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 19 years. Andrew has worked for HACT for 13 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 Healthcare NHS Trust and Chair of Stonewall Housing. 

Mary-Kathryn Rallings Adams, Deputy Chief Executive

Mary-Kathryn joined HACT in April 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 the HACT team, 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.


Laura Carmody, Head of Insight and Product Development

Laura joined HACT in July 2017 as Head of Insight and Product Development. Prior to this, Laura spent two years at East Thames housing association as a business analyst with an emphasis on performance management and business transformation. Laura’s work at East Thames was focussed on the effective use of business information and working with the business to improve their use of performance indicators and reporting for operational and strategic decision-making. She also worked on projects relating to data standards and data governance within the organisation.

Before joining the social sector, Laura had a diverse working career including teaching in an innovative free school in East London, using Socratic teaching methods to enable her students to become independent thinkers. She also holds a PhD in Geology, with a focus in Volcanology, and spent a year working in the University of Tennessee destroying diamonds and moon rocks with lasers; all in the name of science. 

Adam Chester, Housing Intern

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 Officer

Frances Harkin joined HACT as a Research Officer in February 2015. Coming from a qualitative research background, she has extensive experience of researching diverse communities. Her PhD research explored the role that sport plays in the construction of identity and community with a particular focus upon the significance of sport for members of London’s Irish population. Frances has a keen interest in research on community and identity development, migration and the social role of sport, both in academia and the third sector. She continues to sustain an academic profile through participation in academic events and peer-reviewed publications.


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.


Christina Knudsen, Data Analyst

Christina joined HACT in June 2015. After completing her Psychology degree at Cardiff University, she went on to read Data Science at Royal Holloway, University of London and is in the process of gaining her MSc. Christina has an interest in the public sector and has previously worked for the NHS during her studies. The opportunity to use her analytic and programming skills while working at HACT is something Christina is greatly looking forward to. 



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. 


Karen Lam, Projects and Research Assistant

Karen joined HACT in November 2017 as Housing Intern. She has completed a BA in Economics and Political Science from McGill University as well as a MSc in Social Policy and Development from the LSE. In the past, she has interned/volunteered in Namibia, India, Romania and South Africa with organisations predominately working in the field of healthcare and education, fuelling an interest in social policy and practice. She is particularly interested in understanding how quality social services can be made more accessible to marginalised populations as well as how research and theory can be applied to tackle social exclusion. Her involvement with HACT follows her interest for the intersection of research, evaluation, health, and housing. 


Lilas Ougen, Housing Intern

Lilas joined HACT in June 2017 as a Housing Intern. She has completed a BA in Geography as well as an MSc in Urban Studies at King’s College London. During her time as an intern and then Strategy Assistant at a London council, she conducted research on women and health.

Lilas has a keen interest in the cohesive character of the built environment, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the social function of American shopping malls. In this context, she travelled to Minneapolis to experience the social atmosphere of the US’ largest shopping mall.


Jay Saggar, HACT LaunchPad Coordinator

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.

Jay is interested in innovative approaches to finance and technology which challenge existing social, economic and organisational orthodoxies.  

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 3 years at National Charity Business in the Community and 5 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.