Anti-racism Expert Group

This group will share their knowledge and experience to support Wellcome as we strive to become an anti-racist organisation. 

Our commitment to tackling racism 

We are working to tackle racism at Wellcome, and we hope to improve the experiences of the racially minoritised people we employ, fund and work with. Only by doing this will we be closer to racial equity at Wellcome, and able to deliver our vision to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. Read: 

We know we can’t do this alone and we have a lot to learn from others – that’s why we’ve brought together an Anti-racism Expert Group. They are working with us in an advisory capacity, sharing their knowledge and experience to support us as we strive to become an anti-racist organisation. 

With their help, and with staff across our organisation, we have developed Wellcome’s anti-racist principles, guidance and toolkit. This is a framework for how to be anti-racist at Wellcome. 

Members 

Dr Chonnettia Jones

Chonnettia Jones has more than two decades of experience in science and health research, strategy and policy in government and philanthropic sectors in the USA, Europe and Canada.  

As Vice President of Research at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Chonnettia oversees the foundation’s research portfolio, including programmes in research funding and knowledge translation, and strategic partnerships.  

She is an active public speaker on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, and maintains a long-standing commitment to mentorship of emerging leaders. 

Read Chonnettia's full biography.

Dr David Asai

David Asai is a cell biologist and Senior Director for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).   

His team at HHMI designs and runs initiatives to support formal science education at the pre-college, university, and graduate levels. Each initiative emphasises the importance of advancing inclusive diversity in science – based on the belief that the responsibility for creating a culture of inclusive diversity rests on the scientific and educational systems. 

Read David’s full biography

Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian author, academic, activist and broadcaster.  

Her bestselling debut book, Don't Touch My Hair, unravels the social history of black hairstyling culture and was shortlisted for the 2019 Irish Book Awards.  

Her work features regularly in the international media and she has presented multiple programmes for the BBC and Channel 4, on radio and television, covering art, history and sociology.  

She is a teaching fellow in the Africa department at SOAS University of London. 

Read Emma's full biography.

Dr Hannah Valantine

Hannah Valantine is Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, having previously served for six years as Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a Senior Investigator in the Intramural Research Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 

She is internationally recognised for her transformative approaches to diversity and is a recipient of the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award for Diversity in the Scientific Workforce.  

Hannah’s work at NIH included establishing the Distinguished Scholars Program, which has had a positive impact on the diversity of tenure-track investigators at NIH, and the NIH Equity Committee, which has helped to systematically track and evaluate diversity and inclusion metrics in NIH’s intramural programs.  

She also developed and implemented the first NIH Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey, which NIH-funded institutions can use to assess and improve their workplace culture. 

Read Hannah's full biography.

Dr Nicola Rollock

Nicola Rollock is an academic, consultant and public speaker specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace.   

She is Special Adviser on Race and Higher Education to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Specialist Adviser to the Home Affairs’ Select Committee’s ‘Macpherson: 21 Years on Inquiry’.  She is also a member of Wellcome’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and the British Science Association’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group. 

Nicola is Research Director and curator of ‘Phenomenal Women: portraits of UK Black female professors’ which was exhibited at London's Southbank Centre in October and November 2020.  

Read Nicola's full biography.

Dr Omar Khan

Omar Khan is Director of Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO). He was previously director of race equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust. 

Omar holds several advisory positions, including chair of Olmec, chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group to Understanding Society, and chair of the advisory group of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester.

Read Omar's full biography.

Managers 

Kalaiyashni Puvanendran

Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager, Wellcome

Tunde Agbalaya

Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager, Wellcome

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