Compass is led by our members, Management Committee and staff. Our office is run by a small team of staff and volunteers.

Neal Lawson, Chair

WorNeal Lawsonking with the Management Committee and the staff Neal helps direct Compass. He has long believed that politics needs a new way of thinking, organising and being - he wants Compass to be it. Neal was author of All Consuming (Penguin, 2009) and serves on the Boards of UK Feminista and We own it!, is a Contributing Editor of the social democracy journal Renewal and is an Associate Member at the Bauman Institute at Leeds University. He writes regularly for the Guardian and the New Statesman. In the past he worked as a trade union researcher, an advisor to Gordon Brown and ran a communications company. As well as his role with Compass he works on issues and projects for Jericho Chambers.

Jacqui Howard, National Organiser

Jacqui Jacqui ensures that Compass’ work is strategic and member-led, developing cutting edge thinking and policy ideas, and having real world impact. She manages and delivers our projects and research programmes, makes sure the organisation is running smoothly and effectively, and supports local Compass groups and members to get involved and take action. She's passionate about developing new and participative ways for people to shape and be involved in Compass, in political education and works to bridge the divide between Westminster politics and people and between horizontal and vertical politics. Jacqui has a background in International Development and was previously lead organiser with The People's Assembly, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tanzania and Germany, the German NGO Forum on Environment & Development in Berlin and for the SPD in the German parliament. Email Jacqui on

Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Development and Engagement Lead

AyeishaAyeisha works alongside Jacqui to develop Compass and build engagement with our wonderful supporters. She has been involved with numerous campaigning and activism projects, and has previously worked for openDemocracy and the Oxford Research Group on projects to promote participatory democracy in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Prior to joining Compass, Ayeisha worked as a Project Coordinator at Itinerant Works: producing events, research and projects around migration issues in association with Migrants Rights Network. She also has an MA in Postcolonial Cultural Studies and Global Policy, with research interests in rethinking radical work.

Management Committee

The Management Committee is elected from the membership every two years.  


Compass Associates help develop the Compass network and share in the expanding workload of the organisation.


Compass Volunteers generously give their time to help Compass build our work in a range of areas including events, projects and social media.