Our Team

Tessa Khan

Founder and Executive Director

Tessa is an international climate change lawyer and campaigner. Before founding Uplift, she was co-founder and Co-Director of the Climate Litigation Network, which supports groundbreaking strategic climate litigation around the world. She has spent two decades supporting grassroots, regional and international movements for justice and has served as an expert advisor to UN human rights bodies and national governments, while working in Thailand, Egypt, India, the US, the Netherlands and Australia. Her writing has been published in international media outlets and academic publications, and she has been invited to speak at the United Nations and events convened by the Financial Times, the Economist, and TED. She is also a regular media commentator. Tessa is a graduate of the University of Oxford (BCL(Dist)) and University of Western Australia (LLB(Hons)/BA). In 2019, she was named by TIME magazine as one of fifteen women leading the fight against climate change. Tessa is also a recipient of a Climate Breakthrough award, the largest climate action grant for individuals. 

Alice Watson

Political Adviser

Alice has spent five years advocating for political leadership on environmental issues. Prior to joining Uplift, she worked in the politics team at leading environmental think-tank Green Alliance. There she supported the organisation’s political advocacy and coordinated the Environment APPG, Westminster’s largest cross-party group promoting environmental ambition. Previously she worked as a Public Affairs Officer at the Marine Conservation Society and started her career at Seahorse Environmental. Alice holds a BSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Anna Carthy

Senior Policy Researcher

Anna is a climate justice researcher and advocate. At Uplift, she leads on policy research, using research to inform and deliver policy advice. She previously worked on international climate research, focusing on equity, climate finance, adaptation, loss and damage, and intersectional vulnerability to climate change. Prior to joining Uplift, she worked as a climate researcher in the International Institute for Environment and Development, at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and for a number of UN agencies. She holds an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford.

Ashlee Barnes

Principal Researcher

Ashlee is a researcher with a background in social and climate justice. They come to Uplift from the Office for National Statistics where they worked as a Senior Equalities Analyst. Here they developed expertise in leading analysis and filling evidence gaps, informing government policy and public debate and improving the evidence base for understanding equity and fairness in the UK. Ashlee is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainability and Ecology at the Centre for Alternative Technology, and holds a BSc in Mathematics from Swansea University.

Astrid Gorissen

Operations Manager

Astrid started her career in the Netherlands, where she worked in various management roles. On moving to the UK over 25 years ago, she worked firstly in education and subsequently with charitable organisations and NGOs as Operations Manager. Before joining Uplift, she worked as Operations Manager for the Climate Litigation Network, a project of Urgenda. Besides being a qualified teacher and a qualified upholsterer, Astrid holds Master’s degrees in Digital Media and Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.

Brook Dambacher

Principal Policy Advisor

Brook is a policy adviser, researcher and climate justice advocate. She leads on policy analysis and development at Uplift. Brook previously served as a researcher and legal adviser supporting the Least Developed Countries Group at the UN climate change negotiations, and on the Least Developed Countries Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative. She holds a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She also holds degrees in Law and Science from the University of Tasmania.

Caroline Simpson

Campaign Manager, Warm This Winter

Caroline has worked in marketing for over fifteen years, and brings experience in campaign strategy development, line management, project management and public engagement to Uplift. She first worked on corporate tax avoidance and climate change campaigns at Christian Aid before moving to Ecojustice, where she coordinated campaigns around environmental litigation and law reform in Canada. Caroline is passionate about justice, equity and bringing about lasting change – predominately by pushing governments and corporations to take action in securing a sustainable future for the planet, and holding them to account.

Clare Rothwell-Hemsted

Principal Legal Adviser

Clare is a lawyer with over ten years’ experience in legal research, advocacy and strategic litigation in the UK and internationally. Since joining Uplift, she has been responsible for Uplift’s legal strategy, including the challenge to the approval of the Rosebank oil field. With a background in social justice and human rights, Clare took legal challenges at Law Centre NI which have had significant impacts on UK and EU law, and previously worked for a leading human rights organisation in Malaysia. Clare holds a Masters degree in law and is a barrister in Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

Conor Rowden

Network Coordinator, Warm This Winter

Conor co-leads Mobilisations activity for the Warm this Winter coalition and works with a network of grassroots groups taking action on the energy crisis. As a campaigner, Conor is passionate about climate justice and the power of the grassroots in achieving change. They previously worked at the environmental think tank Green Alliance, promoting more ambitious UK environmental policy and leading political engagement Warm this Winter. Conor also worked on a UN research project exploring feminist movements and LGBTQIA+ activism. They have also done outreach work and volunteering on access to education and tackling anti-LGBTQIA+ bullying in schools.

