Our people

Our Chief Executive, Ellen Miller, leads the below senior leadership team (SLT) and overall operational management of SafeLives. The SLT is assisted by a team of dedicated professionals with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. 

Ellen Miller, CEO

Ellen took up the role of interim CEO for SafeLives in January 2023, covering for Suzanne’s parental leave, and will now return to the role as permanent CEO. Ellen joins us from Refuge, where she is interim CEO, having previously been interim CEO at SafeLives from January to October 2023. Prior to that, she was Deputy CEO and then Acting CEO at Versus Arthritis, Services Director at Victim Support, and CEO of Lancaster Women’s Aid and Blackpool Advocacy, following a career in Local Government Strategy and Commissioning.


Emma Robinson, Interim Director of Quality and Innovation

Emma Robinson will be taking up the Interim Director of Quality and Innovation role, while Jo Silver is on sabbatical for the next year. Before taking up this post, Emma was the Head of Training and Development at SafeLives. 


Jo Gordon, Chief Operating Officer

Jo is responsible for effective and efficient internal management of the organisation, making sure that SafeLives lives by its values of being human, rigorous and brave. Jo took up the role of Chief Operating Officer in July 2018. Prior to this, Jo was Head of Learning and Accreditation at SafeLives having joined in 2005 as a freelance trainer. Jo started her career as a youth and community worker.  She worked for ten years at North Devon Women’s Aid prior to SafeLives and is committed to tackling the issue of domestic abuse. Jo is also a volunteer at her local homeless shelter.


Liz Thompson, Director of External Relations

Liz is responsible for our external relations activity, working with colleagues to forge and maintain great relationships with the wide array of people who are vital to our work; find new opportunities to develop and replicate what we do; and secure the support and income we need to help people and their families live safely and well. She joined in 2019, following a decade leading communications for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She started her career in the commercial sector at public relations agency, Burson-Marsteller, and her previous experience includes external relations, fundraising and management roles in the public sector, at the Environment Agency and Countryside Commission, and at the charity Turning Point. She also trained as a volunteer substance misuse counsellor at Addaction, and worked at their first needle exchange in Bethnal Green.


Dawn Codrington, Director of People and Culture

Dawn leads our people and culture work. She has spent her professional life working nationally and internationally in the field of people development and change and transformation; working with individuals, teams and organisations to create positive people-centred environments.  She has worked with health and social care, education and international charities, including a global volunteer led organisation, where she developed women leaders on the Stop the Violence Campaign. Most recently, she has been at Turning Point, the leading health and social care enterprise, and Transform Trade, a trade justice organisation in the international development sector.

Read SafeLives' Diversity Data Report - February 2023