Sharon has an MA from Cambridge University in Theology and Religious Studies. Following her graduation, she taught English at Amideast in Tunisia and then went on to work in Amman, Jordan as a Productions Manager for a publishing company with programmes for young people aiming to promote reading in the Arab World. In Sharon's final year in Jordan, she was employed as PA to the Defence Attaché at the British Embassy, then returned to the UK and began work in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, founding the Solutions Not Sides Education Programme in 2010. Sharon speaks Arabic and French and has studied ancient Hebrew. In January 2016, she was awarded a master’s degree with distinction from King's College London, specialising in nationalism and religion.
Jess Brandler is SNS' Managing Director, overseeing all aspects of SNS’ work, as well as working closely with speakers from Palestine and Israel to train, prepare, and support them for work with SNS. She has spent considerable time in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. She's been at SNS since 2015 and worked with founder and Director, Sharon, to considerably grow the organisation to what it is today, expanding into dozens of cities and towns across the UK. She graduated from Cambridge University in Politics, Psychology and Sociology, specialising in conflict development, and the role of religion in politics. Following her graduation, she was awarded a fellowship at the Central European University in Budapest, where she completed her MA in International Relations and European Studies. During this time, she wrote papers and ran seminars on Palestine and Israel, and volunteered with The Human Rights Initiative (HRSI). After graduating in Budapest, she moved back to London, where she worked with an education sector in universities and schools as Business, Sales and marketing Manager of the company Yearbook Machine. She previously volunteered with the charity Football Beyond Borders, and she is fast on the road to becoming a speaker of Arabic.
Mohammed Ali Amla is SNS’ Youth and Partnerships Director, leading on youth empowerment, strategic partnership development and community collaborations. He is an experienced networker who is responsible for developing new partnerships for SNS across civil society, the education sector, academia, local authorities and communities. He has over 20 years’ experience working with communities, the public and private sector. He has worked as a researcher, educator, practitioner, activist and executive coach to empower communities to create social innovation and change. His specialisations are in creating safe spaces for difficult dialogue, leadership development, think spaces, strategic development, knowledge exchange and delivering inclusion and diversity training. He is regularly invited as a guest lecturer on peace leadership, active citizenship, cohesion, interfaith, religion, Islamophobia, the far right, media and community empowerment. Ali is an alumni of the IVLP, Clore Fellow, and the founder of Christian Muslim Encounters, which aims to foster good relations and build bridges across communities, academia, policy and civil society. He is currently writing a book on interfaith.
Laurence Conneely is Solutions Not Sides Digital Communications Manager, overseeing digital communications, web and social media, and supporting the rest of the team in delivering SNS' goals. He graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies, MSc Violence, Conflict & Development programme, focusing on South East Asia. Prior to this, he graduated from Kings College London with a BA in Development Geography with a focus on India, land use and control. Before joining the Solutions Not Sides team, he volunteered and subsequently worked for Link Ethiopia, a small not-for-profit specialising in educational development, and pioneering the delivery of profound grassroots educational change across developing communities in Ethiopia and connecting schools to one another.
Tasha is Solutions Not Sides’ Programmes Coordinator, the main point of contact for our school workshop bookings. She recently completed her MSc in Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University, having written her dissertation on the protection of female refugees from Venezuela. She has a BA in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Leeds, focusing on the influence of international organisations on the democratisation of Spain. Before joining SNS, Tasha worked for the United Nations Association Youth Platform UK and national youth groups.
Miriam Tomusk is Solution Not Sides’ Facilitation Manager, leading on the facilitation of school workshops across the UK and working with freelance facilitators. Miriam studied at Oxford University where she completed a BA in History, followed by a PGDip in Theology and Religion. After graduating, she joined a large sixth form, working in university access and coordinating a programme to promote the academic development of humanities students in preparation for higher education. Before joining SNS, Miriam worked at Parallel Histories, where she was involved in creating resources to support the teaching of conflict and contested history, including the history of Israel-Palestine.