Daniel Jones

Head of Research, Policy and Legal

Daniel is an expert in using evidence to create impact. Before Uplift, he worked for King’s College London on a flagship refugee education initiative, led campaigns at Feedback Global, and worked on social and climate justice issues in Scotland, Madagascar, Denmark, and Mozambique. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, focusing on energy transitions, and is the son of an oil rig worker.

Emma Chadwick

Press Officer, Warm This Winter

Emma is a former journalist starting her career as an apprentice for the Manchester Evening News and Guardian Group. She has also worked for the Mirror and the BBC on the ‘Brass Tacks’ documentary series. After moving into PR, Emma has headed campaigns for major blue-chip companies in the UK and Internationally, as well as working for cause-related PR on women’s safety and challenging the leasehold system. She is used to working in a busy press office environment and relishes her role as press officer for Warm This Winter.  Living in Manchester, she studied Philosophy and Politics at the University and has made the city her home. 

Estelle Limon

Political Adviser

Estelle supports Uplift’s work to build political momentum behind a just transition away from fossil fuels. Before joining Uplift, she worked as a policy manager at the UK not-for-profit Regen, where she managed a programme of work developing and advocating for policies to deliver on the UK’s renewable energy targets, engaging across Whitehall and Westminster. She holds an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Fiona Waters

Head of Movement Building

Fiona is a climate and social justice activist and campaigner. She comes to Uplift from Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) where, as an Activism Adviser, she designed mobilisation strategies for campaigns from fracking to divestment to COP26. She previously worked on a range of issues from aid effectiveness to election organising to human trafficking. As an activist she’s organised with a number of grassroots climate justice networks across the UK, including planning protest camps opposing coal, fracking and the hostile environment. Fiona holds an MA in Human Rights from the School of Advanced Study, London.

Gabriel Davalos

Head of Campaigns

Gabriel is a climate justice campaigner and activist with over 12 years experience in public mobilisation, coalition coordination, and digital campaign strategy. Before joining Uplift, Gabriel worked as Europe Campaign Lead for the Purpose Climate Lab, where he led campaigns in the United Kingdom, Poland, Bulgaria and France. Prior to this, Gabriel co-founded an ethical coffee importing company that supported coffee growers in Ethiopia and Nicaragua. He holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Latin America Studies and Environmental Studies from New York University.

Graham Banton

Chief Operating Officer

Graham is a long time advocate for action on climate change and has held a variety of senior operational roles within organisations focussing on this agenda. Prior to joining Uplift he was Head of Operations at Earth Security, an impact advisory firm exploring new ways to unlock investment in nature. Previously, he spent six years at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI),serving in roles including Head of Business Development, and Programme Manager for the Climate Finance Team. He holds an MA(Hons) in Development Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA(Hons) History from the University of Edinburgh.

Gwen Peters

Head of Politics

Gwen joined Uplift in 2022 and works to build political momentum for the transition away from oil and gas. Prior to this she worked as a senior policy adviser at Green Alliance where she led on engaging cross-party MPs on climate science and policy. Gwen has previously worked for the Green Party of England and Wales, and for an MEP in the European Parliament. Gwen has published work on the use of citizens’ assemblies in climate policy making, and has appeared in national media commenting on climate and trade. 

Holly Duhig

Communications Officer

Holly is a communications specialist and author who has spent much of her career writing books that educate the younger generation on the climate crisis and the environmental threats that our planet faces. She worked as a PR manager in publishing before making the move to the non-profit sector. Most recently, she has worked as a volunteer for a community sponsorship programme that raises funds to settle refugee families in the North East.

Holly McElhone

Press Officer

Holly is a climate communications specialist with over eight years’ experience in strategic comms, media relations and campaigning. Before joining Uplift, she handled communications for major legal cases against multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Danone at ClientEarth. She led press and communications at Make My Money Matter, a campaign group founded by Richard Curtis which aims to move trillions away from oil and gas and mount pressure on UK banks to stop financing fossil fuel expansion. She graduated from King’s College London with a BA(Hons) in French and spent a year studying politics at Sciences Po, Lyon.

Isobel Mercer

Senior Political Adviser (Scotland)

Isobel joined Uplift in 2024 and supports Uplift’s work to create political support in Scotland for a just transition away from oil and gas. Prior to joining Uplift Isobel spent 7 years working in RSPB Scotland’s policy team where she developed and advocated policy proposals for nature protection and recovery in Scotland, engaging with decision-makers across the Scottish Government and Holyrood. Isobel holds an undergraduate degree in Politics and German from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Environmental Technology, specialising in Global Environmental Change and Policy, from Imperial College London.

