Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Committee Committee

Our Inclusivity and Diversity Committee meets quarterly to ensure that we maintain the inclusive nature of the institute and that best practice is shared across partner institutes on the Norwich Research Park and beyond.

The members are;

Sanu Arora (Faculty Rep)

Sanu joined the JIC in 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher and has been a Group Leader on a John Innes Foundation fellowship since 2021. She is deeply dedicated to cultivating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of background, feels valued and empowered to contribute. She is also a recipient of the “Women in Triticum (WIT) Early Career Award,” which honours women scientists, especially those from the developing world.

Monika Chhetry (RSSV Rep)

Monika joined the John Innes Centre in 2012 as Research Assistant in Crop Genetics after getting her Ph.D in 2010. Monika is a member of RSSV committee and involve in Technician Commitment. She is the chair of organising committee of Accessible Science Event.

After having two kids she decided to work part time. Leaving her home country in India and permanently settled in this country, she understands and holds strong empathy for people from diverse communities and background.

Melanie Henri (Committee Administrator)

Melanie joined the John Innes Centre in 2013 as Committee Administrator after a four-year career break to care for her two young children.

She balances work with family life by working part-time and compresses her hours during the school holidays to maximise time at home and other caring responsibilities.

Melanie is passionate about EDI and is committed to promoting the positive impact and strengths that diversity brings to the workplace, and our wider world.

Suzanne Lightwing-Smith (Research Culture and ED&I Manager)

Suzanne joined the NBI Partnership in January 2024 and her role is aligned to the John Innes Centre and Quadram Institute.

Her role includes work to deliver the Institute’s Research Culture and ED&I plans and providing advice and support to managers and staff on a range of Culture and Diversity topics.

With over 20 years’ experience within HR roles, alongside raising a family, Suzanne is passionate about continuing the great work that has been done to create a supportive and inclusive culture in which everyone is valued for their contribution and can thrive at whatever life stage they may be.

Ander Movilla-Miangolarra (Post Doc Voice Rep)

Ander joined the John Innes Centre in 2022 as a postdoctoral scientist in the Computational and Systems Biology department.

He is also an active member of the postdoc voice and very supportive of the diversity that so much enhances the workplace experience and the science.

Thomas Navarro (Student Voice Rep)

Thomas is a PhD student at the John Innes Centre since 2021, in David Seung’s group which is part of the Biochemistry and Metabolism department.  His project aims to improve nutritional value and quality of potato tubers by using new technologies and platforms aligned with the new concept of precision breeding.

Driven by his desire to integrate into the JIC community, Thomas joined the Student Voice (JSV) and the NBI LGBTQ+ Working Group soon after starting his PhD, and went on to become the chair of the JSV committee during 2022 and 2023.  During his service to the student community he was committed to promoting and nurturing the professional and social wellbeing of students, especially after the COVID Pandemic stripped many of the social traditions at the institute.

As a half French-half Mexican hybrid and proud Queer, he believes in the importance that inclusion and diversity play in creating a strong working community where everyone should feel welcomed, safe, and encouraged to grow.

Felicity Perry (Head of Communications and Engagement)

Felicity joined the John Innes Centre in 2017 and leads the Communications and Engagement activity for the institute. She is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and enjoys working to embed a culture of continual improvement for the benefit of the institute. In her spare time she is a potter, and can often be found walking the paths and tracks of Norfolk with her dog.

Clare Stevenson (Chair & Head of Directorate)

Clare joined the John Innes Centre in 1996 and completed her PhD whilst working part time. She has experience at the John Innes Centre as a student, Research Assistant and Technology Platform Manager and now as Head of Directorate.

Clare’s son was born in 2005 and she returned to work full time and is very aware of the importance of family friendly policies and the challenges of maintaining a good work-life balance.

In her current role she engages with all staff and students striving for a supportive team environment which values the diversity of all staff and students and the contributions they make.