MCJN TEAM

Philippa Nairn

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Philippa Nairn is an independent fundraising, communications and international development consultant, with extensive experience working with NGOs, media organisations and social enterprises in the MENA region. She has worked previously with the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, Welfare Association, AltCity, the United Nations Relief & Works Agency and Ma’an News.

Dima Hamdan

NETWORK MANAGER AND EDITOR

Dima Hamdan was a news producer and reporter for BBC Arabic Service, with postings in Baghdad, Beirut and Jerusalem. She also produced radio documentaries and is a director of short fiction. Dima has been an editorial coach and mentor with ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) in Tunis and Palestine.

Asma Abidi

DIGITAL COMMUNITY COORDINATOR

Asma Abidi is a Tunisian award-winning journalist. She covered human rights, migration and social transformation in the region after the major events of the Arab Spring. She's also a seasoned media trainer with a focus on media literacy, mis/disinformation and digital storytelling. She has delivered media training to journalists across Africa/North Africa and West Asia. Asma is currently based in Berlin and works as a freelance digital trainer, social media editor and journalism mentor.

MCJN BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Lindsey Hilsum

FOUNDER AND TRUSTEE

Lindsey Hilsum is Channel 4 News, International Editor and the author of In Extremis; the Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin. She has covered the major conflicts and refugee movements of the past three decades, including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Kosovo and Rwanda. She is a regular contributor to newspapers and literary journals. Her first book was Sandstorm; Libya in the Time of Revolution.

Lyse Doucet

FOUNDER AND TRUSTEE

Canadian-born Lyse Doucet is the BBC's award-winning Chief International Correspondent and BBC World TV presenter. She has covered the Middle East for more than 20 years, with postings in Amman, Jerusalem, Tehran, Islamabad, Kabul and Abidjan. In 1999, she joined the BBC's team of presenters. Lyse has been awarded eight honorary doctorates, and was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her services to broadcasting.

Jane Wellesley

FOUNDER AND TRUSTEE

Writer and producer Jane Wellesley is Marie Colvin’s sole executor. She had a long career in broadcasting, starting with The Radio Times in 1975, and subsequently working in publicity and arts co-production at the BBC, and as a researcher at Granada TV. After becoming an independent producer in 1984, she made documentaries and dramas. More recently, she has written two books. From 2014 to 2022, she was a trustee of The Circle.

Dr. Zahera Harb

TRUSTEE AND MENTOR

Dr. Zahera Harb leads the International Journalism Cluster at City, University of London. She has published widely on journalism and politics in the Arab region and is associate editor of the internationally renowned academic journal ‘Journalism Practice’. She is a board member of Dart Centre Europe for Journalism and Trauma, the UK Press Recognition Panel (PRP) and Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ). Previously, Zahera worked for many years as a broadcast journalist in Lebanon.

Dr Aida Al-Kaisy

TRUSTEE AND MENTOR

Dr Aida Al-Kaisy is a media development consultant and academic researcher who has worked extensively on media projects across the MENA region. Her specific interests include the development of independent media in countries impacted by conflict and freedom of expression challenges, as well as gender and climate change. She teaches at SOAS and is a keen promoter of ethical values in journalistic practice and media governance. She is also a co-founder of Iraqi independent media platform Jummar.  

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