Our Team

Liz Zeidler, Chief Executive

Liz is an internationally recognised leader in sustainable wellbeing with over 20 years of experience in connecting, challenging and supporting change-makers. She has been a key part of the development of all Centre for Thriving Place’s wellbeing measurement tools and approaches. She is a globally in-demand speaker and advisor on community wellbeing and place-based approaches to measuring, understanding and improving wellbeing in all sectors.

Wren Aigaki-Lander, Head of Development

Wren leads Business Development, focussing on the value our work brings to partners and keeping our organisational objectives aligned with our values. She brings over 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s leading purpose-driven organisations, helping to deliver on big visions locally and across the world. Wren holds a degree in Finance and Economics and a CSR-focussed MBA.

Dr Lisa Muller, Head of Research

Lisa has over 10 years experience of working in research, impact measurement and evaluation strategy for charities, government and small, community focused businesses. She has extensive experience in designing and delivering complex nationwide impact measurement programmes. Previously, she worked for Sustrans, the Department for Transport, Rethink Mental Illness and Power to Change.

Laura Steele, Project Manager

Laura coordinates the delivery of all Centre for Thriving Places projects, working closely with clients, partners and team members to deliver maximum impact and a great customer experience. She has 8 years’ experience managing projects and programmes in the non-profit and higher education sectors, most recently for UWE Bristol and youth social action charity Student Hubs

Byron Lee, Head of Training

Byron has 30 years experience in health and social care, community, higher education and leadership development. His passion is supporting individuals, teams and organisations weave together different sources of wellbeing knowledge, wisdom and practice to support collaborative learning and change and build supportive and inclusive practices, systems and cultures.

Saamah Abdullah, Wellbeing Measurement Advisor

Saamah is a globally recognised expert in wellbeing measurement and policy, having won the Community Indicators Consortium award in 2016 as an emerging leader in the field of community conditions and wellbeing. Saamah has conducted complex analyses for a range of clients including Eurostat, the Big Lottery Fund, the European Network Against Racism, RAND corporation and Eurofound and served on multiple advisory boards, including the ONS, OECD and Eurostat.

Sam Wren-Lewis, Wellbeing Measurement Advisor

Sam is a writer and philosopher with extensive experience in wellbeing research and measurement. He’s worked on numerous wellbeing policy projects in collaboration with a wide range of local, national and international organisations, including UK Cabinet Office, Office of National Statistics, Public Health England, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and New Economics Foundation.

Soraya Safazadeh, Senior Data Analyst

Soraya leads on data analysis for the Happiness Pulse, Thriving Places Index and Centre for Thriving Place’s measurement and research work. She has a background in psychology research and a research master’s in Clinical and Health Psychology. She has also worked with young people to improve their resilience to stress and wellbeing.

Rosie Maguire, Wellbeing Measurement Advisor

Rosie is a researcher with over a decade of experience in working with a range of stakeholders including national and local government, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, NHS organisations, the European Commission and international and local charities. Her work focuses on how evidence and insights can be used to inform the design, management and evaluation of interventions.

Marc George, Digital Developer

Marc is a creative technologist with over 20 years experience working with a diverse range of clients including EMI and Harper Collins. He is a full stack developer who works across multiple programming languages and is highly skilled in developing complex data-collection applications.

Our board

Mike Zeidler, Co-Chair

Co-Founder of Centre for Thriving Places, Mike is a director of the CIC and charitable board of trustees and co-chair of both boards.

Dawn Snape, Co-Chair

The evaluation and analysis of measures of wellbeing, quality of life and social capital fascinate me. I believe we can leave a more peaceful, stable and equitable world for our children if we re-focus our efforts around wellbeing as a purpose.

Paul Hardman

I’m delighted to offer my legal knowledge and experience to Centre for Thriving Places. Clients are definitely looking for something beyond the profit imperative, so work on more wholesome measures of productivity is timely and important.

Carl Kneeshaw

Always keen to improve mental health and wellbeing, I lead 73 HR staff supporting around 134,000 employees. I have HR/Employment Law and operational experience across a number of sectors with links to c.36 government departments and agencies.

Elizabeth Metcalfe

I am proud to be on the Centre for Thriving Places board, offering my legal expertise and enthusiasm to the Board and Team. In my role as a solicitor, I help guide people from all walks of life when making important legal decisions and understand the importance of well-being, mental health and community empowerment.

Jeremy Pannell

I’m part of the Corporate Finance team at Triodos, with past experience in audit, equity, valuations and management buy-outs. I’m very motivated by Centre for Thriving Place’s mission to change the way we think of – and measure – prosperity.

Emma Reed

I wanted to support a charity where I could usefully apply my 11 years experience in government as an analyst working on complex policy areas of public health and social care. In Centre for Thriving Places, I’ve found the perfect match.

Di Robinson

I’ve spent my whole career addressing disadvantage & inequality to create the conditions for community empowerment, resilience and sustainable local economic development. I believe Centre for Thriving Places has a significant part to play in changing the game for good.

Rashida Noray

I’m delighted to be on the board for Centre for Thriving Places to support their communications objectives. I look forward to helping the team shout about all the great initiatives, services and the impacts of their work.

Chris Budd

I bring 17 years experience as a business owner from Ovation Finance. My work aims to improve people’s finances at the same time as overall wellbeing. I’m helping Centre for Thriving Places with commercial nous to make good ‘deals’.

