Our success lies in the passion and commitment of our team which is headed by our experienced senior management team. We bring together people with the most relevant sector experience and in depth understanding of issues affecting young people and communities to provide real and life changing solutions.

Hanif Qadir - Chief Executive

A former foreign fighter himself, Hanif once joined Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, but was deterred by the crimes he saw being committed against civilians and turned his back on them. Upon his return to the UK, he vowed to safeguard young men and women from similar experiences, losing their lives and harming their communities.

Having a unique understanding and hard-won experience of the modus operandi of A.Q./ ISIS inspired groups and individuals, he is now recognized as arguably the best violent extremist and de-radicalization expert in Europe.

He is actively involved in advising and assisting senior policy makers in reforming key aspects of the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and Counter Violent Extremism (CVE), working closely with a wide range of governmental institutions, most of the UK’s Police Authorities, as well as research academics across the globe.

Among his many missions is encouraging countries and their leaders to invest in their young people in order to create positive future and personal resilience before extremists could invest in them. At the same time, Hanif and his team are actively involved in using social media to engage Muslims in condemning ISIS, like in their ‘Not in my name’ campaign.

Mike Jervis - Strategy & Interventions Director

As the strategy & interventions director, Mike is responsible for the integration models to assist communities and governments to address the threat and impact posed by extremist recruiters to the community.

Mike holds a keen interest in resolving community conflicts. His understanding of crime comes from his personal experience and he is a recognised as an expert of the functioning of criminal networks.

As a former manager with the Community Safety Team in the London Borough of Haringey, Mike succeeded in reducing crime to approximately 43%. Such a reduction of crime brought Mike to the attention of the London Borough of Waltham Forest in 2003. In charge of the portfolio to reduce violent crime, Mike designed a number of community initiatives which gave gangs a community value to encourage their desistance.

One of these projects, ‘Defending Da Hood’, encouraged gangs to meet and have a say in shaping their neighbourhood. It is the only project that brought all the gangs together, from one community, to stop violence and convert that energy into positive action.

To support the gangs transformation Mike organised the ‘Parents Against Violence’ project, building the parents capability and capacity to exit their loved ones from criminal activity.

Mike then campaigned to create a ‘National Reduction In Gang and Gun Violence Programme’. He is the designer of several community models, such as the ‘Spirit of London Awards’, and has worked to support over sixty families that have lost their children to violence.

Balgees Barendilla - Operations Director

Balgees Barendilla is the operations director at the Active Change Foundation and has managed the Young Leaders Programme since its launch in 2012. She has eight years of experience working in the charity sector, specifically in the area of preventing radicalisation and extremism, and for many years worked with young people at a grassroots level as a youth coordinator and language teacher.

Since graduating from the University of Cape Town in 2002, she has spent time mentoring young people in South Africa, USA, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

Having obtained a MA in Charity Management she is now responsible for co-ordinating activity within the organisation which includes project management and all matters relating to the core business of deradicalisation.