WebRoots Democracy’s Advisory Council consists of experts from across the tech industry, academia, civil society, and politics. The Council provides ideas and guidance for the future direction of WebRoots Democracy and the work it undertakes.
Antonia Bance is the Head of Campaigns and Communications at the Trades Union Congress.
Antonia was previously Director of Policy and Communications for SafeLives, a domestic violence charity, and was Head of Campaigns for Shelter. She has also worked on campaigning and public policy for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, Oxfam and YWCA.
She is a former local councillor and cabinet member, and is a trustee of the Nationwide Foundation.
Jonathan Birdwell is the Head of Policy and Research at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
He has authored over forty think tank reports on topics including the relationship between violent terrorists and non-violent Islamist radicals, far-right political parties and street-based groups in Europe, UK counter-terrorism policy, education, the youth-labour market, international volunteering, and the role of faith groups in UK society, amongst others.
Previously, Jonathan was the Head of Citizenship and Political Participation at the think tank, Demos.
Cllr Mete Coban
Mete Coban is the Chief Executive of MyLifeMySay and a Councillor for Stoke Newington in the London Borough of Hackney.
Mete was elected as the youngest ever Councillor in the London Borough of Hackney for Stoke Newington at the age of 21. A strong advocate for young people, he is also a member of the council’s Children and Young People’s scrutiny commission.
In July 2012, Mete was appointed as a football scout for Arsenal Football Club for the youth department. After spending three seasons at Arsenal, he signed for Southampton as a scout for their youth department.
Dr Kevin Curran
Dr Kevin Curran is a Reader in Computer Science at the University of Ulster and group leader for the Ambient Intelligence Research Group.
Dr Curran has made significant contributions to advancing the knowledge and understanding of computer networking systems, evidenced by over 800 published works.
He is a fellow of the British Computer Society, a senior member of the Association for Computer Machinery, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a fellow of the higher education academy. He is also an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Technical Expert for Internet/Security matters and a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College.
Rick Edwards is a journalist, television presenter, and author.
After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, Rick began a career in television and has fronted programmes on the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. Most notably, he has fronted T4, BBC Free Speech, and the London 2012 Paralympics coverage.
He is also a keen political campaigner, and in the run up to the 2015 General Election, published a book he authored, entitled ‘None of the Above‘.
Rachael Farrington is the Founder of Voting Counts, a simple, unbiased political resource, which helps young adults compare political parties and make informed decisions at the ballot box.
She currently studies Politics at Brunel University London where she is the President of the Brunel Conservative Society.
Rachael has spoken publicly on youth voter issues on the BBC, LBC, and Channel 5, and has previously interned for public affairs companies and for Members of Parliament.
Dr David Galindo
David Galindo is a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham specialising in cryptography and privacy.
David’s expertise is in the design and and analysis of cryptographic primitives and protocols. He is interested in the societal impact of computer-based technologies and how they might influence individuals’ rights to privacy and democracy.
He was also a Senior Researcher at Scytl, and has numerous published academic works in cryptography and computer security.
Dr Peter Kerr
Peter Kerr is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Birmingham.
He specialises and teaches in the area of British politics, with a particular focus on governmental strategies, UK political parties, political leadership and ideology in the UK and, changes and continuities in British political institutions and public policy since 1945.
Peter’s work has a particular focus on Conservative Party modernisation, as well as changing patterns of democracy, citizenship and political participation in the UK. He is also the co-Founder and co-Executive Editor (since 2005) of the Palgrave journal, British Politics.
Ruksana Khanum is an ambassador of the Royal London Society for the Blind.
Vision-impaired and a law graduate, Ruksana has been campaigning with the Royal London Society for the Blind, and spoke passionately at WebRoots Democracy’s 2nd anniversary event at Google Campus London about the need for the voting system in the UK to change.
She believes that vision-impaired voters have been shut out of the voting system and are denied a secret ballot.
Professor Robert Krimmer
Robert Krimmer is Professor of e-Governance at Tallinn University of Technology focusing on electronic democracy, governance and related issues.
In the past, he served as Senior Adviser on New Voting Technologies in the Election Department of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, in Warsaw, Poland.
Robert founded E-Voting.CC, and initiated the bi-annual EVOTE conference series held in Bregenz, Austria.
Amy Lamé is a social activist, broadcaster, and DJ. She is also the Mayor of London’s Night Czar.
Born and raised in New Jersey, USA, Amy is an accomplished television & radio presenter, performer and writer. She is a regular contributor to a whole host of programmes including Sky News, 10 O’Clock Live, The Agenda, This Week and Channel 5 News discussing politics and social issues.
She can also frequently be heard on many radio programmes including Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music, Woman’s Hour and Midweek both on BBC Radio 4 and The World Today Weekend on the World Service.
Iain McWhirter is an experienced entrepreneur and business strategist.
Iain is also a Trustee of the McWhirter Foundation, a charitable foundation which recognises acts of good citizenship and seeks to educate the younger generation in the value and importance of public service.
He is currently working on a sports/social media start-up and has a career history in investment research, marketing, and business development.
Helen Milner OBE
Helen Milner is the Chief Executive of the Tinder Foundation, a social enterprise and staff-owned mutual pioneering digital inclusion in the UK.
Following a 30-year career working on the internet and with communities, in 2012 she was inducted into the British Interactive Media’s Digital Hall of Fame, and in 2013 became a member of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy.
In 2015, Helen was appointed an OBE for services to digital inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Emma Mulqueeny OBE
Emma Mulqueeny is the founder of Rewired State and Young Rewired State, a Commissioner for the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy, and a Google Fellow.
She has been recognised with an OBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list, is included in the annual edition of Who’s Who and was voted one of the top 10 women in technology by the Guardian.
Emma writes regularly for the British press, speaks on radio and television, and is best known for her campaign ‘Year 8 is too late’ which encourages girls into technology subjects.
Cllr Abena Oppong-Asare
Abena Oppong-Asare is the first black woman to be elected onto the Fabian Women’s Network Executive Committee. She is a local councillor and has held the positions of Deputy Labour Leader and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson for Education at Bexley Council.
She works as a researcher for the London Assembly Labour Group focusing on equalities. Prior to this, she worked in Parliament for high profile politicians.
Abena is an experienced public speaker and has written for various publications including the New Statesman.
Professor Mark Ryan
Mark Ryan is a Professor of Computer Security at the University of Birmingham. He specialises in computer security; protocols; cryptography; trusted computing; electronic voting; and cloud computing.
A leading academic voice on electronic voting, Mark supports WebRoots because, whilst he recognises online voting is an immense challenge, he believes society’s “calling” for internet-based voting is a powerful motivator to try and achieve it.
Alexander Trewby works for Google after they acquired Divide, a startup he founded in 2010.
Previously, he spent 10 years working for Morgan Stanley in New York where he was VP of Mobile Development. In 2009 he developed the first iPhone application for a UK politician and in 1996 he founded Westminster Internet, a consultancy that put the first Members of the UK and European Parliament online.
Dr Bingsheng Zhang
Dr Bingsheng Zhang is an Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. He has a PhD in Cryptography from the University of Tartu, Estonia, and an MSc in Information Security from University College London.
He has various research interests which include the cyber security of the internet of things and end-to-end verifiable, internet voting systems.
Bingsheng also has a BEng in Computer Science from Zhejiang University of Technology, China, as well as a BL in Law from the same university.