Liz Zeidler

Co-Founder of Centre for Thriving Places, Liz is a director of the CIC

Research and measurement advisory group

Anne-Marie Bagnall, Professor of Health & Wellbeing Evidence at Leeds Beckett University

Anne-Marie Bagnall is Professor of Health & Wellbeing Evidence and Director of the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University, and a member of the Communities of Place evidence synthesis programme for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

Daniel Black, Director at Daniel Black + Associates | db+a / University of Bristol (Population Health Sciences) / University of Reading (Real Estate + Planning)

Daniel is a research director with 20 years professional experience in a wide range of knowledge domains in urban planning, development and corporate governance. He qualified originally in economics and urban design, specialising in sustainability and health impact assessment methods for large-scale urban development.

Kiron Chatterjee, Associate Professor University of the West of England (Bristol)

Kiron’s research seeks understanding of the way in which people travel and how this is influenced by the transport system and social, economic and technological change. He also seeks to identify how people’s access to transport and use of transport affects their life opportunities and wellbeing. 

Andy Cope, Director of Insight at Sustrans

Andy’s expertise is in research, evaluation and monitoring of active travel. Andy’s work focuses on getting best value from the evidence about the effectiveness of the work that Sustrans and others deliver in support of walking and cycling. Andy’s key skill is the ability to translate research and data to support development of policy and practice.

Jacob Diggle, Head of Research, Evaluation & Strategy at Mind

Dr Carrie Exton, Head of Monitoring Well-being and Progress at OECD

Carrie works on measuring, reporting and analysing data about people’s well-being, including its equity and sustainability. She edits the How’s Life? series, and oversees OECD work on well-being measurement, analytical reports, and policy applications. Carrie was previously a policy advisor in the UK Civil Service, including roles in strategy, private office, and education/research policy.

Richard Harries, Director at Power to Change Research Institute

Richard is Director of the Power to Change Research Institute. Previously a senior civil servant and deputy director of the think tank Reform, Richard is a trustee of Caritas Social Action Network and the Forces in Mind Trust, and a member of the Advisory Councils of NCVO and Volunteering Matters.

Stephen Hilton, Director at Bristol Futures Global 

Stephen is passionate about smart, sustainable, resilient, creative and inclusive cities. He is founder and director of a consultancy called Bristol Futures global soon to be rechristened city global futures. He was formerly director of Futures at Bristol city council where he helped win the title of European Green capital 2015.

Gareth Hooper, Health Economist

Gareth is a health economist with 20 years of experience in local government, the NHS and NICE. He has an interest in the use of wellbeing measures in policy decisions and economic evaluations. He is shortly to take up the position of Assistant Professor in Leadership and Management in Health at Coventry University to lead on health economics and statistics.

Anna Maccagnan, Research Fellow at University of Exeter Medical School – European Centre for Environment and Human Health

Anna holds a PhD in Labour Economics from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy). She is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School. Her research interests lie in the fields of happiness and wellbeing, household economics and labour economics, poverty and inequality. 

Rosie Maguire, Independent researcher and consultant

Rosie is a researcher with over a decade of experience in working with a range of stakeholders including national and local government, NHS organisations, the European Commission and international and local charities. Her work focuses on how evidence can be used to inform the design, management and evaluation of interventions.  

Jessica Pykett, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography University of Birmingham

I am a social and political geographer, researching the influence of neuroscience and behavioural science on public policy and economic thinking. I am also interested in concepts of and interventions in urban stress and urban wellbeing, and am a member of the Institute for Mental Health. 

Emma Robinson, Professor of Psychopharmacology University of Bristol

Based at the University of Bristol, Emma researches the brain mechanisms which control emotional behaviour and how these are disrupted in psychiatric disorders.  Alongside research, Emma teaches across science and professional programmes and is actively involved in public engagement in science including running a biennial Neuroscience Festival in Bristol.

Jonathan Rougier, Statistical Scientist at Rougier Consulting Ltd

Jonathan (Jonty) Rougier is a ‘full spectrum’ applied statistician, although the largest part of his academic work has been in Earth and Environmental Sciences. He has worked with several UK Government departments and agencies, and also with non-profit organizations and SMEs. He is now an independent scientist, but was until recently Professor and Head of Statistics at the University of Bristol.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council

Tim Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Public Health Economics at University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Tim Taylor is an expert in the economic valuation of health and the environment. He has worked on numerous European projects on sustainability and health issues, including the Bluehealth and INHERIT projects. He has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters including articles in Ecological Economics and the Journal of Happiness Studies. 

Juliet Michaelson, Independent researcher and consultant

Juliet spent eight years at the New Economics Foundation’s Centre for Wellbeing, latterly as its head. She advised the Office for National Statistics on its Measuring National Wellbeing programme and was an author of reports on the Happy Planet Index and Five Headline Indicators of National Progress. Her current work draws on her experience in research, policy-making and organisational development.

Sara MacLennan, Economic Advisor UK Government Economic Service, Defra

Anya Skatova, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in Digital Innovation and Wellbeing at the School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol.

Anya gained her PhD in Psychology at the University of Nottingham, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick. She has extensive network of industry contacts and always open for new collaborations.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director at The Equality Trust.

Wanda is Executive Director at The Equality Trust, the national charity that campaigns to reduce social and economic inequality. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of York, a trustee of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), Redthread Youth, and Equally Ours and Governor of a primary school. She is a regular keynote speaker and sits on or has advised a range of bodies on inequalities.