Who we are

CREID is convened by the Institute of Development Studies and was launched in 2018. Current strategic partners include: the Al-Khoei Foundation, Minority Rights Group and Refcemi. We also work with partners around the world, particularly in our countries of focus (Egypt, India, Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan). There are occasions when we do not name partners or authors on this website in order to safeguard them, since we are working on sensitive issues in contexts which can be volatile and conflict-prone.

  • CREID Steering Committee

    • Mariz Tadros CREID Director / Institute of Development Studies

      Professor Mariz Tadros is an IDS Research Fellow specialising in the politics and human development of the Middle East. One of the co-founders of CREID in November 2018, her areas of specialisation include democratisation, Islamist politics, gender, sectarianism, human security and religion and development.

    • Yousif al-Khoei Director of Public Affairs, Al-Khoei Foundation

      Sayid Yousif is Director of Public Affairs at the Al-Khoei Foundation and Director of the Centre for Academic Shi’a Studies. He is a founding trustee of several Muslim organisations, including the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board and the National Council for the Welfare of Prisoners in the United Kingdom. He is also a member of the Faiths Forum for London and has been awarded an OBE for Community Services. Yousif is heavily involved in dealing with community issues such as immigration, health, education, prison service with the home office and police.

    • Claire Thomas Deputy Director, Minority Rights Group

      With more than 15 years’ experience with Minority Rights Group Claire oversees four key areas which she considers critical to MRG’s success. These are Programme Design, Fundraising, Human Resources and Monitoring. Claire has a special interest in cultural programmes, advocacy strategies and techniques, gender, intersectional discrimination as well as the Sustainable Development Goals/Agenda 2030.

    • Archbishop Angaelos Founder/Director, Refcemi

      His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Papal Legate to the United Kingdom, was enthroned as the first Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London in November 2017. Focussing on supporting those suffering persecution and displacement, His Eminence’s initiatives relate to advocacy, international religious freedom and development. Founder and convener of the Asylum Advocacy Group which works closely in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief. In 2015 Archbishop Angaelos received an OBE for ‘Services to International Religious Freedom.’

    • Susanne Schirmer CREID Programme Manager / Institute of Development Studies

      Susanne combines excellent knowledge and understanding of international development with outstanding administrative and project management skills and strong interpersonal skills. She has worked in the international development sector, both in an international NGO environment and in a research environment at IDS since completing her MA in Rural Development in 2006.

  • CREID Advisory Group

    • Khammai Dhammasami Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, UK

      The incumbent of the Oxford Buddha Vihara and is the chair of the International Association of Buddhist Universities.

    • Jan Figel European Commission

      Former Special Envoy for Promotion of Freedom of Religion outside the EU.

    • Michael Wahid Hanna The Century Foundation, USA

      Senior fellow at The Century Foundation, non-resident senior fellow at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law.

    • Dr Azza Karam United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) / Religions for Peace, USA

      Senior Advisor on Social and Cultural Development, is chair of UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development and and founder of the Multi Faith Advisory Council of the UN IATF-R&D. She also serves as Secretary General of Religions for Peace.

    • Dr Kishan Manocha OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Austria

      Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw.

    • Professor Katherine Marshall Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, USA

      Senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University (USA) and a professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue and vice president of the G20 Interfaith Association.

    • Dr Omar Mohammed Mosul Eye, Iraq/France

      Iraqi historian from Mosul, citizen journalist and civil society practitioner.

    • Dr Marie Juul Petersen The Danish Institute for Human Rights, Denmark

      Senior Researcher at Danish Institute of Human Right specialising in human rights and religion, Islam and Muslim organizations, development and humanitarian aid and freedom of religion.

    • Dr Peter Petkoff Regent’s Park College, Oxford/Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, UK

      Director of the Religion, Law and International Relations Programme collaborative international research network at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and Managing Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.

    • Professor Sajjad Rizvi University of Exeter, UK

      Associate Professor of Islamic Intellectual History and Islamic Studies.

    • Professor Rebecca Shah Religious Freedom Institute, USA

      Research professor at Baylor University’s Institute for the Studies of Religion and Principal Investigator for the Religion and Economic Empowerment Project (REEP).

    • Ahmed Shaheed Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Switzerland

      Mr Shaheed assumed his mandate as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief in 2016. He is also Deputy Director of the Essex Human Rights Centre, UK.

    • Professor Jeroen Temperman Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

      Professor of international law and religion, Head of Department of International and European Union Law and editor-in-chief Religion & Human Rights.

    • Dr Michael Woolcock The World Bank, USA

      Lead Social Scientist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank and co-founder of the World Bank’s global ‘Justice for the Poor’ program. He is also a (part-time) Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

  • Institute of Development Studies

    • Mariz Tadros CREID Director / IDS Fellow

      Professor Mariz Tadros is an IDS Research Fellow specialising in the politics and human development of the Middle East. One of the co-founders of CREID in November 2018, her areas of specialisation include democratisation, Islamist politics, gender, sectarianism, human security and religion and development.

    • Kathryn Cheeseman Senior Project Support Officer, CREID

      Kathryn is the Senior Project Support Officer for CREID, based at IDS. Before joining IDS in January 2019, Kathryn worked for DAI Global Health as a Communications Assistant and for the House of Commons as an Accounts Officer. Kathryn graduated from the University of Sussex with a BA(Hons) in International Development in 2016. Kathryn is also a director of the Wilding Network, a rewilding community interest company seeking to promote tree planting and establish wildlife corridors across the UK.

