Meet the team

Trustee/Founder/Director Margaret Owen OBE

Margaret OwenMargaret Owen is a barrister specialising in women’s human rights. She has previously worked as an immigration and asylum lawyer, as head of the Law and Policy division of International Planned Parenthood Federation, and as a consultant to various UN organisations.

Following the death of her husband she became acutely aware of the plight of widows overseas, particularly in conflict and AIDS afflicted countries. She founded the first international organisations to address human rights issues in the context of widowhood, and is now the director of WPD, Widows for Peace through Democracy, which is the umbrella for many partner organisations across the world.

She is also a founder member of GAPS- UK (Gender Action on Peace and Security). She is a regular participant at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and has been the consultant on widowhood to the UN. 



ReLaura Castellan search Assistant – Laura Castellan

Laura studied International Relations and Human Rights at University of Padua (Italy). During her studies, she particularly chose to focus her attention on the active role of civil society, and especially of women and girls, in peace and security issues, and on the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325. She is strongly into women’s rights and the promotion of women’s empowerment.

For more than four years she has been into volunteering, both volunteering herself and promoting volunteering among young people. She volunteered with different organizations in her country (Italy) and abroad (Poland, Spain, United Kingdom), working and conducting research in the following fields: youth; education; development cooperation; promotion of peace; human rights.

She is currently working in Quito (Ecuador) in the field of social assistance to Refugees, alongside her role at WPD.


The Trustees


Hugo Charlton

Chair : Hugo Charlton

Hugo Charlton is a practising barrister at 1 Gray’s Inn Square and international Human Rights lawyer. He is on the List of Counsel for the International Criminal Court, a member of the Panel of Defence Lawyers for The Special Tribunal for the Lebanon, and a Legal Advisor to the Kurdish Regional Government’s Genocide Awareness Task Force. He is a former Chairman of the Green Party of England and Wales and Governor of the Royal Humane Society.

Hugo has recently produced and presented two television documentaries, one on election monitoring in Easten Turkey and the other on environmental issues and post conflict society in Guatemala.

He is a liveryman of the Merchant Taylor’s Guild, he lives in London and is married with two teenage daughters.



Ancil Adrian-Paul

Miss Ancil Adrian-Paul

Ms Adrian-Paul, a gender, peace, security and governance consultant based in London has over 20 years experience working with international organizations, governments, donors and civil society organizations at the global, regional, national and local levels. During this period Ms Adrian-Paul has developed competence and a solid track record in programme evaluation and programming for gender equality and gender responsive peacebuilding. As part of her gender and governance work Ms Adrian-Paul has been involved in gender and election projects in Afghanistan, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and in Former Yugoslavia focusing on programming, monitoring and evaluation and encouraging gender sensitive service delivery. Ms Adrian-Paul formerly worked for a charitable organization that was integrally involved in the development and piloting of UN resolution 1325 and the resolution immediately following this. Responsible to the organization for the launch and implementation of a campaign to secure, publicize and feedback women’s views on the resolution from the local to the global, Ms Adrian-Paul has developed strategic evaluation skills and experience of the challenges facing gender and local governance. Following the successful global campaign to secure the passing of resolution 1325, Ms Adrian-Paul collaborated with other organizations and partners to develop the resource Inclusive security: Sustainable Peace a toolkit unpacking resolution 1325 and designed for use by peace, security and governance actors at the global, regional and national levels.


Mr Robert Jones

Ms Simone Coultress

Ms Sylvia Beales Gelber

Advisory Board

Dr. Pat Holden (former DFID Senior Social Development Advisor)

Brita Schmidt, Global Programme Officer, Women for Women

Baroness Sally Greengross (Commissioner Equality Council)

Baroness Haleh Afshar (Chair, Women’s Studies, York University)

Baroness Helena Kennedy

Baroness Joyce Gould, Chair – UK Women’s National Commission (WNC)

Baroness Shirley Williams

Baroness Emma Nicholson

Baroness Fiona Hodgson, President – Conservative Women’s Committee

Charlotte Onslow (Co-Ordinator, GAPS UK (Gender Action on Peace and Security)

Maggie Baxter (former Director – Womankind Worldwide, UK Programme for Women)