The UK Branch:
The executive committee of the UK branch of the CJA consists of senior journalists in the UK.
Rita Payne (Chair) - Rita Payne has worked extensively with TV and radio. She retired in 2008 as Asia Editor of BBC World News (TV) after nearly 30 years with the BBC. She is now chairman of the Commonwealth Journalists Association (UK branch) and has been invited to speak and chair discussions at various events in London and abroad. At BBC World TV, she was responsible for three daily news programmes with the focus on Asia. In addition to her role as UK branch chair, Rita was elected international President of the CJA at its conference in Malta on 2 February 2012.
Cheryl Dorall (Secretary) Cheryl has been a journalist for over 40 years, starting in newspapers in Malaysia where she edited the Sunday Star, a major national and campaigning newspaper in the 1980s. In 1988 she joined the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong as assistant editor and in 1989 the Commonwealth Secretariat in London as deputy director of its media and information services. She has been deputy spokesperson for seven Commonwealth summit conferences and participated in 10 election observer missions in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Since 2001 she has been a freelance journalist and been communications consultant to the Caribbean Development Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Martin Lumb (Treasurer) - A freelance journalist, formerly a correspondent and editor with the BBC World Service. Martin has reported widely from southern Africa and south Asia, and began his international career on the Daily Nation in Kenya. He now specialises in media issues for international organisations and has worked as a communications consultant for the United Nations.
Other members (in alphabetical order):
Syed Belal Ahmed
Kailash Budhwar - Former head of Hindi and Tamil section at BBC World Service, Kailash has also worked as a media advisor to the Indian High Commission, London. He is a regular commentator on radio and television and had worked with All India Radio and the National Radio Network of India. Kailash has 13 years of experience teaching at two public schools in India as senior housemaster and head of department. He still briefs on India and Hindi issues at Harrow Public school and at international conferences.
Henry Gombya - A British-Ugandan journalist, currently managing editor of online magazine The London Evening Post. Henry has worked as a correspondent for the Daily Nation, The Standard and the former Kenya Times in Nairobi and as news editor of the Uganda Star and Shield Publications in Kampala. He has written for Africa Now, African Concord, New African, and was Kampala correspondent for BBC programme ‘Focus On Africa’ from 1983 to 1987. He has been a regular contributor to Voice of America programme ‘Straight Talk’, contributed to Radio France International, and founded and edited online newspaper ‘Str8talk Chronicle’.
Will Henley – A freelance journalist, communications consultant and member of the CJA’s International Executive Committee. He has worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat, BG Group, the Commonwealth Foundation, UNDP, and the OSCE/UNMIK in Kosovo and Macedonia. He was deputy editor and head of digital at Global Financial Strategy and has written for The Guardian, Building Design, Times Online and the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, among others. He began working as a research assistant in the Ministerial Briefing Unit of the UK Home Office for Secretary-of-State David Blunkett MP.
Derek Ingram – Co-founder and first president of the CJA, ex-deputy editor of the Daily Mail and founder and editor of Gemini News Service. Derek covered all 21 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings from 1971 until 2009. He was adviser to the Commonwealth Observer Group in Zimbabwe 1980 and the EU election unit in South Africa 1994. He has known leaders such as Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Thabo Mbeki, Malcolm Fraser and Michael Manley and was one of the last journalists to interview Nehru just before he died. Derek is the author of several books and Winner of the Commonwealth Press Union Astor award for furthering Commonwealth Understanding 1978. He was awarded an OBE in 1998.
Syed Nahas Pasha – One of the most respected British-Bangladeshi journalists in the UK and the editor in chief of the Weekly Janomot, a Bangla newspaper established in 1969. Syed is also editor in chief of restaurant magazine Curry Life and UK bureau chief of the largest Bangladeshi online news agency, bdnews24.com. He is one of the founding members and former general secretary of the London Bangla Press Club, which acts as a voice for British Bangladeshi journalists, and has worked with government bodies including the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mike Popham - Mike Popham spent over 30 years as a producer with the BBC World Service having started his career in the African Service. He also worked for a time in BBC TV current affairs and had an attachment to Radio Nederland to run its Africa department. He won a Commonwealth Relations Trust bursary to Australia and covered two CHOGMs – Melbourne 1981 and Kuala Lumpur 1989. He is now a freelance journalist and member of BAFTA, Chatham House, MCC and the Royal African Society based in London.
Debbie Ransome - Debbie Ransome is British born of Trinidadian parents and spent her early life enjoying the best of both worlds. She worked as News Editor and then News Director at Radio Trinidad before joining BBC’s Caribbean Service as a producer in the early 90s. Debbie worked as a producer at Bush House at the Caribbean Service and also in the World Service newsroom before moving to work on BBC World TV news. Later on, Debbie returned from BBC TV to run the Caribbean Service at Bush House. She has also worked on the BBC’s new headquarters project, at BBC’s Radio 4 network and at BBC News Online’s World Desk. Debbie is currently the Editor of the CJA Newsletter and Managing Editor of Caribbean Diaspora website www.caribbeanintelligence.com.
Kaye Whiteman - A writer, journalist, author and media consultant who for 17 years was editor and general manager of West Africa magazine. Kaye still writes mainly on African affairs. He worked in the Information Directorate of the European Commission, dealing with development issues, for much of the 1970s, and in 1999-2000 was director of information at the Commonwealth Secretariat. He has also served as editorial adviser at Business Day in Lagos, Nigeria, for which he still writes. He has a substantial body of published articles, academic papers and chapters in books. Kaye is also a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and vice chairman of the Africa Centre Council of Management.