Who we are 

Nicola York 

Co-founder, marketing and communications director & writers' curator for 
'I Dream of Congo' exhibition 

Nicola is a writer and journalist who has worked in eastern Congo, documenting the psychological impact of war and sexual violence on women. Her work has been broadcast on Channel 4 News, PBS and the BBC World Service. In 2011, she was nominated for an award in The Guardian’s International Development Journalism Competition, for a piece on sexual violence and gender inequality in the DRC. She has a particular interest in conflict minerals and the subsequent impact on communities. She is currently undertaking a Master's degree in Creative Writing at City University, London.

Millie Harvey  

Co-founder, creative director & curator of 'I Dream of Congo' exhibition

Millie is a London based filmmaker whose focus lies in the advancement of women’s rights. Millie’s filmmaking and participatory video work centres around giving voice to personal experiences to highlight issues which often receive little attention to inspire action and change. She has worked in East Africa, including DRC, with Women for Women International documenting their work and her films have been shown on PBS and Channel 4 News. With a background in fine art and experimental film, she is passionate about exploring innovative combinations of aesthetics and the humanities to encourage fresh attention and alternative perspectives.

Tim Butcher 

Advisory member

Tim is supporting Congo Connect’s exhibition and is acting as an adviser to the committee. He is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and best-selling author. His first book, Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart, used an account of an epic journey he made through the Congo by foot, motorbike, canoe and riverboat to unravel the region’s turbulent history, retracing the journey made by Victorian adventurer Henry Morton Stanley. It was an international bestseller and translated into six languages. 

He has written for a wide range of international publications and was on the staff of The Daily Telegraph from 1990 to 2009 as chief war correspondent, Africa Bureau Chief and Middle East correspondent.

In 2010 he was made Patron of Save The Congo, a British-based charity.

Gerri McHugh 


Gerri McHugh is the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She is on the board of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Global Health Film Initiative and has a particular specialism in gender-based violence in civil war. She was formerly Director of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust. 

Leonie Taylor 

Development and campaigns adviser, Project Manager for Global Summit exhibition

Leonie is a consultant in Policy and Campaigns for Gender Action for Peace and Security. She is currently undertaking an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation at LSE. She wrote a dissertation on the use of sexual violence in war during her undergraduate degree at Cambridge. She has researched child labour initiatives in West Bengal for Save the Children and written on Africa gender issues for Think Africa Press. She helped to make a film on conflict and food insecurity in Rwanda for Women for Women International. 

Jenni Smout 

Research and communications adviser 

Jenni Smout is visual anthropologist specialising in gender and health issues. She is a board member of the Royal Society of Medicine's Global Health Film Initative, and has written for The South African and Think Africa Press. She has a Master's degree from the University of Manchester and an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh, where she conducted fieldwork in South Africa and Swaziland on the impact of HIV/AIDS on Zulu tradition and female sexuality. 

Leslie Thomas 

Photojournalist curator of 'I Dream of Congo' exhibition

Leslie Thomas is the founding executive and creative director of Art Works Projects. Art Works Projects uses design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights and environmental issues.