The Presenters.

 


Devina Aggrey

Ms. Aggrey is the founder of Africa Probe, an initiative to increase awareness of African social and cultural issues and celebrate The African inside and outside of Africa through film, art, documentary, and TV production. As a drama and theatre arts teacher, Ms. Aggrey uses documentary production as an educational tool. She has worked for the Lewisham Town Centre Project, a London-based organization to facilitate drama projects for young people excluded from mainstream education. She has written and produced a number of documentaries including Ghanaian Migration: A UK Perspective which received recognition at the West African Film Festival in 2016. She also filmed and edited 'Africans for Momentum' in 2016, a launch at the House of Commons to galvanize Africans in the UK to become involved in politics. Also taking part in the 'Look How Far We Have Come' documentary and having filmed and edited 'The Future of Ghana' conference, held in March of 2016 at London City Hall, Aggrey is also more widely involved with the progress of British race relations.  Ms. Aggrey holds degrees from University of Greenwich and St. Mary's University in Education (PGCE) and Theatre and Performance Studies.  Ms. Aggrey's talk will include a screening of her most recent Africa Probe documentary, No Choice?, featuring an exclusive interview with a young African refugee and the hardship of his escape. 


Abdulrahman K. Al Dabal

Abdulrahman K. Al Dabal is the President and CEO of GAS Arabian Services. As a prominent businessman in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, he has diversified investments in firms providing solutions to oil and gas, water, energy, petrochemical, construction, real estate, transportation, insurance, healthcare and food industries.  He holds a degree in Business Economics from Ferris State University and an MBA from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals.


Dr. Max Baker-Hytch 

Dr. Max Baker-Hytch is a Senior Tutor of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a Tutor in Philosophy, University of Oxford. Max joined the OCCA as Senior Tutor in 2016 having completed a D.Phil. in Philosophy at Oxford University in 2014. His dissertation examined the philosophical implications of recent accounts of the causal origins of religious belief. He subsequently went on to hold a postdoctoral research fellowship at Oxford as part of the Templeton-funded 'New Insights and Directions in Religious Epistemology' project. He then held a research fellowship at the University of Notre Dame's Center for Philosophy of Religion, before returning to Oxford. Max's research interests lie at the intersection of analytic philosophy of religion and epistemology, and he has published on such topics as divine hiddenness, religious diversity, etiological challenges to moral and religious beliefs, the nature of rationality and knowledge, and methodological issues concerning the emerging field of analytic theology.


Professor Jonathan Bard

Professor Jonathan Bard is a member of the Oxford Jewish Congregation and has just stepped down from a term as its president. Before retiring, he was a developmental biologist in Edinburgh at the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine and at Edinburgh University. He has recently written a book called Principles of Evolution and is also involved in postgraduate education at Balliol College and at the Oxford University Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics. 


Dr. Jeremy Dick

Dr Jeremy Dick received a DPhil degree in Computing Science from Imperial College, London. With a background in formal methods of systems development, he has worked as a consultant in the Systems Engineering domain for over 25 years.  He is currently Director of Systems Engineering at Costain Group PLC in the UK.  He is co-author of a Springer book entitled “Requirements Engineering”, and is an active member of the International Council on Systems Engineering, developing the principles and promoting the practice of Systems Engineering. He is a participating Latter-day Saint with five children and five grand-children.


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Dr. Ian Finlay

Dr. Ian Finlay is a Fellow of Harris Manchester College and Education Development Consultant (Social Sciences) in the Oxford Learning Institute at the University of Oxford. His Bachelor’s degree was in Social Sciences and his advanced degrees are in Educational Research. He has published on teaching and learning, education policy, educational management, and the education of marginalised young people and adults. He has a keen but amateur interest in Christian Spirituality through the ages. Before coming to Oxford he taught at the Strathclyde University in Glasgow for ten years and before that at Dundee College.  For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dr Finlay served a mission in New Zealand and has served as Branch President, on Stake Presidencies, bishoprics and in many other callings.  He is currently the Church's representative on the Oxford Council of Faiths.


Dr. Ronan Head

Dr. Ronan Head has a BA (First Class) from the University of Birmingham, an MPhil from the University of Oxford, and a PhD (in Near  Eastern Studies) from the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently Head of Religion and Philosophy at the King's School in Worcester, a Principal Examiner for A-level Religious Studies, and Vice Chair of the Independent Schools Religious Studies Association. He has  published in the field of ancient law and history as well as religious
education and Christian theology.


Dr. John Hoffmire

Dr. John Hoffmire's background involves a twenty-year career in impact investing, venture capital, consulting and investment banking.  John left American Capital as Senior Investment Officer when the company reached $1 billion in assets. After leaving American Capital, John was Vice President at Ampersand Ventures, formerly Paine Webber's venture capital group. Earlier in his career, after he finished his Ph.D. at Stanford University, he was a consultant at Bain & Company.  

He teaches at Saïd Business School where he also directs the Impact Bond Fund, a $5,000,000 fund that allows students to learn through doing.  He also directs the Center on Business and Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He serves on the board of directors of two companies in the media and finance industries.

John has worked, researched and given speeches in 93 countries. He was awarded the Darwin Nelson Community Impact Award for his efforts to help business work for more people.


Barbara Efia Howard

Barbara Efia Howard is the founder of Sankofa Africa, a London-based African repatriating foundation. Ms. Howard studied Law at the University of Surrey and graduated in 2011. She then studied the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in London and worked for Lyons Davidson Solicitors and joined the Financial Ombudsman Service as an Adjudicator. She is currently working as a Financial Compliant Adjudicator for Lloyds Banking Group.

