HACT staff

Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive

Andrew joined HACT in 2003 and has worked in homelessness, supported housing and wider social exclusion policy and practice for 26 years. Andrew has worked for HACT for 15 years although for 18 months he was seconded to the National Mental Health Development Unit at the Department of Health as the National Housing Lead.  

He is a Non-Executive Director at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. 

Mary-Kathryn Rallings Adams, Deputy Chief Executive

Mary-Kathryn joined HACT in 2013. In her role as Deputy Chief Executive at HACT, Mary-Kathryn manages a range of research projects, working with clients both within and beyond the housing sector. Prior to joining HACT, she completed her doctorate in social anthropology, exploring the intersection of urban regeneration, conflict and social policy in Northern Ireland. She has authored peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as various research reports for HACT and other think tanks, and regularly contributes to working groups, seminars and conferences committed to interdisciplinary research in academia as well as in the third sector.  

Rob Wray, Interim Deputy Chief Executive

Dr Rob Wray PhD MRes MA BSc (Psych) has a background in politics and behavioural psychology and has recently completed simulation research on variables that increase propensity to social and political conflict: Fighting Talk - What goes on before the bomb goes off? Rob has held posts as Research Director at Family Mosaic and led business transformation for East Thames.

Rob serves by invitation on round-table discussions on Dementia, health and housing partnership at the Royal Society of Medicine and is the founder member and Director of Counter Research.

Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, he has lived and worked in Cuba and as a regular contributor to the G15 Policy and Pan-London ASB forums is now based in London.

Leslie Channon, MA, CIHCM, Insight Lead

Leslie joined HACT October 2018 as the new Insight Lead.

Leslie holds an MA in Housing Practice from the University of Westminster – her dissertational research was published by HQN (2016) and awarded the CIH Prize. Leslie worked closely – post Grenfell – with the MHCLG and Housing Ministers, Alok Sharma, MP and Dominic Raab, MP, to develop and co-facilitate the Ministerial Roadshows (2017/2018) – which informed the Social Housing Green Paper.

Leslie is an experienced public speaker, certified facilitator and coach, and writer/blogger. Her articles have been published in the Guardian, Inside Housing and 24Housing. Leslie is also a non-executive Director at Tpas.

Follow Leslie on Twitter @LeslieChannon

Adam Chester, Project Officer 

Adam joined HACT in May 2018 as Housing Intern. He has completed a BA in Sociology from The University of Leeds, as well as a not-for-profit sector graduate scheme endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Adam has previously worked at Network Homes for a year and a half, where he combined a mixture of research experience and community engagement work. During his time at Network Homes, he conducted research into residents’ experience of the new Universal Credit service, as well as into how best to support vulnerable residents with limited resources.

Adam is interested in making the connections between strategic decisions taken by organisations and the day-to-day experience of residents who experience those decisions.

Marcelle Dopwell, Head of Business Operations

Marcelle has worked for HACT since May 2009, starting in the role of Projects Support Officer. Having worked in content management in the digital new media field for 15 years, leaving BSkyB in 2006, she decided to change careers to the public sector. Marcelle also worked previously on projects with the London Development Agency and Southwark Council in Children Services. Marcelle has a Foundation Degree in London Studies.

Frances Harkin, Research Lead

Frances joined HACT a Research Officer in 2015 following the completion of her PhD at Queen's University, Belfast. In her time at HACT, Frances has been directly involved with the development and delivery of numerous research projects and services, including housing and sport focused work, and has worked with organisations across the housing sector and beyond. Coming from a qualitative research background, Frances has extensive experience of researching diverse communities with her PhD research offering new insights into the role that sport plays in the development of community and identity for the Irish diaspora. Frances continues to develop this research by delivering invited lectures and contributing to academic conferences and peer-reviewed journals.

William Howard, Housing and Health Officer

Will joined HACT in January 2015. He recently completed an MSc in Sociology at the London School of Economics, in which he focussed on the application of theory to research, as well as looking at the relationship between political theory and urban form. Prior to that he completed his undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Birmingham, undertaking his dissertation on homeless mobility and its effects in the city of Oxford.

His principal interest is in how research can be successfully applied to understand and tackle urban inequality.

Barry Malki,Head of Communites

Barry joined HACT in 2017 as Head of Communities. With a background in community investment and regeneration, he is passionate about social action, and the positive impact that organisations can have in society. He is keen to challenge traditional concepts of community, and believes in taking a holistic view of stakeholder engagement.

After studying music at university, Barry had a diverse career before finding his niche working on a large-scale coalfields regeneration programme in Yorkshire. Outside of HACT, Barry supports several local and national charities with strategic business development.

Jay Saggar, Digital Lead

Jay joined HACT in February 2015 and is currently working with the Connected Home Consortium. Prior to HACT, Jay has worked as part of the year 1 set up team for a community opened free school in north London. He holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development Studies from SOAS, University of London.

James Williams, Head of Social Impact

James joined HACT in June 2017 from Onward, a 35,000 property housing association operating across the Northwest of England. James spent over 11 years with Onward working on delivery of community investment projects, strategies, evaluation and impact measurement. James is particularly interested in how social housing organisations can embed social value systematically from within. Prior to Onward, James worked for three years at National Charity Business in the Community and five years at Bolton Council helping to attract external funding and managing community investment projects.

James has an MA in Geography, Post Graduate diploma in Urban Regeneration and a certificate in management and has held positions as a school governor at Limeside School, Oldham and a Trustee of the Broughton Trust in Salford.