THE PROJECT TEAM
Transform Defence for Sustainable Human Safety is a project comprising the following elements: The Five Percent Proposal – military spending is an int’l development issue; the impact of the global military on climate change, human insecurity and development; the absence of the global military’s emissions accounting from UN processes; Green New Deal Plus.
Deborah Burton – Project Manager
Deborah co-founded Tipping Point North South in 2009. Prior to that she was in the campaigns team at Christian Aid (2003-09) in the role of global campaigner, tasked to popularise primarily the Trade Justice campaign, followed by the Tax Justice campaign, through the enlisting of internationally recognised ambassadors; delivering high profile events; film and TV projects focused on trade and tax issues. Prior to this, she had worked in various sectors including the peace movement (BASIC); environment (WDCS anti-whaling); public health (environmental links to breast cancer); children’s human rights (Casa Alianza).
Before working for NGOs she worked in the film industry – film and arts festival programming (Riverside Studios); film production assistant for David Puttnam’s company Enigma; Director of First Film Foundation, working with new directors from the UK, Europe and USA, developing and executive producing first films for film and TV; head of development for Dublin/NY based production company, Mirabilis. Her first short screenplay starred Martin Sheen, and she is a former governor of the London Film School.
Dr. Ho Chih Lin – Deputy Project Manager & Lead Researcher
Ho-Chih left Taiwan for the UK to broaden his horizon. Prior to his involvement in social-issue documentaries, he was trained as a quantum physicist. He holds a PhD from University College London and an MSc from London School of Economics and Political Science. His PhD thesis explores an alternative approach to investigate and quantify quantum entanglement, the most intriguing aspect of quantum mechanics but also the phenomenon that makes quantum computation possible. His Masters dissertation centres on a real-life application of open innovation, particularly focusing on the influence of the design and organization of the project on group dynamics and the resulting effects on the diversity and quality of ideas generated.
His focus, however, gradually moved away from natural phenomena towards social justice issues. He first got involved with film through leading on a highly successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for the TPFF supported We Are Many feature documentary, directed by Amir Amirani and on which he was an Associate Producer. Building on his work with TPFF on film outreach, he is now an integral part of the growth of the wider work of TPNS – in particular campaign research and social media management. He leads on all Transform Defence research & related social media.
Kevin McCullough – TPNS Co-founder
Kevin has over 25 years of campaigning experience. He started out as a community worker in Belfast working on issues of conflict resolution, inner city regeneration and youth empowerment. Moving to London in 1992 Kevin began working for international development agency Christian Aid and has been at the forefront of the organisation’s campaigns on landmines, Jubilee 2000 debt cancellation, supermarkets, trade justice and climate change. He went on to become was CEO of Photovoice and then Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation.
Martin Drewry – TPNS Founding Board Member
Martin has a long background in the voluntary sector, initially as an award-winning grass-roots community development worker in the UK, before moving to international development. After a few years as national secretary of World Action, a pioneering Methodist programme enabling young people and adults to take action for social justice, he spent the next decade as head of campaigns at Christian Aid. Here he played leading roles in Jubilee 2000, Drop the Debt, the Trade Justice Movement and was one of the coordinators of Make Poverty History. Martin’s academic grounding came from the Bradford University School of Peace Studies in the mid-eighties, an experience he valued. He became director of Health Poverty Action in April 2006 -an international NGO working with some of the poorest and most marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to help them change the factors that deny them their right to health.
Dionne Gravesande – Strategic Adviser on Faith and Development
Dionne Gravesande has over 25 years of senior management experience working in the voluntary and public sector. Having started working as a youth officer within local government she is today working as strategic adviser and ecumenical lead at Christian Aid having previously formed and led Christian Aid’s Church Advocacy Team, and before that led the Churches and Young People’s work. Dionne operates at both national and global levels in the nexus of international development and faith interfacing with policy and activism focusing on partnerships and collaborations in the areas of inequalities, peacebuilding, race and gender.
Her Pan-African work also includes international outreach in USA and the Caribbean through the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race and others. She is a founder partner of the African Development Forum, set up to encourage black Christians in the UK to support African economic and social development, one of her Christian Aid projects supported the making of Channel 4’s ‘Great African Scandal’.
Dionne is a founding board member of Tipping Point North South and co-leads on the MLK Global Campaign. The campaign seeks to raise voices in solidarity with the global call for ‘an end to racism, economic exploitation and militarism in our lifetime’ and its efforts to share and promote Dr. Martin Luther King’s Economic Bill of Rights.
Linda Melvern – Investigative Journalist
Linda Melvern is a British investigative journalist who has written regularly for the British press. She was previously a reporter for the The Sunday Times, where she was a member of their award-winning Insight Team under Harry Evans. For more than 20 years she has investigated and written about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. A consultant to the Military One prosecution team at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, (ICTR) her archive of documents on the planning and preparation of the genocide was a part of the documentary evidence used by the prosecution.
She has written seven books of non-fiction and is widely published across international press and academic journals. Her books include Techno-Bandits, an account of the campaign by the US Department of Defense to stop the illicit Soviet efforts to acquire American technology; The End of the Street exposing the secret planning by Rupert Murdoch to destroy the British print unions; and The Ultimate Crime, a secret history of the UN’s first 50 years which went on to be the basis of UN Blues – a three part TV series for Channel Four, broadcast in January 1995.
She is Honorary Professor of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in the Department of International Politics. Her latest book is Intent to Deceive:Denying the Rwandan Genocide (Verso:2020).
Amir Amirani – Filmmaker
Amir has made films for several of the BBC’s flagship series, including the multi BAFTA award winning Arena, Timewatch, Picture This, Correspondent and Newsnight, for which he was nominated for an Amnesty International Award. A film he directed in South Africa was nominated for the One World Broadcasting Trust Awards. In 2002 Amir directed critically acclaimed ‘Addicted to Arms’ for the BBC about the British arms industry, presented by Will Self.
He has also worked in radio, where he has produced programmes for leading series on BBC Radio 4, such as In Business, From Our Own Correspondent, The World Tonight, and single programmes such as From Tehran With Laughter. His journalism includes writing for the New Statesman, New Scientist, Business Traveller Asia and the Economist Intelligence Unit. His work has been well reviewed by the press.
Amir is the producer / director of We Are Many, a cinema documentary about the illegal invasion of Iraq, the global anti-Iraq war movement that rose up to try and stop it and the impact of that movement on today’s world.