EDI champion appointed to University Council

At the latest meeting of University Council, Professor Surinder Sharma was appointed as a new lay member.


Professor Sharma is recognised as a champion for equality, diversity, and inclusion, working with private, public, and voluntary sector organisations in the UK, in Europe and globally to develop and achieve their EDI goals.

He was the first ever National Director for Equality and Human Rights at the Department of Health and the NHS, and throughout his career has held a variety of leadership roles, including the Head of Diversity at BBC Television, Head of Equality and Diversity at Littlewoods, Director, Diversity at the Ford Motor Company in Europe and Global Consultant with Novartis AG, in Switzerland.

In recognition of his innovative and pioneering work, Professor Sharma has been awarded honorary degrees from De Montfort University; Birmingham City University; the University of Leicester, and Aston University; alongside honorary professorships from Wolverhampton University and Manchester University Business School.

He is currently a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire and an Honorary Alderman for the City of Leicester, also served as the High Sheriff of Leicestershire from 2016-2017 and as a Justice of the Peace. He has extensive leadership and governance experience in a variety of organisations, including, as Chair of the Leicester Race Equality Centre, Chair of the Leicestershire and Rutland County Football Association and Trustee of the National Space Centre, Phoenix Arts Centre, Charity Link and UNICEF UK.

Speaking about his appointment to University Council, Chair Christine Hodgson CBE said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Sharma to Council. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly within the EDI agenda, which is a key focus of the University’s new strategy.”

Professor Sharma said: “It is a great honour to be appointed to Loughborough University Council. I look forward to working with a talented team and supporting the University as it implements its new strategy, and using my skills, knowledge and experience to help it continue to progress.”

Council is the senior governing body of the University and oversees all strategic matters and setting the direction of the institution. Further information can be found here.