    • Susanne Schirmer Programme Manager

      Susanne is the Programme Manager CREID. She has worked at IDS since 2010 in a variety of roles, including providing project coordination for projects funded by DFID and SDC and in the Fundraising and Development Office. Susanne combines excellent knowledge and understanding of international development with outstanding administrative and project management skills and strong interpersonal skills. She has worked in the international development sector, both in an international NGO environment and in a research environment at IDS since completing her MA in Rural Development in 2006.

    • Dr Sofya Shahab Research Officer

      Sofya is a Social Anthropologist specialising in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Sofya’s research explores community-based responses to the physical and existential displacements resulting from heritage destruction among ethno-religious minority groups in Iraq and Syria.

    • Emilie Wilson Communications and Engagement Manager

      Leading communication, engagement strategy and implementation for CREID. Emilie is interested in engaging people with research through communication, and also in whether or how this activity can support evidence-based dialogue and decision making.

  • Al-Khoei Foundation

    • Yousif Al-Khoei Director of Public Affairs

      Sayid Yousif is Director of Public Affairs at the Al-Khoei Foundation and Director of the Centre for Academic Shi’a Studies. He is a founding trustee of several Muslim organisations, including the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board and the National Council for the Welfare of Prisoners in the United Kingdom. He is also a member of the Faiths Forum for London and has been awarded an OBE for Community Services. Yousif is heavily involved in dealing with community issues such as immigration, health, education, prison service with the home office and police.

    • Haidar Lapcha Head of Programmes, Integrity UK / Iraq Lead for Al Khoei

      Haidar Lapcha is Head of Programmes at Integrity UK. Haidar oversees the management of the organisation’s three departments and its work in the UK, EU and MENA Region, with a focus on Iraq. Haidar is currently overseeing and delivering projects pertaining to promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief throughout Iraq in addition to a programme that empowers peacebuilding civil society in Nineveh.

    • Yusra Mahdi Project coordinator & CREID officer

      Project coordinator for Al Khoei Foundation’s Iraq project Religious Education reform. A wealth of experience working in the Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) field coordinating and delivering projects on stabilisation, education, peacebuilding, social development, and civic engagement. Yusra works with local coordinators and stakeholders, as well as researching the application of FoRB. With a background in journalism and media production, Yusra has in-depth knowledge of ethnic conflict, press freedom, displacement, and poverty.

    • Maryam Kanwer CREID Programme Manager

      Maryam Kanwer is a human rights activist. Her work focuses on the persecution of marginalised groups based on their ethnic or religious backgrounds in Pakistan. She has worked on youth development through community resilience, peace-building messaging, and conflict resolution. Maryam has been working extensively in human development for over 13 years and currently is affiliated with Al-Khoei Foundation and managing CREID’s work on Pakistan. She is also an IVLP Alumnus 2015 on CVE.

    • Jaffer Abbas Mirza CREID Researcher

      Jaffer is a researcher focusing to Freedom of Religion and Belief with a particular interest on extremism, terrorism, Pakistan and the Middle East. Before joining the Al-Khoei, Jaffer worked for a number of different NGOs and INGOs and think tanks the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Jaffer is the author of four research papers, a training manual for countering extremism and for analysis for media outlets.

  • Minority Rights Group International

    • Claire Thomas Deputy Director

      With more than 15 years’ experience with Minority Rights Group Claire oversees four key areas which she considers critical to MRG’s success. These are Programme Design, Fundraising, Human Resources and Monitoring. Claire has a special interest in cultural programmes, advocacy strategies and techniques, gender, intersectional discrimination as well as the Sustainable Development Goals/Agenda 2030

    • Mays Al-Juboori Civilian Rights Officer (MENA)

      Mays Al-Juboori is a human rights professional with expertise in conflict, post-conflict, and international Law. At MRG, she works toward building civil society capacity in the Middle East, specialising on Iraq. Mays works closely with local activists on national policy and law, including draft legislation on women and minority rights. She authors human rights publications and provides regular consultation and briefings to governments and international agencies on gender, minority rights, the situation of human rights defenders and internally displaced people. She holds a qualification in Law LLB.

    • Cecilia Bisogni CREID Assistant

    • Glenn Payot Representative to the United Nations

      Glenn has been representing MRG at the United Nations since 2013. Previously, he worked as delegate to the UN for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and as UN advocacy officer for the coalition Impact Iran.

    • Naumana Suleman Pakistan Lead and South Asia Coordinator

      Naumana Suleman is a human rights professional, researcher and trainer with two decades of work experience. Her areas of expertise are international human rights law (minority rights, women rights, child Rights, protection of human rights defenders), peacebuilding, conflict analysis and resolution, international/ UN human rights system.

  • REFCEMI

    • Archbishop Angaelos Archbishop of London / Director

      His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Papal Legate to the United Kingdom, was enthroned as the first Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London in November 2017. Focussing on supporting those suffering persecution and displacement, His Eminence’s initiatives relate to advocacy, international religious freedom and development. Founder and convener of the Asylum Advocacy Group which works closely in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief. In 2015 Archbishop Angaelos received an OBE for ‘Services to International Religious Freedom.’

    • Ewelina Ochab Deputy Director

  • Funding

    • The Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development is currently supported with UK aid funding from the UK Government.