MOST MIRA TRUSTEES
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Tony Faint’s career has been spent working in international development, first in the British Department for International Development (DFID) and its predecessors, then as an independent consultant offering services in development policy analysis, organisation and evaluation.
He ended his public service career as International Director in DFID, with responsibility for DFID’s relations with and funding for Multilateral Development Agencies. In DFID Tony earlier gained experience in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, supervising the British Know How Fund, helping in the setting up of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and managing the British response to the refugee exodus and return during and after the Kosovo conflict.
Ray Portelli became a trustee of Most Mira in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and an Associate Member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.
Ray’s career in banking and finance spans 40 years. At the end of 2018 he took early retirement from the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) after 25 years of service, where he was Chief Internal Auditor for the last 12 years. The EBRD is one of the main multilateral development financial institutions, operating predominantly in Eastern Europe and North Africa. He is currently working as an independent consultant in internal audit and risk management.
Originally from the Kozarac region, Azra brings a strong international and diverse background academically and professionally, with a B.A. in Political Science / International Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and a M.A. in International Affairs from the New School University.
Having been an intern at the United Nations (DESA), a consultant for non-profits, and a fundraiser for international charities and humanitarian organizations. She currently is a vital member of the individual fundraising team at UNICEF Canada based in Toronto. Azra has also been an active member of the BiH Diasporic Conference (BiHDYC), and also currently serves as a Board Member for the Bosnian American Professionals Association (BAPA) based in Salt Lake City. While always a Chicagoan at heart, Azra has also lived in Rome, New York, and is currently based in Toronto.
Kemal is a founder trustee of Most Mira. He was born in Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the regions most severely affected during the Bosnian War. A survivor of the notoriously brutal Omarska concentration camp, he witnessed first-hand horrific acts of genocide, some of which were perpetrated by individuals whom he knew personally. He has since dedicated his work to education, reconciliation and peace-building.
He is the author of 'The Killing Days: My Journey Through the Bosnian War'. Most recently he has produced ‘Pretty Village’, his first film. Kemal holds a BSc in Management Studies from Royal Holloway University of London, a MA in Conflict Resolution from Bradford University. He was a 2012 Human Rights Advocate from Columbia University.
Laila Sumpton volunteered with Most Mira in 2010 as a dance workshop facilitator, helped organise the 2011 festival and joined the Board of Trustees later that year. She works as a Youth Engagement Officer for international children's charity Plan UK and as a freelance poet - performing her work and running poetry projects in museums, hospitals and universities.
She helps deliver Most Mira's theatre projects and peacebuilding residentials and has written a series of poems about the stories of Kevljani and Most Mira's work. She has an MA in 'Understanding and Securing Human Rights' from the University of London and enjoys working on projects which combine the arts and human rights.
Dr Neven Andjelic is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Human Rights at Regent's University London. He is also a Member of the Council of Europe's Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and Visiting Professor at University of Bologna, Italy and IDC University at Herzlia, Israel.
Neven’s expertise is in fields of nationalism, European politics and Comparative Politics with regional interest in South East Europe. He is regularly invited to give talks at leading world universities like Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, LSE and many others. His book “Bosnia-Herzegovina: The End of a Legacy” is on reading lists of leading universities. He regularly appears in leading international media commenting on current affairs. Neven is also initiator of attempts to unite non-nationalist opposition in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Kirsteen Tait is a founder trustee of Most Mira, was the first chair and now has specific responsibility for the Peace Centre. She set up and worked for nearly 5 years as founder director of the National Association for the Education of Sick Children, a charitable organisation which worked to improve hospital teaching and home tuition to children with both chronic and life threatening illnesses.
She also set up and ran as founder director for 5 years the Information Centre for Asylum and Refugees at Kings College London, to gather and publicise independent information and research about asylum and refugees. Kirsteen advises the Paul Hamlyn Foundation on its Supported Options Fund for young undocumented migrants which she helped to set up under their Social Welfare programme.
Sue has been a trustee of Most Mira since 2011 having previously co-ordinated the 2010 Most Mira international arts festival. She has an MA in Human Rights from the University of London, where she specialized in the use of drama in post-conflict societies such as Sierra Leone and Bosnia Herzegovina.
She has wide-ranging experience in the NHS, public and NGO sector working with patients, medics, young offenders, refugees and marginalized groups. She is trained facilitator and coach who uses a narrative approach in her work – she is also a professional story teller.
Duncan Stewart has been actively involved with charity work in Bosnia for many years. He is Vice-Chairman of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust – and a Member of the Medical Committee, having qualified in medicine at Guy’s Hospital in 1967 and now retired from General Practice in Sussex.
He is a trustee of a local medical charity called Sprint. He sits on the income board of a local hospice and is also treasurer of a magazine called ‘The Pensioner.”
Zrinka is a founder trustee of Most Mira. She is Chief Executive of Migrants Organise – a community organising platform for migrants and refugees acting for justice. Zrinka is a refugee from Sarajevo, where she was a journalist and worked with leading war correspondents during the siege in the 90’s. She is a founder of the ‘Women on the Move Awards’ to recognize achievement of migrant and refugee women and winner of the 2011 Voices of Courage Award by the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York.
In September 2015 she became founding Chair of the National Refugee Welcome Board, which is now developing community sponsorship visa schemes to ensure sanctuary for Syrian refugees. Zrinka holds an MSc in Media & Communications from LSE and is a 2014 Churchill Fellow.
Vernes has played a critical part in designing the concept and plans for the Peace Centre in Kevljani. He has over 6 years of diverse architectural experience, working on all stages of the design and building process from inception to delivery. He gained professional experience at Avanti Architects, London and Zvi Hecker Architects, Berlin.
Over the past three years, alongside his role as Director at PROJECT V, Vernes has worked part-time as Project Architect at London-based Phelan Architects.
Nick has worked with Most Mira since 2009 as a workshop leader, project coordinator, and advisor. He is Research and Editorial Associate at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies and a Ph.D. student in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Previously, he worked in the NGO sector in London for five years on refugee and social enterprise issues. His research interests include immigration and refugee policy, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconciliation, civil society, and human rights.
Maja has been involved with Most Mira since 2009, initially as a workshop leader, then project co-ordinator and advisor.
She is a freelance theatre director and PhD researcher at Kent University. She studied Directing at the University of Belgrade and trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA), National Theatre Studio, and Directors Lab West Los Angeles. She directed over 20 productions for the principal national theatres of the former Yugoslavia as well as for small fringe venues in the UK. Previously she was Associate Director for New Writing – NADA Project at National Theatre in Belgrade and Balkan Art Season at Blue Elephant Theatre in London.