Meet the team

We’re a diverse, passionate group of nomads. As a team we have expertise in everything from information activism to responsible data to inclusive facilitation.

Gillian Williams
Interim Executive Director
[PGP key]

Gillian is passionate about locally-owned change. She helps organisations and people achieve results that matter to them. Her work with nonprofits, educational institutions, philanthropy, and government agencies weaves together organisational leadership and development during inflection points. She has started and led nonprofits that support the people who spark change and seek outcomes that make their communities more just and equitable places. Gillian was also a bilingual teacher and a principal in the South Bronx in New York City. She’s a storyteller, a bit of a prankster, and a committed meanderer through new places.

Gillian is supporting and leading the team at The Engine Room through a time of transition and is helping them think through and address areas of organisational strategy and development.

Madrid, New York, and Seattle
gillian@theengineroom.org

Julia Keseru
Executive Director (on medical leave)
[PGP key]

Julia is an activist with an incurable crush on civil society and humanity at large. Coming from the Hungarian transparency community, she has been an advocate for government openness with a special focus on corruption and a passion for finding out what motivates people on the individual level. Prior to joining the Engine Room, Julia was leading the international work of the Sunlight Foundation. She regularly speaks and writes about the challenges and potential of using technology for social change activism, and when she doesn’t geek out about work, she loves watching her daughter play.

Julia leads on fundraising, strategy and organisational development.

julia@theengineroom.org
@jkeserue

Laura Guzmán
Co-Deputy Director
[PGP key]

Laura is a curious learner and communicator fascinated by technology, international development and grammar rules. Before joining The Engine Room, Laura worked as a consultant to mission-driven organisations, as the Editorial Director of a social enterprise in India, and as program coordinator at the Information Program of Open Society Foundations. You can usually find Laura running around outside, exploring the nooks and crannies of the world or adopting new hobbies.

Laura oversees team-wide programmatic implementation, designs and implements programmatic strategies and supports the Executive Director, in collaboration with her co-Deputy Director.

Los Angeles
laura@theengineroom.org
@lauraandx

Paola Mosso
Co-Deputy Director
[PGP key]

Paola is a cyber-feminist Latina activist and creative thinker. Before joining The Engine Room, she worked as Lead of Poderomedia Foundation’s training program for Latin American journalists and developers; as facilitator of a global community of activists mapping power networks; and as a consultant to nonprofits. She works closely with feminist and social justice activists and technologists, and she contributes actively to the organisational security practitioner and cyber-feminist communities. She has a passion for developing and sustaining healthy, resilient organisations.

Paola oversees team-wide programmatic implementation, designs and implements programmatic strategies and supports the Executive Director, in collaboration with her co-Deputy Director.

Santiago
paola@theengineroom.org
@paolamosso

Lesedi Bewlay
Technical Engagement Coordinator
[PGP key]

Lesedi has a background in computer science and non-governmental organizations and has a strong interest in social change. He is also interested in data science, platform development and working with passionate people. Previously, Lesedi co-founded Positive Innovations for the Next Generation, an N.G.O. which focuses on youth, health and technology and more recently he founded Tau Technology with the aim to create innovative, scalable and sustainable technology solutions in resource limited settings. At the Engine Room Lesedi continues his exploration of ways in which tech can help kickstart or improve projects and processes and ultimately change people’s lives.

Lesedi coordinates the Light Touch Support Program. This program provides pro-bono expertise, advice and recommendations to organizations who need help with various aspects of their projects or internal processes.

Gaborone
lesedi@theengineroom.org

Black and white photo of Sara Baker

Sara Baker
Learning and Development Manager
[PGP key]

Sara is a feminist activist and writer with a background in gender and technology. Before joining The Engine Room, she worked for the Association for Progressive Communications as the global coordinator of Take Back the Tech!, for the YWCA as the director of women’s advocacy and as a nonprofit consultant and trainer. You can usually find her outside gardening organically, reading fiction and chasing ideas.

Sara manages individual & team learning and monitoring & evaluation, and she coordinates fundraising and reporting.

Knoxville
sbaker@theengineroom.org

Helen Kilbey
Editorial Manager
[PGP key]

Helen is an editor and content developer who likes making complex subjects accessible to a wider audience. In recent years she has worked on a variety of materials related to the internet, data and society, including guides, learning resources and curricula, and she has also facilitated workshops and trainings. In her off hours, Helen likes to be outside – preferably near trees or water – or settled into a chair with a cup of coffee and a good book.

At The Engine Room, Helen manages research projects and supports the organisation’s engagement work.

Berlin
helen@theengineroom.org

Nthabiseng Mokoena
Regional Support Team Lead
[PGP key]

Nthabiseng is a social justice activist who likes organising, community systems strengthening, monitoring and evaluation, digital media and all things human rights. Previously, Nthabiseng worked with the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), focusing on health, human rights and legal reform in Southern and East Africa. In their spare time, Nthabiseng enjoys long hikes and reading African fiction.

