Meet the Team
Small team. Big impact. Get to know the HWCF team here…
Chief Operating Officer
James runs the day to day operations of the Foundation, directing our dedicated and talented team. He has delivered our annual tournament since 2011.
James grew up in Germany, Belgium, Northern Ireland and England before settling in sunny Scotland.
Outside of work he loves to travel, experience new cultures and environments and can usually be found climbing or running in the mountains.
Mariana joined our team in 2015 and oversees all things Comms. She has MAs in Journalism and Philosophy.
Originally from Mexico, with roots in both Scotland and Argentina, this melting pot prides herself in having no flag and thus is happy to support “any team” at a football match.
When she’s not at work Mariana loves exploring the countryside with her dog, learning about animal behaviour and playing videogames.
International Partnerships Manager
Zoë feels more at home when she’s abroad! After living and working across Asia, Europe and Latin America for over 15 years, she is happy to be adopted by Scotland.
With an academic background in sports, social sciences and international development, she was excited to join the HWCF in 2019 to pursue a passion for linking sport and development to ending homelessness.
When not working, she can be found climbing, cycling or swimming in what she says are the ‘tropical’ lochs of Scotland.
Elisa is the Administrator at the Homeless World Cup Foundation since June 2018. She is responsible for all general office and financial admin, getting new staff members on board and looking after international volunteer and guest well-being at the annual tournament.
Originally from Germany, she has been living in Edinburgh for eight years. Outside of the office, Elisa spends her time outdoors with the wee one and when she gets the chance explores the local cafe and restaurant scene.
Importantly, she makes sure that there’s always sweets in the office.
Paul is one of our Communications Officers and takes care of our social channels. He also created the Homeless World Cup Podcast with Adam.
Hailing from Cork City in Ireland, and a keen fan of all things football, Paul spent some years working in Asia before moving to Edinburgh to study an MA in Journalism, and became a member of the HWCF family soon after.
Fun Fact; Paul was our commentator at the Oslo 2017 HWC, and he was probably the greatest commentator to ever pick up a microphone.
Adam joined the team just before the Cardiff 2019 HWC. As well as his normal comms duties, he took the lead in creating the HWC Podcast along with Paul.
Born in Scotland and raised in France and Singapore, Adam returned to his home country in 2008 for university and completed his MA in Journalism in 2015. With experience in both the private and public sectors as a sub-editor, press officer and producer, Adam is excited to be using his skills for an organisation he admires.
He’s also a pretty good impressionist. In fact he is so good, that some episodes of the podcast are just Adam interviewing himself!
Business Development Manager
Sean spent the first part of his career helping people find work and access education and training opportunities as an Employment Counsellor, before moving to the private sector in the late nineties where he worked in Business Development roles for IT Software and Service companies including Fujitsu and SolarWinds.
A supporter for several years before joining the Homeless World Cup Foundation, Sean is responsible for growing our Corporate Partnerships and finding Sponsorship to support our strategic regional development plan as we strengthen and expand our capabilities globally.
Rae is an Edinburgh native, and season ticket holder for local Premiership team Hibernian F.C.
He has experience working across the events sphere in different roles, most recently working for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to make the festival more accessible for D/deaf and disabled people.
Outside of work, he loves getting out of the city environment and immersing himself in nature, and is passionate about music.
Jennifer supports all activities related to events and the host communities, using her experiences from single and multi-sport events to deliver the best participant experience possible.
Growing up in Canada, Jennifer spent her time in ice rinks as a figure skater and has been able to translate that passion for sport into a career. With an MA in Sport Business, Jennifer has studied and worked across North America, the UK, and Africa (where she had her first experience with the HWC!).
When not at work Jennifer can be found spending time with friends, trying out new restaurants, and exploring the UK.
Co-founder and Chair
Mel is a serial social entrepreneur who founded the Homeless World Cup in 2003 with Harald Schmied. Passionate about the power of sport to change lives, he has set up various social initiatives over the years.
Mel is also an Ashoka Fellow and Senior Fellow of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
He is the Chairman of Sportscotland, the national sports agency in Scotland.
Pete Irvine is a freelance event and festival organiser, and formerly the founding director of Unique Events who have created and produced many of Scotland’s major festivals and events including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
He is also the author of Scotland’s best selling guide book, Scotland the Best, currently in its 13th edition.
Having spent 10 years working with some of the UK’s most forward thinking independent funders, Eve is passionate about collaborating with organisations and social entrepreneurs to tackle the most entrenched social problems.
She was inspired to join the Homeless World Cup Foundation by its potential to change perceptions of people who are homeless.
Val McDermid is an internationally best-selling writer, a broadcaster, an activist and the lead vocalist of the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers. She is a lifelong fan of Raith Rovers and sponsors their home strip. She lives in Edinburgh.
This marketing juggernaut was co-founder and CEO of Ambergreen, an Edinburgh-based digital marketing agency recently acquired by DAC in a multi-million pound deal.
In adition to spending time with his family, Tino enjoys snowboarding and wakeboarding.
Kate has worked in the media and communications sector for more than 25 years in various roles both in-house and agency. She was PR Manager for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and has been Head of Communications and Marketing at Sportscotland since 2015.
She has a passion for grassroots sports and the ability for sport to change lives.
Peter is a writer and journalist with 40 years’ experience working in Hong Kong, Singapore and Scotland.
He has been a trustee since 2016, was Head of Communications in 2012 and is also co-author (with Mel Young) of Home Game: The Official Story of the Homeless World Cup.
Fran joined the Board in 2018 after volunteering as a Team Guide for the Belgian team at the Glasgow Homeless World Cup in 2016. She works as a commercial litigation lawyer, helping clients resolve disputes.
Outside of work, Fran is a keen football fan.
Iain is a chartered accountant living and working in Edinburgh. He has owned his own C.A. practice for 20 years acting for a wide range of small and medium sized businesses.
Iain has a strong interest in the Arts and acts for many of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists, theatre and Fringe companies. He has also been a Trustee of several Arts charities.
He is a long-term follower of all things Scottish football; through bad times and good!