Jasmine Wakefield

Researcher

Jasmine, a scientist dedicated to equitable solutions, advocates for merging scientific rigor with social justice. With a PhD from The University of Sheffield, she has broad expertise in researching climate change impacts, ranging from extreme events in the Arctic to carbon cycling in British upland ecosystems. Jasmine has contributed articles, talks, and panel discussions on climate change science, nature-based justice lessons, and “climate grief”. She also holds BSc and MPhil degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Biology from The University of Manchester.

Julia Hashimoto

Digital Campaign Lead, Stop Rosebank

Julia is an activist with extensive experience in communications, project management, content creation and large-scale mobilisations. She has been a key organiser in a number of grassroots campaigns across a range of social justice issues including feminism, anti-racism, global justice, divestment and labour movement campaigns. Most recently she worked as the Communications and Digital Engagement Officer for the COP26 Coalition.

Lauren MacDonald

Campaigner

Lauren joined Uplift in 2022 and works to coordinate large-scale mobilisations and campaigns against new oil and gas. They have a track record of high-profile public speaking and extensive experience in speaking to an array of leading media publications at a national level. Lauren is passionate about speaking truth to power and harnessing the strength of communities to hold governments accountable on climate. 

Madeleine Lynch

Legal Campaigns Coordinator

Maddie is Uplift's Legal Campaigns Coordinator, working to support the organisation's legal strategy and various legal challenges. Prior to joining Uplift, she spent three years working in climate change communications, specialising in climate litigation and youth empowerment. Maddie holds an MA in European Politics and Policy from the University of Manchester.

Mia Obertelli

Digital Campaign Lead, Warm This Winter

Mia is a digital campaign specialist with over eight years of experience in content creation and digital marketing. Prior to joining Uplift, she worked at a national campaigning organisation where she led on social media strategy and coordination. She is highly experienced in using digital content and tactics to engage and mobilise members of the public across a range of political and corporate campaigns, and inspiring collective action to create positive change.

Oliver Goulden

Digital Content Producer

Oliver is a digital content and campaigns specialist. He has extensive experience working with charities, campaign groups and political candidates on digital communications, creative and strategy. Since joining Uplift in 2022, Oliver has produced high impact digital creative that’s been seen by millions and driven mass collective action. He’s a Trustee of Take One Action Film Festival, and holds an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Robbie MacPherson

Senior Political Adviser

Robbie supports Uplift in creating political support for a just transition away from oil and gas. He leads the Climate APPG secretariat and previously led the Environment APPG secretariat at environmental think-tank Green Alliance. Prior to this Robbie led Schools and Youth Outreach at Hope for the Future where he later served as a Trustee for two years. He has advised the Teach the Future campaign and supported local governments delivering clean energy at UK:100. Robbie holds a BA in Politics and Sociology with Employment Experience from the University of Sheffield.

Rosa Tandoh

Programme and Operations Assistant

Rosa is an operations professional with a background in healthcare and charity management and administration. Before joining Uplift, Rosa worked as Operations Manager in a large GP surgery in Leeds, and most recently led a project to provide more equitable access to care for patients through optimising online and telephone contact. She also volunteers providing essential aid and befriending services to asylum seekers across West Yorkshire. Rosa holds a PGDip in Healthcare Leadership from the University of Birmingham and a BA in French and Spanish from the University of Leeds.

Simran Bola

Digital Engagement Lead

Simran is an expert in digital communications with experience across a wide range of roles in the social justice sector. He has a track record of delivering highly engaging campaigns for some of the UK’s most progressive social justice and environmental organisations. After leading a major advertising operation for the 2019 General Election, Simran went on to work as the Digital Fundraising Manager at ClientEarth where he used his skills in political communications to drive people into action to save the climate.

Suzi Shingler

Campaign Manager, Stop Rosebank

Suzi manages the Stop Rosebank campaign, bringing together organisations and activists to stop the largest undeveloped oil rig in the North Sea. Suzi has been a campaigner for over 15 years spanning climate justice, mitigation, adaptation, animal welfare, farming policy, sustainable food systems and public health. She specialises in developing and leading successful campaign strategies, project management, relationship building, lobbying and media engagement. She previously managed campaigns at the Environmental Justice Foundation, the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics and the Soil Association.

Tamasin Cave

Head of Strategic Communications

Tamasin is a communications specialist with a background in investigating corporate lobbying. She is co-author of A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain (Vintage, 2015), and has conducted investigations into the influence on public policy of companies, lobbyists, think tanks and management consultants that have featured in the UK print and broadcast media. For a decade she worked with Spinwatch, a non-profit that investigates corporate PR and lobbying, and led the campaign for transparency regulations for lobbyists in the UK.

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