The Awareness Team
Staff, Trustees and volunteers.
The Foundation has three full-time staff and a team of volunteers.
The Revd Nadim Nassar
The Revd Nadim Nassar is the director and co-founder of the Awareness Foundation, and co-author of the Awareness Course. He established the Awareness Foundation in 2003 with Bishop Michael Marshall in response to the growing need for Christians to be develop a confident, living faith which would enable them to face the challenges of living in a diverse, globalised world.
He is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland's Interfaith Theological Advisory Group and he advises the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief. He also advises the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Nadim Nassar lectures, speaks and teaches in the Middle East, Europe, North America and Hong Kong. He gives frequent public lectures for many organisations and major events, including for the Ismaili Centre, the Christian Muslim Forum and Near Neighbours, as well as at Greenbelt, the Limmud Conference and the Post Davos Nordic Summit. Nadim has contributed articles to Britain's Guardian and Daily Telegraph daily newspapers, as well as The Tablet. He has been interviewed many times on BBC Radio and TV, CNN, Sky News and many Middle Eastern TV and radio channels. Nadim preaches at churches across London and worldwide.
St.John Wright joined the Awareness Foundation in 2004. He is responsible for the day to day management of the Foundation, with special responsibility for the development and distribution of the Awareness Course and our new initiative, Facing Faith. He gives talks on our work around the world and he trains new Course Leaders.
He also manages this website and oversees the PAX project.
Huda Nassar has been Director for the Middle East since 2008. She is responsible for the development and implementation of all Awareness Foundation initiatives in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, assisted by a highly qualified group of consultants. Previously, Huda studied at Birmingham University where she earned her MA in Pastoral Theology. Her star projects are Ambassadors for Peace and Little Heroes.
Huda develops our bridge-building work between the West and the Middle East. She gives talks and lectures at many conferences in the UK and the Middle East.
The Awareness Board
The Chairs of our Board of Trustees
The Foundation has had three Chairs of Trustees during its existence.
Nigel Macdonald became a Trustee of the Awareness Foundation in December 2012 and was appointed chairman in November 2014. He shares the conviction of all those who have been associated with the Foundation that we need to build understanding between the faiths through enabling and empowering Christians to understand their own faith better, and how all are called to build God-blessed peaceful and loving relationships.
Nigel and his wife Maggie are both Elders in the United Reformed Church, and he is Secretary of that denomination’s Cheam church in South London.
His career was in the accounting profession, (during which he was privileged to serve as President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) where he also served on Government boards, United Nations bodies, the Cadbury Committee which initiated the present framework for Corporate Governance, and was a member of the Competition Commission. He retains active links to business (including membership of the Board of a FTSE 100 and Chairmanship of a family business founded in 1676), and to other charitable activities including serving a Chairman of the Royal Greenwich Museums Foundation, following ten years as a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum.
Mrs Bendu Cooper
Mrs Bendu Cooper was appointed chair in 2012. She is the founder and director of the Gallery of African Art in Mayfair, London. She stepped in after we lost our Founding Chair, a delicate and sensitive time for us all, and she expertly steered the Foundation onwards into new waters, reaching new heights and changing even more lives around the world.
Bendu left the Board in February 2014.
We are all grateful to her for her wise counsel, unfailing support and her strategic insight.
Charles Longbottom OBE
As Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Awareness Foundation, Charles Longbottom OBE was responsible for guiding the Foundation from its very beginning in 2003 until 2012.
Charles enjoyed a long and distinguished career in business and public service. He was Member of Parliament for York from 1959 to 1966, and he served as Chairman of leading City-based shipping companies.
Charles was Chair of the Acorn Christian Foundation from 1988 to 2001. In addition to his responsibilities at the Awareness Foundation, Charles was for many years Churchwarden at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square.
Charles was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for his public and charitable services.
Charles Longbottom, our dear friend and mentor, died on 5th February 2013.