Meet the Policy@Manchester team, and get in touch if you would like to find out more about our work. You can contact individual members of the team by clicking on the link in their profile below.
Professor Cecilia Wong
Cecilia is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Her research expertise includes strategic planning, spatial policy monitoring and analysis, urban and regional development, and housing and infrastructure planning. She has been working on a number of collaborative grants recently, including a five-year consortium project on ‘Tackling root causes upstream of unhealthy urban development’ funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership and a three-year project on ‘Eco-Urbanisation: Promoting Sustainable Development in Metropolitan Regions of China’ funded by the ESRC-NSFC Newton Fund Collaborative Research. She received the University’s Distinguished Achievement Award ‘Researcher of the Year (Humanities)’ in 2021.
Professor Maria Sharmina
Our Co-Director, Maria Sharmina, is Professor in Energy and Sustainability at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the School of Engineering. Her research on low-carbon energy and circular economy involves interdisciplinary approaches to complex policy problems, and aims to provide a conduit between academics and policymakers.
Professor Arpana Verma
Our Co-Director Arpana Verma is Clinical Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology in the School of Health Sciences, and Head of the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. Arpana is leading work on co-producing interventions with individuals and communities for reducing health inequalities and has focused on evidence based policy locally, nationally and internationally.
Tanya Graham is Head of Communications and Engagement. She has a strong background of communications in the political arena, including as a Communications Manager for an MP. She has initiated and led campaigns involving multiple stakeholders to effect positive change within communities.
Hashim Kohan is our Engagement Manager. He has extensive political and communications experience from his previous role as Head of Elections for a political party and Head of Strategic Engagement for a regional tourism body. Hashim has worked with a variety of stakeholders from across the public and private sector in England and Wales.
Terri is our Civic Engagement Manager. She has worked with academics and stakeholders on a variety of policy issues, including inequalities; mental health and wellbeing; digital literacy, access and security; and domestic abuse. Terri holds an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and she is interested in intersectional inequalities.
Maddie is our Communications and Engagement Officer. She has a range of parliamentary and government experience including working for MPs in Westminster and also a Senior Cabinet Minister. Maddie is our primary contact for the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Callum is our Engagement Officer, covering the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. He studied Genetics at the University, before doing a Masters in Science Communication, graduating in 2019. Before joining the Policy@Manchester team, Callum also worked with the News and Media Relations team, and has a keen interest in science outreach and communication.
Suzanne is our Engagement Officer, covering the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She has extensive experience of working with researchers and academics from all areas of The University of Manchester. Suzanne is interested in how policy around sustainability, technology and digital developments affect society and people.
Natalie is our Engagement Officer. She has spent much of the last decade supporting elected representatives at Parliamentary and Local Government level to deliver successful campaigns. She graduated with an MA in Governance and Public Policy from The University of Manchester, in 2012.
Beth is our Engagement Officer. She has experience working for an MP in Westminster, alongside a recent Public Affairs role within the charity sector. She graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Politics, with a particular focus on British political institutions and devolution.
Sol is our Civic Engagement Coordinator. Prior to making Manchester his home, he worked as the Communications Lead for a leading regional development organisation in Kraków, Poland. He’s currently finishing up his masters thesis on the utilisation of ‘nudge’ policies in smart-cities at The University of Manchester. His particular policy interests include urban development, economic inequalities, and digital infrastructure.
Laura is our Event and Partnership Manager. After starting her career in local government working with Councillors and assisting with their casework she moved to the HE sector in 2014. Since then she has been involved in the organisation of a wide range of events from business breakfasts and training workshops to private roundtables and political party conference panels.
Catherine is our Communications and Engagement Assistant. She has recently graduated from The University of Manchester with a Politics and International Relations degree. Her final-year dissertation focused on the ineffective design of EU migration policies and how it contributes to human smuggling in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean Routes. She is particularly interested in how government policies impact human rights and social justice issues.
Christopher is our Communications and Engagement Assistant, he is particularly interested in intersectional inequalities. He is a recent graduate from The University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing. He has experience working in digital and print media and events organisation.
Abi is a Communications and Engagement Assistant. She graduated from The University of Manchester in 2022 with a degree in Linguistics and Social Anthropology. Abi worked in a social care charity supporting unpaid carers, which added to her interest in social issues and how social circumstances can be impacted by poverty. She is interested in social justice, the NHS and economic issues.