Nthabi manages The Engine Room’s regional direct support projects.

Johannesburg
nthabi@theengineroom.org

Bárbara Paes
Engagement Team Lead
[PGP key]

Bárbara is a Brazilian activist and researcher who is interested in exploring how technology and data can help us achieve social justice. She has worked defending the right to public information and transparency, advocating for open government, supporting women’s rights and mobilizing against racism and online abuse. Bárbara co-founded Minas Programam, an initiative designed to share knowledge about technology with girls and women from São Paulo. She enjoys running and reading.

Bárbara works to ensure our communications are clear and effective. She oversees our core communications channels and supports our team in crafting the stories we tell about our work.

São Paulo
barbara@theengineroom.org

Cathy Richards
Tech Team Lead
[PGP key]

Cathy is interested in the intersection between data, technology and humanity. Prior to joining the Engine Room, Cathy worked at GitLab Inc. and Keystone Accountability as a data analyst. She has led and supported projects on a range of issues, from youth employment focused initiatives to rule of law and international health. In her spare time, she enjoys playing capoeira, hoarding books, and saying hello to all the dogs.

Cathy leads on internal technical capacity building and contributes to building partnerships for technology-heavy projects.

New York City
cathy@theengineroom.org

Joshua Sehoole
Sub-Saharan Regional Support Manager
[PGP key]

Joshua is interested in working with activists across different contexts to find holistic solutions to the injustices in the world. He has expertise in working with regional and global human rights mechanisms, and experience in media advocacy and capacity strengthening. Before joining our team, Joshua was Advocacy and Programs Manager at Iranti. When he’s not engaged at synagogue, you can find him experimenting in the kitchen, hiking and enjoying nature, spending time with friends and family, or working towards his dream of living off the land.

Joshua manages The Engine Room’s regional support projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Pretoria
joshua@theengineroom.org

Quito Tsui
Research Coordinator
[PGP key]

Quito is fascinated with narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about our histories, communities and the possibilities of the future. Prior to the Engine Room, Quito worked in transitional justice and international criminal law, and conducted research at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge and the LSE. She cares deeply about technology in the context of conflict and humanitarian organisations, and the development of a technological environment rooted in human rights.

Quito is part of the research and learning team, helping to design and conduct research projects.

London
quito@theengineroom.org

Steffania Paola
Resilient IT Infrastructure Manager
[PGP key]

Steffania is a Brazilian feminist activist. Before joining The Engine Room, she collaborated with various human rights organizations around the world in different roles such as: technology consultant, web developer, system administrator, project manager, researcher, UX/UI designer and digital security trainer. In 2016-2017 she was FORD-Mozilla Open Web fellow at ONG Derechos Digitales (Chile). She is co-founder of the feminist server Cl4ndestina and part of the Ciberseguras network and the Transfeminist digital care network. She loves swimming in open water and cycling around town. She also enjoys visiting museums and contemporary art exhibitions.

At The Engine Room, Steffania manages the organization’s technical infrastructure and provides technical support for the team and for external projects.

Rio de Janeiro
steffania@theengineroom.org

Marwa Abayed
Human Resources Manager
[PGP key]

Marwa is a Human Resources enthusiast coming from a multidisciplinary background that ranges from cultural studies, to peacebuilding and gender studies. Prior to joining The Engine Room, she worked with the United States Institute of Peace designing HR policies and leading their MENA personnel portfolio. Marwa cares deeply about social justice, alternative approaches to managing work environments, and systemic equity.

Marwa designs and oversees HR processes to ensure they are effective, efficient and in line with our organisational values.

Tunis, Tunisia
marwa@theengineroom.org

Becky Kazansky
Research Lead
[PGP key]

Becky is a researcher and practitioner focused on advancing data justice. She has a PhD in Political Science and Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam, where she worked with the DATACTIVE project. Prior to her PhD, she worked with different civil society organisations around the world to support human rights defenders on privacy, digital security, and data issues.

Becky oversees research across the organisation, designing, implementing, and leading on research projects together with the Research team.

becky@theengineroom.org
@pondswimmer

Olivia Johnson
Research & Engagement Assistant
[PGP key]

Olivia is passionate about issues related to technology, surveillance, and the impact of AI on marginalised communities. Prior to joining The Engine Room, she was a research consultant with the Immigrant Defense Project, working on their Surveillance, Technology, and Immigration Policing Project. She holds a masters degree in Migration Studies and has supported projects at non-profits and universities. She enjoys visiting exhibits, reading fiction, and going on picnics.

Olivia works with the Research, Tech and Engagement Teams to support the implementation of projects.

Washington, D.C.
olivia@theengineroom.org