Lara Allen - CEO

Lara Allen

Dr Lara Allen has worked extensively in international development and in academia. As well as being the Executive Director of CGE, Lara is the Director of Implementation & Impact at Cambridge Global Challenges Strategic Research Initiative, and an Affiliated Lecturer: Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and was an Associate Professor at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2007, she co-founded Tshulu Trust, which links rural communities in the Venda region of South Africa with universities around the world.The Trust enhances the livelihoods and well being of local communities through knowledge sharing, capacity building and the creation of income generating opportunities. Lara ran Tshulu Trust for eight years. She then spent two years with the Irish NGO Misean Cara, as Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Capacity building and Communications. Lara became the Director of the CGE (then the Humanitarian Centre) in October 2014.  

Andrew Birley - Finance & Operations Manager

Andrew Birley

Andrew has worked in and around start-ups, small businesses, charities and social enterprises for over fifteen years. As a result he has gained experience in and often led on a range of key organisational functions including financial management, human resources,  project management, business transformation, new business development and marketing. Andrew ran his own successful business for 6 years, before being persuaded to focus on just one social enterprise and play a leading role in its growth and transformation over a two and a half year period, before joining CGE in June 2020. Andrew lives in Ely (the 9th smallest city in the UK!) and in his spare time keeps bees, tries to write stories and does everything that he can to protect our natural world.

Kelsea Pastore - Communications & Partnerships Officer

Kelsea Pastore

Kelsea is a communications and fundraising professional with six years of experience in the nonprofit sector.  She joined the Centre for Global Equality in April 2020. She was previously based in New York City at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where she began as Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Development and then worked as a Research Analyst. She is committed to developing sustainable solutions to global challenges, a motivation shaped by a brief stint in Ghana, where she worked with Saha Global and local partners to establish clean water businesses in remote communities. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and has lived and worked in Virginia, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Princeton, New Jersey.

Beth Tennyson - Country Programme Manager

Beth Tennyson

Dr Elizabeth (Beth) Tennyson has been working as a postdoctoral researcher and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory since August 2018. Her expertise is in new materials for solar energy applications. Since March 2020 she has been working with one of CGE’s international research projects entitled Affordable Perovskite Solar Irrigation Systems for Small-holder Farmers in Ethiopia. At CGE she will be working within the Climate Compatible Growth programme to develop strong partnerships and engagements in low-income countries to accelerate economic growth in a way that will not damage the planet. Beth is inspired by the upcoming and ongoing transformation of energy networks, in both developing and developed regions and is driven by our need to transition to a more sustainable energy grid. She is enthusiastic about the inevitable innovations behind attaining reliable, zero-emission energy resources throughout the globe. Beth has a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Univ. of Maryland–College Park, USA and a Physics B.S. from the Univ. of Wisconsin–La Crosse, USA.