Anna simpson


Founder of OXPAND, Anna is a final year undergraduate History student. She has co-organised the Oxford for Syria society since 2013 and worked with asylum seekers and refugees for BAfR (Bradford Action for Refugees) during university holidays.

Anna organises this team, whilst pairing up tutors with students and translators. She oversees our mailbox to provide everyone interested in OXPAND the opportunity to get involved, and liaises with our partner organisations to improve the formal running of OXPAND.

Rhiannon Rees

Humanities Coordinator

Having studied on her year abroad in Jordan, Rhiannon is an undergraduate Arabist.

Rhiannon is in charge of recruiting tutors to teach History, Philosophy, Literature and Languages, making her background as an Oxford linguist extremely valuable.



Claire brings her valuable experience working with asylum seekers in Bulgaria to OXPAND, as well as an impressive range of experience related to social action and campaigning in Oxford.

Claire manages all tutors and course content related to our 'vocational' subjects, including Law, IT, Accounting and Architecture.

Lucy Maycox

Recruitment Officer

Lucy is in her final year studying History. She is a trustee of an Oxford-based charity which supports Sri Lankans affected by the 2004 tsunami, as well as being involved in sustainable development research group. Most recently she worked in China on a project researching rural-urban migration.

Lucy is working with UK organisations to expand the student base of OXPAND and to offer courses to those already living in the UK

Shevin Barkhou

Translator Coordinator

Shevin is a Syrian volunteer translator coordinator, and a fluent speaker in Arabic, Kurdish and English fluent. She studied and lived in Aleppo, but had to leave due to the Syrian conflict.

Shevin will be looking for and assessing translators in Oxord, as well as translating for tutors and students.




Fluent Arabic, Kurdish and English speaker, Ahmad is not only a talented linguist but an incredibly inspirational member of our team. The Syrian conflict forced him to leave his home town Derik (Al-Malikiyah), and he has since travelled to Europe to work and study, having lived in refugee camps in Bulgaria.

Ahmad facilitates research and communications with our Syrian, Afghani and Iraqi students living in our partner reception centres in Bulgaria: informing them about OXPAND's opportunities. He also covers our Arabic content and communications.

Oliver Robinson

Media Officer

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Graduate in Philosophy & Theology, Oliver is experienced in volunteering from homelessness to development. With the skills gained from running a photography business that regularly reaches thousands of followers, Oliver manages OXPAND's digital content and marketing.

Oliver handles the media side of the team including the website, social media and networking, to provide OXPAND's online material and increase links with future volunteers.



Elliott is a 4th year undergraduate student, studying Chemistry. He spent 2 months volunteering for GlobalGiving UK as a field evaluator of grassroots non-profits in Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti, so brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the OXPAND team.

Elliott has the responsibility of managing our extensive network of volunteer tutors, teaching Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Medicine. As science subjects form the most popular course choice for our refugee students, he is always looking for more volunteers and provides each one with his expertise and passion for OXPAND's work.



Naveed is an Economics & Management graduate, also having been elected JCR Treasurer during his second year.

Nav supports the team by fundraising for our recruitment travel. Similarly to David he helps handle our external sponsorship, donation and funding enquiries, in order to fund our courses and travel - to ensure we can continue to bring our courses to a variety of refugee camps around the world.

Clio Zäuner

Press Officer

Clio studies Japanese and brings her experinece to the recruitment and research side of OXPAND.
Clio is in charge of organising external press enquiries: including television, radio, magazine and newspaper articles.



Nikita worked, taught and researched in Voenna Rampa refugee camp in Bulgaria, launching a sustainable teaching initiative for the refugees living there. During her final year of studying German & French, Nikita co-organised the Oxford for Syria society alongside Anna.

Nikita is in charge of our travel, development and outreach research: contacting academics and NGOs to decide where we target our OXPAND opportunities. She also appointed and consults our specialist advisory board, composed of talented academics.

hani jesri



Hani grew up and lived in Syria, he worked for 7 years in NGOs, including 2 years working as a Refugee Education Program Director in an international Syrian-led NGO in Lebanon. He recently moved to the UK  to complete his masters in Public Policy at the Blavatink School of Government at the University of Oxford

Hani works with Nikita in researching academics and similar refugee organisations to build partnerships to increase OXPAND's reach.

Charlie Lawrie


Alongside Jonny, Charlie works as Language Coordination Officer, helping to connect students and tutors together for OXPAND partnerships. He recently graduated from Cambridge with a BA in Arabic and Russian Studies.

Charlie also works for a London-based peace-building organisation, and has spent extensive time in Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. He speaks fluent Syrian Arabic and is working on his Turkish.



Graduate in Archaeology and Anthropology, David has direct experience working as a teacher and researcher in Bulgarian refugee camps. Having recently interned for the United Nations Development Programme in Jordan handling budgets of $170,000, David is now working on a crowd-funding campaign to create a new refugee integration centre in Sofia. 

David handles external sponsorship, donation and funding enquiries, in order to fund our courses and travel.

Martin Rey-Gagneux

Events Officer

Martin is a third year physicist. He has experience running events for societies includes the Oxford Guild Business society and the Oxford French society.
Martin heads up OXPAND's events, allowing us to reach out to more people both to increase our capacity for supporting refugees but also to re-emphasise the importance of addressing the refugee crisis as a whole