Rose Dowling, Founder  

For Rose, launching Leaders Unlocked is a way of working towards a fairer, more inclusive society in which all citizens have a stronger say. Over the past 15 years, Rose has set up a number of initiatives to enable young people to become proactive, vocal citizens making a difference in the areas that matter to them.

Her portfolio includes: developing youth innovation forums across the country for a national education campaign;  working with a major broadcaster to establish a youth advisory group to promote diversity in the media industry; setting up a ‘Political Academy’ to bridge the gap between young people and politics.

“I believe it’s vital we create conditions for people to be genuinely involved in shaping their world – their communities, their institutions and society as a whole,” she says.

As Founder of Leaders Unlocked, Rose is responsible for the vision and strategy, defining what we want to achieve, how to do so and what success looks like. She is closely involved with all areas of the Leaders Unlocked operation.

LIKES: Haringey, epic train journeys, travelling to cities you’ve never heard of

Connect with Rose on Linkedin 

Alev Zahir, Senior Manager

As the education sector lead for Leaders Unlocked, Alev is actively enabling and empowering students to improve their schools and colleges. She was instrumental in setting up the LOOP initiative in its earliest incarnation. Since then, she’s seen it evolve from an idea to a fully-fledged, dynamic initiative that has helped many thousands of students have a positive impact on their place of learning.

“What’s exciting to me is the idea that we can change organisational culture from the inside,” she says. “One of my favourite moments is when I see sceptical students are starting to believe LOOP can work. Suddenly, quite disengaged people are becoming engaged and feeling empowered – it’s an amazing thing to witness.”

Drawing on her background in education, consultancy, and project management, Alev manages the day-to-day running of LOOP, as well as its overall strategy and partnership creation.

LIKES: Gardening, holidays, spending time with her family

Kaytea Budd-Brophy, Senior Manager

Kaytea is the Youth Commission lead for Leaders Unlocked, working with PCCs and police forces around the country to give young people a voice on policing. Kaytea’s background includes extensive experience working as an educator in Tottenham within the Further Education sector. Kaytea’s ongoing involvement with the community is underscored by her expertise in transformative education and participatory youth projects.

Her experience includes helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds gain graduate qualifications; a series of engagement projects run alongside the Media Trust in the aftermath of 2011’s London riots; helping disengaged young people back into education; developing an online magazine dedicated to youth training and skills; and supporting young people at risk of homelessness through the Tottenham YMCA. “I get really excited about meeting young people, finding out what their story is and working with them to unlock their potential,” she says.

As Project Manager of the Youth Commission, Kaytea enables the young people most impacted by crime and policing issues to engage with their Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in a constructive, meaningful way that yields real outcomes. She manages all aspects of our Youth Commissions, from recruitment and training to planning. Kaytea’s extensive track record working with young people living in close proximity to crime helps her bring exceptional insight and understanding to the initiative, both regionally and at a national level.

LIKES: Hiking in the Welsh countryside, fashion and textile design


Abi Awojobi, Communications and Social Media Lead

As one of the founding members of ‘The Political Academy’ - one of our seedling projects - Abi has been involved with Leaders Unlocked through its formative years – and hers. She has gone from a participating young person to a fully fledged member of the team, taking on key roles. On LOOP, she supports key pitches to major institutions, delivers training to groups of young people across the country, and is a member of the Student Board.

Her academic background and expertise is in Politics, with qualifications from the University of Warwick as well as the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. Her mission is to widen participation in all aspects of political life by empowering young people to engage in the conversation. She is a member of the BBC Generation 2016, representing the views of young people on important issues. Her portfolio includes appearances on BBC Radio 1’s 2016 review show, BBC World Have Your Say, Nick Robinson’s BBC One Brexit series and Emily Maitlis’ live Brexit results coverage on BBC One.

More broadly, she has been active in educational engagement throughout her teens and early twenties. She has spoken about the causes of political apathy at the Electoral Reform Society; worked on an innovative Widening Participation event with Liverpool FC’s under 18s; and delivered a presentation on civil rights and liberties at the UKs largest Modern Records Centre. Through Leaders Unlocked, she hopes to help inspire new kinds of leaders who can provide solutions to society’s more pressing issues.

LIKES: Travelling, Reality TV, Cake, Question Time


Jayne Morgan, Non-Executive Director

As non-executive director, Jayne shares her expertise of the further education sector, learner involvement systems and widening participation of under-represented groups. Jayne also acts as a ‘critical friend’ to our senior team, to stretch and challenge our thinking around our purpose, goals, the quality of our work and innovation, whilst preserving our mission and values.

Jayne is a senior quality manager at a large Further Education college in South East London. She provides leadership around quality assurance and improvement to raise the standard of teaching, learning and assessment. She is passionate about actively involving young people as equal partners in the process of learning and improving their college experience. She studied Fine Art and trained as a teacher in Cardiff. Her teaching career began at HM Prison Swansea and HM Prison Cardiff and then she led an outreach project for young people excluded from school. She came to London to lead a European project that engaged disaffected young people in education, then became a manager in Further Education.

LIKES: being a new mother, painting and the Pembrokeshire coast.


Chris Paouros, Non-Executive Director

As non-executive director, Chris brings considerable expertise in finance, legal and HR. Chris acts as a ‘critical friend’ to our senior team, providing crucial challenge and support around our policies, strategies and systems.

Chris is a highly strategic and commercially astute General Manager with 20 years of experience in start-ups and SMEs, and a specialism in growing small businesses on a global scale. She is an expert in programme and project delivery through careful planning and budgeting and leads senior colleagues to ensure the day-to-day smooth running of any organisation. She is dedicated to ensuring rigour, efficiency and excellence.

Chris is also an ardent football fan – she is a dedicated Spurs season ticket holder and also spent many years running a successful women’s football team. Chris co-founded Pride in Football, the alliance of LGBT football fans and fan groups and is Co-Chair of Proud Lilywhites, the official Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Association.

LIKES: Feminism, Spurs, London



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