Who we are

Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, is the Founder of 5Rights.  She is a Crossbench member of the House of Lords and sits on the Communications Committee. She is a Commissioner on the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development; a member of the Child Dignity Alliance Working Group; a member of the Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying; sits on the Council on Extended Intelligence; and is a co-Founder of the educational charity Into Film, where she remains a trustee. For 35 years she has worked as an award-winning film director and producer in the UK and US.

Robert Posner is Director of Operations at 5Rights. He oversees the organisation’s programmes of work and manages its day-to-day operations. Robert was Chief Executive at the Anne Frank Trust, a charity that seeks to empower young people with skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination. He has also engaged in consultancy for a range of charitable organisations, and worked in a number of Communications and Marketing roles. He also sits as a Trustee on the Board of the Brain Tumour Charity.

Patrick Geary is a Child Rights Consultant at 5Rights, working on international programmes. He previously worked for UNICEF as a Children’s Rights and Business Specialist, focusing on the role of government to ensure that businesses respect and support children's rights. He also worked for Save the Children Sweden, and was the Legal Coordinator for the Child Rights International Network. He studied Psychology (BA) before graduating from Yale Law School, and began his career in private practice with international law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Jay Harman is Policy Lead at 5Rights. He was Campaigns Manager at Humanists UK leading on children’s rights and education issues, before working as a Senior Policy and Research Officer at Barnardos focusing on child online safety. Jay has been an advisory group member of the Sex Education Forum, and a steering group member of the Accord Coalition, who work towards more inclusive education.

Jacquie Hughes is in the Policy Team at 5Rights. She is on secondment from Ofcom, where she is Director of Content Policy, with specific responsibility for the BBC. Before joining Ofcom, Jacquie was Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords’ Communications Committee, a Media Policy Director, and author of numerous independent industry and political think tank reports. Previously, Jacquie was an investigative Current Affairs and Documentary filmmaker, with a 20 year track record in TV and Executive Production.

Poppy Wood is Interim Government Relations Lead at 5Rights. Poppy’s background is in policy and technology: she has advised a range of global technology companies on their strategy and operations, and was part of the team which established CyLon, the world’s leading cyber security accelerator. Poppy was previously an Advisor in 10 Downing Street during the 2010-2015 coalition government, and an Associate for JP Morgan Chase.

Nicola White is Executive Assistant to Baroness Kidron. She was a part of the production team for the film, Victoria & Abdul (produced by Kidron), and has been involved in 5Rights since its inception in 2014. Previously, she worked at Tiger Aspect Productions. 

Jessica Smith is Researcher for 5Rights. She studied Law at King’s College London and spent six months working with feminist organisation, Women’s Rehabilitation Center, in Nepal. Before joining the 5Rights team, she interned at Amnesty International in the Refugee and Migrant Rights team, and at REDRESS in the International Legal and Advocacy team. 

Board of Trustees 

Peter Wanless has been Chief Executive of NSPCC, the UK’s leading child protection charity, since 2013. He was previously the Big Lottery Fund’s Chief Executive, and Director at the Department for Education from 1998 to 2008. He is on the Royal Foundation Taskforce for the Prevention of Cyberbullying.

“Childhood shapes who we become, abuse never should. That is why I feel so strongly that children’s rights must apply online as well as offline so the wonderful opportunities afforded by digital technology help children flourish, rather than subject them to potentially devastating and unnecessary risk.” 

Ansgar Koene is a Senior Research Fellow at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute of the University of Nottingham, and Chairs the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Working Group (IEEE) on a Standard for Algorithmic Bias Considerations. He collaborated with 5Rights on the project “The Internet on Our Own Terms”, where young people aged 12 - 17 participated in deliberative juries to put the internet ‘on trial’. You can read the final report here.

“As an academic researcher working on issues of data ethics and ethical uses of algorithmic systems, working with 5Rights has provided invaluable insights into the experiences of children and young people online.  5Rights takes a rigorous evidence-based approach to supporting the rights of children and young people online, by listening to their voices and recognising their diversity.”

Louise Macdonald is Chief Executive of Young Scot, the multi award-winning youth information and citizenship charity. There are currently 670,000 members of Young Scot – over two thirds of young people in Scotland.  Louise is the Independent Chair of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls, and on the Board of the Scottish Parliament think tank Scotland’s Futures Forum. In 2016, Louise and Young Scot, in partnership with 5Rights, launched the 5Rights Youth Commission in Scotland. The Youth Commission is made up of 30 11-19 year olds, and convened at the beginning of this year for their second term.

“Since its very beginning, the 5Rights campaign has sought to redress the balance for young people in this rapidly evolving digital world through the lens of a rights-based approach. There has been excellent work done so far, including the 5Rights Youth Commission in Scotland, but that is just the start. Our children and young people must be empowered, and any abuse of their rights online called out and tackled at root cause.”

Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC is a leading barrister and expert in human rights law issues and civil liberties. She is a member of the House of Lords and chairperson of Justice. She has acted in prominent legal cases including the Brighton Hotel Bombing, Michael Bettany espionage and the Guildford Four appeal. She also played a crucial role in getting a Human Rights Act into Labour’s 1997 manifesto and into statute. She was chair of the British Council for six years. As Principle of Mansfield College, Oxford, she established a human rights institute, to increase public and academic understanding of the field.

“5Rights is a vital and brilliant new NGO addressing the whole issue of ethical standards on the Internet with regard to children. I am so proud to be involved.”

Dr Amani Abou-Zeid is the African Union Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure, Energy, ICT & Tourism, with over 30 years’ work experience in Africa. Egyptian national, she has a BSc in Telecommunications Engineering; an MBA in project management; a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard School of Government; and a PhD in Social and Economic Development from The University of Manchester, UK. Dr Abou-Zeid was decorated Wissam Al Alawi by HM King Mohamed VI of Morocco and selected one of "The 50 Most Influential Women in Africa". She joined global leaders as Commissioner to the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development as well as the Global Commission on energy. 

“Our children have the right to a safe present and a bright future. In this digital age, we need to work together to provide them with adequate digital literacy and a safe cyberspace.”

Towela Nyirenda Jere works in the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as a Principal Programme Officer focusing on policy, legal and regulatory aspects of infrastructure development. She has 20 years of experience working in the private sector, academia and international development. She holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications), a Master of Arts in Contemporary Diplomacy (Internet Governance), an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP). She continues to advocate for increased awareness among African policy makers of the importance and significance of infrastructure and ICT development, Internet Governance and policy processes at national and continental level.

“The significance of the work that 5Rights undertakes in promoting the rights of children and young people online cannot be overstated. In an ever-increasing connected and online world, ensuring that children and young people are adequately protected in their digital interactions is paramount and 5Rights is leading the way, not only for the UK but globally as well.”

Manuel Costescu is Director of Investments at Open Society Foundation, Soros Economic Development Fund. He currently acts as Senior Adviser for Flint Global, a business and political consultancy.  He was Secretary of State for Trade & Investment in Romania in 2016, and prior to this, was an Executive Director with J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank covering European public sector institutions. Manuel holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Masters in International Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

“As a father of three children, I live every day with the ever present virtual reality permeating family life. It is a privilege to be able to work with gifted people on ensuring that whatever the digital future brings, we would have been deliberate about it.”