and policy questions.

Alongside her role at the Work Foundation, she is a part-time PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London, conducting an ESRC-funded study on the impact of precarious work during the early career on life course employment trajectories.

Previously, she worked in the Employment Unit at Eurofound, the European agency for the improvement of working and living conditions in Europe. She holds an MSc in Politics and Public Policy from Trinity College Dublin.

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

Aman Navani

Aman Navani

Role: Analyst

Email: a.navani@lancaster.ac.uk

Aman joined the Work Foundation as an Analyst and will be primarily contributing to the programme on insecure work. Previously, he worked as an intern at the Centre for Cities and Innovations for Poverty Action. He completed an MA in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences at Columbia University where he researched the political implications of labour market inequality.

Emelia Williams

Emelia Williams

Role: Research and Policy Analyst

Email: emelia.williams@lancaster.ac.uk

Emelia joined the Work Foundation as a Research and Policy Analyst in November 2023 to deliver research projects, contribute to the development of policy recommendations, and support engagement with policy makers and employers. Previously, she worked at Business in the Community (BITC) as a Campaign Officer where she applied her knowledge and understanding of Inclusion and Wellbeing in the workplace to support businesses to transform their systems and structures to create truly inclusive working cultures. Emelia holds a MA in International Development from the University of East Anglia (UEA) where she researched gender equality and women’s representation in local government.

George Williams

George Williams

Role: Research and Policy Analyst

Email: g.d.williams2@lancaster.ac.uk

George joined the Work Foundation as a Research and Policy Analyst in July 2023 and contributes to the working lives and insecure work programmes. Previously, he worked in Parliament as a researcher for a shadow minister and as an intern for a member of the Work & Pensions Select Committee. He has also worked as a Public Affairs Assistant at the Law Society. He holds an MSc in Public Policy from University College London, where he researched worker and trade union organising within the gig economy.

Sonia Stevenson

Reiss Tigwell

Role: External Engagement Officer

Email: r.tigwell1@lancaster.ac.uk

Reiss joined the Work Foundation as an External Engagement Officer in July 2023 and will be helping to push engagement forward within the organisation. Previously, he worked as a freelance journalist, writing mainly for Mirror Online, as well as writing for several other major national and international brands both in print and online. Most recently he’s been working as an international conference producer in the financial services sector.

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.

Jabeel Mahmood

Lara Cowperthwaite

Role: Media and Communications Officer

Email: l.cowperthwaite@lancaster.ac.uk

Lara joined Lancaster University in 2017 and is the media and communications lead for the Work Foundation and Lancaster University Management School.

She works closely with the team to help promote their latest research and helps to position experts in regional, national and international media to respond to breaking news.

Before joining Lancaster University, Lara was External Communications Manager for BAE Systems’ Submarines programme where she was responsible for the management of high profile media events, including senior Government and Secretary of State visits. She started her career in a PR agency before moving to Cumbria to work for a busy police press office. Here she gained extensive crisis communications experience, working as part of a team who managed the communications response to the West Cumbria Shootings and extensive flooding in 2009.

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