The Team

Jamila Boughelaf – Head of Programmes



Jamila is Head of Programmes at Mentor, where she has been managing the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) since September 2013 and the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions since April 2015. Jamila also represented Mentor at the 2015 UNESCO, UNODC, WHO joint international expert meeting on substance use among children and young people. Since August 2015 Jamila has been member of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR).


Jamila’s background is managing national and international projects, and major events aimed at fundraising, awareness raising or campaigning. Passionate about achieving positive social change in society, she has been involved in a wide range of youth engagement, active citizenship and human rights projects across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Jamila also spent time as a Research Assistant for Dr Maha Azzam at the Chatham House and Dr Sara Silvestri at City University. Jamila holds a BA in International Communication from the University of Milan, and a Masters in Social Sciences from City University London.




Alessandra Podestà – Research Analyst


copy3Alessandra’s background is focused on implementation and evaluation of international development projects. Passionate about socio-economic issues and global affairs, Alessandra spent two years in Southern Africa working for humanitarian organisations on education and local development projects. Prior to joining Mentor she has been collaborating with a London based microfinance charity operating in Zambia and Malawi.  Alessandra holds a Master’s degree in economics and international relations at University of Pavia and an MSc in Political Economy of Development at SOAS.




Richard Lynas – Research Officer


richardRichard is Mentor’s Research and Project Officer focusing on ADEPIS and CAYT. He has worked in the third sector for 25 years and for six years in substance misuse and prevention. Following a degree in Applied Psychology, Richard moved to Romania where he worked with a national substance abuse charity. He has been trained in addiction care by the De Hoop Foundation and in the therapeutic community approach by Portage Canada.


Richard has a background in international development and global health and has worked internationally in numerous programmes, research and monitoring and evaluation roles. In his spare time Richard is completing a PhD in positive youth psychology and working with another charity aiming to bring an end to child institutions in Sri Lanka. In 2012 Richard was selected to carry the Olympic torch in recognition of his work in this area.