Press release

PRESS RELEASE: 10 January 2020

The IARS International Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Claire Bonham as our new Director. She has vast experience on community-led development and is an expert on international relations, which are perfectly aligned with the goals and ethos of our organisation. 

Dr. Bonham is an expert in voluntary sector organisations, having worked in national strategic roles for various organisations, including most recently The Salvation Army -a worldwide organisation and the eighth largest charity in the UK. Claire has nearly 20 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector, championing the causes of children, the elderly and victims of crime, homelessness and poverty around the world. She regularly delivers training across the sector and at universities in London, and has contributed book chapters and journal articles on various aspects of her work, including Criminal Justice and working with marginalised communities. Claire holds a PhD in International Relations and a Masters in Critical Global Studies.

Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS’ Founder said: “After a lot of preparation, on the 26th July 2019, I announced my intention to step down as the Director of the organisation I set up 18 years ago. I titled my blog “Best is yet to come”, and after a lot of searching, I am confident that with the appointment of Dr. Claire Bonham, the best is yet to come for the IARS International Institute. As I write this, in the UK, we are living in unique historical moments, when the rule of law is questioned and peace promises that were made following the atrocities of two World Wars are being revoked. The work that we do here is needed now more than ever, and I look forward to working with the new Director, remaining IARS Founder & Strategic Leader. I invite all our partners, funders, members, staff, interns and colleagues to welcome and indeed support Claire in her new role”. 

Simon Goldhill, Trustee, said: “The Trustees are delighted to confirm Claire’s appointment as our new Director. We look forward to the skills, energy and enthusiasm she brings and to working with her over the coming years to build on the strength and reputation of our organisation.” 

Dr. Claire Bonham said: “I am delighted to be joining the IARS team and to pick up the mantle from Theo at this exciting time in the organisation’s development. The values of IARS align closely with my own, as I believe in local community-led solutions that start with the assets in that community and allow the marginalised to find their voice. I am also a passionate advocate for restorative justice – having seen the extraordinary power it has through my work in prisons. Restorative Justice can be such a life changing programme for so many victims and offenders, and I believe wholeheartedly in the values of dialogue and vulnerable, non-adversarial ways of managing conflict by which this is inspired.

I have over 15 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector, championing the causes of children, the elderly and victims of crime, homelessness and poverty, around the world – most recently working in a national role for The Salvation Army across the UK and Ireland. Before that I gained my PhD in International Relations from the University of Exeter; focusing on global social movements .

In my spare time I volunteer to support victims of human trafficking and sing with a London-based choir.  I enjoy baking and following most sports and love walking in this amazing city, having recently completed the Capital Ring Walk around London.”