In Febuary 2015, Ms. Howard launched Sankofa Africa at the Ghana High Commission in London. The organisation connects young African professionals with exciting work opportunities in Africa where they can make a difference in their communities. To this end, Sankofa Africa exists  to facilitate migration of The African Diaspora back to the continent to help resolve some of these issues. 

For many years, Ms. Howard has been an active leader within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including serving as the regional leader of teenage women in the Church and its communities. In February 2016, Ms. Howard launched the LDS Women's Forum which connects LDS Women Professionals. 


Imam Monawar Hussain

Imam Monawar Hussain is the founder of the Oxford Muslim College at the University of Oxford. He is also the founder of The Oxford Foundation, dedicated to educating young people on interfaith issues. He holds a post on the Advisory Board of the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion and serves as the Muslim Chaplain and Advisor for the Oxford University Hospitals. He is a Christian and Muslim Interfaith Leader, leads on the Oxford Council of Faiths, and is a Muslim Tutor, Eton College. Mr. Hussain is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. He holds a Bachelor of Theology (Hons) degree, specializing in Islam and the West from the University of Oxford and a Master of Arts in Abrahamic Religions from the University of London. 


Dr. David Kirkham

Dr. David Kirkham is Academic Director and a political science professor at the Brigham Young University London Centre.  He serves concurrently as Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy at the BYU Law School International Center for Law and Religion Studies. His writing and teaching focus on human rights and international relations, with an emphasis on international religious liberty. He came to BYU in July 2007 from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he served as Associate Dean and Professor of International Politics and Democratic Studies. David has also been an Associate Professor of History, Director of International History, and Director of International Plans and Programs at the United States Air Force Academy. He conducted international negotiations and diplomatic activities for several years for the US Government and United Nations, including as Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva (with duties primarily in Africa). He has lived seventeen years of his adult life in five European countries (Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France and Belgium) and officially represented the United States and the UN in nearly fifty nations on six continents. He began his career in the early 1980's with a five-year law practice for the US Air Force in England and in Washington, D.C. He speaks French and German and holds a Ph.D. from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from the J. Reuben Clark Law School. David is married to the former Judith Hunter, and they are the parents of eight children.


Dr. Brock Kirwan

Dr. Brock Kirwan is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Director of the MRI Research Facility at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 2006 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego studying memory and amnesia. As a philosophy major in college, Dr. Kirwan became fascinated by the brain and the philosophy of mind—specifically with the mind-body problem of how mental events arise from physical substrates. His subsequent work with animal models of amnesia and functional MRI (or fMRI) has led to more than 35 peer-reviewed publications and two book chapters. His current research interests center around how the brain forms specific long-term memories for highly overlapping events and how the methods of cognitive neuroscience can be applied in different research and social settings. 


Mari Ovsepyan

Mari Ovsepyan is a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Prior to coming to Oxford to work for Zacharias Trust and to do a course in Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, Mari did  graduate studies in cognitive science in the US as a Fulbright Scholar. She holds a degree in Linguistics from Smolensk State University, and also studied Psycholinguistics at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Applied Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences at Southern Illinois University . She is currently finishing a Master's in Theology, specializing in Science and Religion, at University of Oxford. Her passion is building bridges between the secular culture and the Gospel and reaching idea-makers in Academia and the Arts.  


Luna Wang

Luna Wang is an OCCA Fellow with the Zacharias Trust. She comes from China and received her BA in Law and Economics from Peking University in 2007. She worked in the Real Estate industry for several years in Beijing before coming to Oxford for an MSc in Sociology in 2010. After that she worked in postgraduate student ministry for three years in Oxford. She has recently completed the one year programme at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.


Colin Williams

Colin Williams is a writer on nature, landscape and human heritage. He is a regular speaker on the human relationship with nature and his book Shadows in the Hay was applauded as ‘tender and poignant, a thoughtful exploration of our cultural estrangement from nature.’ Raised amongst the birds, sky and water of the Norfolk fens, he now lives and writes amongst Hampshire’s chalk downland. Ronald Blythe – renowned author of Akenfield – has praised Colin as describing ‘the landscape with a deeply personal precision’. With an academic background in public health and environmental science, Colin has worked as a marine conservationist and a wildlife guide. His work has appeared in The Guardian, BBC Wildlife and Orion magazine amongst many others.  As a curator, he has overseen collections of new writing on our oceans, a major exhibition of wildlife art and has recently appeared on-stage alongside one of Britain’s foremost novelists, Adam Thorpe, in a live discussion on sacred landscapes. 


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Dr. Kate Worlton-Pulham

Dr. Kate Worlton-Pulham is the Executive Director of Education Weekend: Oxford, which she launched in 2014. She holds a PhD and MPhil in English Language and Literature both from the University of Oxford for which she earned merits of distinction. She has been a tutor and lecturer in English at the University of Oxford for Hertford College, Mansfield College, University College, Pembroke College, and Lady Margaret Hall and was awarded an Associate Fellowship from The Higher Education Academy for excellence and experience in lecturing and teaching. She has been awarded various University scholarships, academic recognitions, and writing prizes and has appeared in various journals as an author and book reviewer. As a curriculum developer, she has been the Director of Executive Education for Deseret Digital Media where she led digital media operation training for media outlets in Europe, North America, and South America. Currently based in New York City, she designs and presents business leadership curricula with various consulting firms. Kate has three children, two countries, and one spouse.