Lay member profile

Professor Surinder Sharma

Professor Surinder Sharma has over 40 years of experience in leadership in achieving cultural organisational change and championing equity, fairness, diversity and inclusion.

He was appointed as the first ever 'Czar' National Director for Equality and Human Rights for the Department of Health and the NHS.

His career has spanned working in leadership roles for:

  • Regulators at the Commission for Racial Equality, as well as a Commissioner for the Equal Opportunities Commission where he chaired the Legal Committee;
  • In broadcasting at the BBC Television as Head of Equality & Diversity;
  • In retail at the Littlewoods Organisation as the Head of Equality & Diversity;
  • In manufacturing at the Ford Motor Company, Europe, as the Director Diversity, Europe;
  • In pharma at Novartis AG, as a Global Consultant;
  • In government at the Department of Health and the NHS as the National Director Equality & Human Rights.

He has served as an elected member for Leicester City Council, as a Justice of the Peace at the Leicester Magistrates Court, as High Sheriff of Leicestershire, as a Trustee of UNICEF UK and as a Council Member of Aston University.

He currently serves as Chair of the Leicestershire & Rutland County Football Association, Chair of the Leicester Race Equality Centre, a Trustee of the National Space Centre, Charity Link, Leicester Arts Centre & the Phoenix Cinema and as an Independent Person for Leicestershire County Council and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

He serves as the Deputy Lieutenant for Leicestershire, Alderman for the City of Leicester and in recognition for his service awarded honorary Professorships and honorary Doctorate degrees by six UK Universities.