Our people

SafeLives is a small team of dedicated professionals with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Diana Barran, CEO

Diana Barran established Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (Caada) – now SafeLives – in 2005. In that time, she has helped to transform the national response to domestic abuse.

Graduating from King's College, Cambridge in 1980, Diana went into the City as an investment banker, founding one of the first European hedge funds in 1993. She later moved on to become a donor adviser and head of grant development for New Philanthropy Capital, where she co-authored a guide for donors and philanthropists about the domestic violence sector called Charity Begins at Home.

Diana is a trustee of several grant-making trusts, including Comic Relief, the Henry Smith Charity and the Hestia Fund, which specialises in supporting domestic abuse projects. Through her work with these charities, Diana co-authored the study Safety in Numbers on high-risk victims of abuse – the largest research study of its kind in the UK. She was awarded the Beacon Prize for England in November 2007, and received an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours in 2011 in recognition of her work to protect domestic abuse victims.

Suzanne Jacob, OBE, Deputy CEO

Suzanne leads the development and delivery of all our national programmes, our research team, training and accreditation programmes, our local support networks and our consultancy. Immediately before joining SafeLives, Suzanne spent several months working in Delhi for Breakthrough India, an organisation which campaigns against violence and discrimination against women and girls. Prior to this, Suzanne spent nearly a decade with the UK Home Office. Here, she worked extensively on national security matters, established the National Crime Agency as a significant new part of UK law enforcement, and acted as Private Secretary to the Minister responsible for crime and policing. Suzanne worked for several years on security for the London 2012 Olympics, and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for her work on intelligence collection and analysis, and enforcement activity.

Peter Needham, Director of Finance and Resources

Peter is responsible for SafeLives financial strategy and for our financial policies, procedures and controls. Peter also has lead responsibility for the support functions of ICT, health and safety, offices and facilities and HR management. Prior to joining SafeLives in September 2016, Peter was the Finance Director of a major UK learning disability charity for 12 years, and a key member of the executive team in this period during which the charity tripled in size through mergers and organic growth. Prior to this Peter spent nearly 15 years in a variety of senior finance roles at a large regional building society, which became the UK arm of a major Irish Bank. Peter qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young in 1989.

Jo Silver, Director of Practice

Jo is responsible for designing and piloting exciting new and effective interventions to end domestic abuse. Jo provides expert advice on activities, policy messages and practice, she works with national and local commissioners, funders, policy makers and partners to make this happen. Jo rejoined us in January 2014, having spent two years as senior consultant at the NSPCC in Cardiff. Jo was Caada's director of professional development between 2006 and 2012. She also worked for the police for ten years in the public protection unit and at the Women's Safety Unit in Cardiff.