Who we are


Christo Hird 
Managing editor
Christo 1After working in the City for four years, Christo Hird became a journalist, in which capacity his jobs included deputy editor of the New Statesman and editor of Insight on the Sunday Times. For more than 20 years he was joint managing director of the independent television company, Fulcrum TV, before starting the documentary company Dartmouth Films. He joined the Bureau in January 2013.







Rachel Oldroyd (@Raoldroyd)
Deputy editor
Rachel croppedRachel Oldroyd joined the Bureau when it started in 2010. Before that she spent 13 years at the Mail on Sunday, where she worked closely with many of today’s best investigative journalists and launched the award-winning Reportage section in Live magazine. The section focused heavily on human rights violations and, under her editorship, won more than a dozen media awards.





Nick Mathiason (@nickmathiason)

Nick croppedNick Mathiason started his career in journalism more than 20 years ago on Insurance Age. Since then he has been deputy news editor of Estates Gazette and, for 10 years, business correspondent at the Guardian and Observer. Three times shortlisted for major newspaper awards, Nick has presented packages for BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight and regularly appears on television and radio.





Melanie Newman (@Melanie_Newman)

Mel 4Melanie Newman became a journalist in 2000. She worked on a specialist health service journal and then as chief reporter and deputy news editor at Times Higher Education. She joined the Bureau in 2010. She has been involved in many of the Bureau’s high profile stories including our work on lobbying.







Alice Ross (@aliceross_)

Alice 3Alice Ross is project leader of the Bureau’s work on drones. Along with the other members of the Bureau’s drones team, she won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2013 for the Covert Drone War project. The team was also shortlisted in the Foreign Press Awards 2011. She worked as a freelance reporter and editor before doing an MA in Investigative Journalism at City University London and won the university’s Richard Wild prize for journalism in 2011.







Jack Serle@jackserle)

Jack2Jack studied biological sciences at the University of Edinburgh, from which he graduated in 2010. After gaining a distinction in his MA for science journalism, he joined the Bureau in 2012. He has worked predominately on the Bureau’s drones project and was part of the team that won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2013 for their work on drones and the covert war.






Tom Warren

Tom 1

Tom Warren is a graduate of the London School of Economics and City University, London. He has worked as a freelance copywriter for a number of business to business publications, as a freelance journalist on national newspapers and over the last two years for both Request Initiative and Help me Investigate Health. He joined the Bureau in 2013.








Owen Bennett-Jones (@owenbennettjone)

Owen 2 cropped Owen Bennett-Jones is a Consultant to the Bureau. He is one of the UK’s most distinguished and experienced journalists specialising in South Asia and the Middle East. He has worked for the BBC for 25 years and has published widely on Pakistani politics and society. He has been a visiting Professor at Princeton University.






(All photographs by Garlinda Birkbeck.)


In addition to these permanent members of staff, the Bureau also works with experienced freelancers. These have included Melanie McFadyean, writer, journalist and lecturer at City University London, Rachel Stevenson, a BBC producer and journalist, Victoria Hollingsworth, an experienced TV assistant producer and Jason Lewis, formerly the investigations editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

Trustees and Advisory Board

The Bureau has a board of trustees, which meets six times a year. The trustees have overall responsibility for the finances and strategy of the Bureau. It plays no part in the day to day editorial decisions. The board appoints the Managing Editor, who has editorial freedom to pursue investigations and research consistent with the objectives of the Bureau set out here.

There is one sub-committee of the board – the Editorial Advisory Committee, which meets monthly. The role of the EAC is to ensure that the managing editor’s selection of subjects for investigation is consistent with the Bureau’s objectives, that the methods of investigation are technically rigorous and of high quality and the publishing partnerships will not adversely affect the reputation of the Bureau.

In fulfilling this role, the EAC is a forum in which both advice and suggestions can be given and also ideas and methods of investigation can be challenged. However, the EAC is similar to the supervisory (Aufsichtsrat) board in Germany – it has a monitoring, not a management role. If the EAC believes that the Editor is not meeting the objectives of the Bureau, it can inform the chair of the trustees.

Between the regular meetings of the EAC, the members of the committee are available for advice, should the Managing Editor wish to consult with them. The Managing Editor informs the chair of the EAC when the results of an investigation are about to be published.

Composition of the Board of Trustees

James Lee

The Chairman of the board is James Lee, former chief executive of Pearson Longman and a main board director of its parent company Pearson plc; co-founder of Goldcrest Film and TV and a former director of Yorkshire Television and the Film Council. He has advised or served on the boards of a number of international media companies, as well as having been the chairman of an NHS Hospital Trust.

The other trustees are:  Sir David Bell, George Brock, Ray Fitzwalter, Geoffrey Robertson QC and David and Elaine Potter.

Sir David Bell is a former chairman of the Financial Times and is currently chair of Cambridge University Press. He is also a former chair of the Media Standards Trust and was an assessor to the Leveson enquiry.

George Brock has been professor and head of journalism at City University since 2009. Before that, he had a 28 year career on the Times, where he held a number of senior posts, including Managing Editor and International Editor. George Brock serves as an ex officio trustee, representing City University.

David Potter CBE, academic, scientist and entrepreneur. He founded Psion in 1980 and led its development in software and the world’s first consumer hand-held computers. Together with Nokia, Sony, Ericsson and Motorola, he created Symbian the first licensed software merging mobile phones and portable computers. In 1999 he was named Britain’s Entrepreneur of the year. David has served on national committees on higher education, science and technology and The Court of the Bank of England. He and his wife Elaine established the David and Elaine Potter Foundation.

Elaine Potter is co-founder of the David and Elaine Potter Foundation. A former member of the Sunday Times Insight team she co-authored several Sunday Times books, including Suffer the Children: the Story of Thalidomide and Destination Disaster: From the Tri-Motor to the DC10. Born in South Africa, she is a trustee of the University of Cape Town Trust.

Geoffrey Robertson QC has appeared in a wide range of high profile court cases, especially those dealing with freedom of expression, media law and constitutional law. He is joint author of the standard text Media Law.

Adviser to the board:

Michael Hay is Professor of Management Practice in Strategic and International Management and Entrepreneurship at London Business School.  He joined the London Business School Faculty in 1987, having previously been Deputy Managing Director of Blackwell Publishers.

The Editorial Advisory Committee

Acting Chair of the committee is George Brock (see above).

The other members are:

Elaine Potter (see above).

Anthony Barnett is the Founder of openDemocracy and Co-Editor of OurKingdom, its UK section.

Isabel Hilton is founder and editor of chinadialogue.net – a website for climate change and environmental issues in China. As a writer and broadcaster, she has contributed to The Independent, The Guardian, El Pais, The Financial Times, Le Monde, La Republica, the New York Times, and The Sunday Times.

Gavin MacFadyen is director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and research consultant to several US documentary and feature film companies.  He is a former producer-director of television programmes shown on all the main UK TV channels.

If you would like to contact us please click here.