We are delighted to announce that Yemi Hailemariam and Jane Lush have recently been appointed to Reprieve’s Board of Trustees.
Yemi Hailemariam is the partner of Reprieve’s former client, Andy Tsege. In 2009, Andy was sentenced to death in absentia by the Ethiopian government for being an activist opposing the country’s repressive regime. In 2014, while travelling through Sanaa airport in Yemen, Andy was abducted by Ethiopian security forces and imprisoned. Days after Andy’s abduction, Yemi contacted Reprieve. For the next four years she campaigned tirelessly to secure his release and return to the UK. Reprieve supported Yemi at every turn, but she led the charge. She went to Parliament, she campaigned in the media, and she launched litigation to make sure the UK Government did everything they could to help her husband. In 2018, Andy was released.
Yemi was born in New York State and grew up between the US, Ethiopia and Cameroon. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in electrical engineering, and currently works as a senior business analyst. She and Andy live in North London with their three children, where Yemi is a governor at her children’s school.
When asked about joining the Reprieve board, Yemi said “The creative, relentless, and smart way in which Reprieve worked to get my husband reunited with me and our children was above and beyond the call of duty of any organisation. It was a Herculean effort. They do that with all their cases, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to join the board. I hope to contribute with the unique experience and insight I gained during my family’s plight, which included many of the elements Reprieve faces in their work.“
Jane Lush is a leading figure in the UK’s television and film industry. She was for many years a programme maker at the BBC becoming Controller of BBC Daytime launching breakthrough shows such as Weakest Link and as Controller of Entertainment and Comedy commissioning Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice, Dragons’ Den and Have I Got News For You. Since leaving the BBC, she’s been Managing Director of independent production companies. In the charitable sector, Jane was Chair of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and is currently Chair of Friends of BAFTA USA. She was the founding Chair of the BBC’s Performing Arts Fund which gave Adele her first musical instrument and Chair of Caring for Kids supporting research into kidney disease at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Jane’s proudest productions are her children and grandchildren.
Jane said “I am honoured to have joined Reprieve’s Board of Trustees, a charity whose work in fighting for justice and saving lives is changing the world for the better. I am thrilled to be able to endeavour to help them achieve their aims.”
Commenting on the appointments, Reprieve’s Joint Executive Director Anna Yearley, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted that these two trailblazing women have joined our board of trustees. It is extremely important to Reprieve that our board is representative of our clients, which is why we’re particularly pleased to have Yemi join us. And Jane is one of the most well-respected women in entertainment, aligning perfectly with Reprieve’s mission to tell stories of injustice and reach as wide an audience as possible. We are so excited to have them working with us.“