Liz Nelson

Director, Tax Justice and Human Rights,
Tax Justice Network
Nationality: British
Living in: Oxford, UK
Fields of work: tax justice, human rights, gender, financial architecture

“I am curious to understand why people think and act as they do. I nurture my curiosity by asking questions and listening to the answers. I know that trying to understand a different view can positively inform my thinking and help me design my work. Keeping my mind open to change, to difference, is an important basis for tailoring my practice.”
— Liz Nelson

“I have worked since 2010 with the Tax Justice Network (TJN), which is dedicated to high-level research and advocacy on global tax evasion and avoidance, and the role of financial secrecy jurisdictions, or ‘tax havens’. I lead a programme of collaboration between tax justice and human rights advocates in initiatives of practical application, with a network of regional and global researchers, advocates and campaigners who are interdisciplinary and international in scope. The programme focuses on opportunities for progress in the fields of tax justice and human rights, with an initial focus on gender and inequalities.  

“I represent TJN in the Financial Transparency Coalition, an international network of 12 civil society organisations, and I am an active steering group member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s working group on tax and gender.

“I began work in Liverpool with a national volunteer service, supporting young people who had been excluded from school. I later developed volunteer projects in community and residential settings across the North West of England. I spent 17 years in supported housing roles including managing a residential supported housing service for young people who had finished short custodial and non-custodial sentences, and I developed, planned and evaluated service provision in consultation with service users. These experiences gave me an opportunity to challenge service inequalities, including opening access of provision to women and working with governing bodies to challenge discriminatory practices related to HIV/Aids and perceptions of risk. 

“From 2006 to 2010 I was Development Manager at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, Oxford. I worked with the Skoll MBA Scholars and the Business School team to promote social justice ethics and practice.

“In 2017 I designed a proposal and secured donor support to bring together international researchers, advocates and activists working on tax, women’s rights and gender justice to develop an action plan for progressive tax systems and financial transparency for women’s rights. The collaborative outcome was the Bogota Declaration on Tax Justice for Women’s Rights

“I gained an MA (Hons) degree in Victorian literature at the University of Liverpool in 1984 after studying English literature as an undergraduate. In 2014 I gained a postgraduate certificate in human rights development management, international human rights and development management from the Open University.”

Twitter: @zilhen

“What gives me hope? Opportunities to strengthen democracy, a concept that is under such attack in our time. It is why I believe tax justice is so important — because it can create opportunities for all people, especially women, to have choices, and for their voices to be heard.” — Liz Nelson
— Liz Nelson