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The panel has been assembled with a mission to address two primary needs:

  • In the short-term, support leaders and managers in key service sectors in making evidence-based decisions. This includes but is not limited to educators & schools, care charities, logistics & food, social housing providers and local authorities.
  • In the medium- to long-term, support policy makers and industry sector influencers (including trade associations) in establishing research- and evidence-based strategy for the future.

For decision makers in key service sectors, we aim to achieve three things:

  1. Clarify questions about complex or conflicting data and messages, both sector-specific and intra-sector;
  2. Answer queries or signpost to corresponding resources or agencies; and
  3. Curate and compile advice and content to help inform and shape organizational service strategies in response to Covid-19.

This site provides a platform for exchanging information, sharing solutions, asking questions and signposting to reliable external resources.

Our panel of volunteer experts are:

Chris Lees

Chris Lees

Workplace Strategist / MA Cantab

Chris is workplace strategist and mathematician. He is a specialist in workplace analytics and has led organizational change and strategy development, provided operational management consultancy during mergers and acquisitions, and provided technical consultancy to support functional consolidations. Chris is currently consulting within the corporate real estate sector, focusing on workplace strategy, and in particular occupancy analytics, productivity and workplace technology. He is co-author of the Anatomy of Occupancy Analytics and published in the Corporate Real Estate Journal. Chris is a trustee and director of North Yorkshire’s Dementia support charity, Dementia Forward, a parent advisor on young people's mental health to the local Clinical Commissioning Group, a trustee of Bedale Athletic & Sports Association, a UK Athletics Endurance running coach and an award winning public speaker.

Professor David Wray MD

Professor David Wray MD

MD (Honours), BDS, MB ChB, FDS RCPS (Glasgow), FDS RCS (Edinburgh), F Med Sci, is Emeritus Professor, University of Glasgow

Most recently, Dean of the College of Dental Medicine in Dubai until 2015, David graduated in both Dentistry and Medicine from Glasgow University. A Fogarty Fellow in NIH, Bethesda, USA, then worked for over ten years in Edinburgh Dental School as a Senior Lecturer in Oral Medicine and Pathology prior to taking up the Chair of Oral Medicine, Associate Dean for Research and Dean of Dental Education at Glasgow University and subsequently Clinical Director of Glasgow Dental Hospital. As Emeritus Professor in Glasgow University, his research expertise includes oral ulceration, HIV infection, candidal infections, mucosal immunology and facial pain. He has over 100 publications including 6 books and over 20 chapters in books.

Dr Frances Harkin

Dr Frances Harkin

Head of Research / PhD, MA, BA

Frances heads up the research division for a London-based health and housing charity (HACT). Alumni of Queen's University, Belfast. In her time at HACT, Frances has been directly involved with the development and delivery of numerous research projects and services, including housing and sport focused work and the use of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the housing sector, and has worked with organisations across the housing sector and beyond. Coming from a qualitative research background, Frances has extensive experience of researching diverse communities with her PhD research offering new insights into the role that sport plays in the development of community and identity for the Irish diaspora. Frances continues to develop this research by delivering invited lectures and contributing to academic conferences and peer-reviewed journals.

Marija Antanavičiūtė

Marija Antanavičiūtė

Researcher / MSc

A prominent doctoral freelance researcher is currently a Research Associate at HACT and previously Shelter leading a range of qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation projects. Her recent work focused on financial and digital capability evaluations and data-based service improvement in the housing sector. Her current doctoral research is founded in Political Science, working on political responsibilities of NGOs through the University of London. Her previous research centered around international relations through the University of St Andrews and London School of Economics respectively.

Dr Rob Wray

Dr Rob Wray

Behavioural Psychologist / PhD, MRes, MA, BSc (Psych)

Rob has a background in politics and behavioural psychology and has recently completed simulation research on variables that increase propensity to social and political conflict. He has held posts as Research Director in Social Housing and the charity sector and led business transformation and research campaigns. Rob serves by invitation on round-table discussions on dementia, health and housing partnership at the Royal Society of Medicine and is the founder member and Director of Counter Research. He is a regular contributor to the G15 Policy and Pan-London ASB forums is now based in London.

Dr William Fawcett

Dr William Fawcett

Architect / PhD

William is an architect with experience in practice, consultancy, research and teaching. His architectural training was at the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture, where he continued with PhD research on the topic ‘A Mathematical Approach to Adaptability in Buildings’. He then worked for four years in an architectural practice and held a lectureship at Hong Kong University Department of Architecture, before joining Cambridge Architectural Research when it was founded in 1987. At CAR he has worked on projects ranging from UN consultancy missions to North Korea to the conservation of historic buildings in Britain. A major interest is in functional issues – how well buildings work and how their users perceive them. He was the Chadwick Fellow in Architecture at Pembroke College, Cambridge, from 2005 to 2010, developing ways of applying mathematical analysis to building use, published in the book Activity-Space Research (2016).

Zeiniz Virani

Zeiniz Virani

Portfolio Advisor

Zeiniz is a Board level portfolio advisor working with social purpose organisations needing advice, education and support in business transformation. He is a whole organisation change specialist, with significant experience of service transformation and capability building in international corporate, private equity and third sector organisations. Over the last decade Zeiniz has led omni-channel & digital business change in organisations such as Cineworld Cinemas, Ascend Learning (US), City & Guilds Group, London & Quadrant and East Thames. With a solid executive background as a Chief Technology Officer & Transformation Director, Zeiniz now supports CEOs and Boards through coaching, education & advisory services on operational agility, business, digital and technology transformation, and the modernisation of leadership mindset & skillset.