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

Julia Keseru
Executive Director
[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.

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

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.


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.


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.

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


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

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

Quito Tsui
Research Manager
[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, leading the design and execution of research projects.


Marwa Abayed
Team Member Experience 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

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.


Jen Lynn

Jen Lynn
Project Manager
[PGP key]

Jen is a keen organiser who prides herself in smooth processes and team collaboration. Prior to joining The Engine Room, Jen worked in project and production management across creative and media organisations. Outside of work, Jen likes to take cold water dips on the coast or read a great book.

As Project Manager, Jen works closely with project leaders and the Senior Leadership Team to support The Engine Room’s capacity to successfully implement and complete projects.

Bristol, UK