Leading academic Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve has today been appointed Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Baroness O’Neill, a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords and Honorary Professor at the University of Cambridge, will lead the organisation through a period of change as it is streamlined to provide better value for money and a stronger focus on core functions.
Culture Secretary and Equalities Minister Maria Miller made the appointment following a competitive recruitment process and a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing by Parliament's Joint Committee of Human Rights earlier this week which concluded she was a suitable candidate.
“Baroness O’Neill is an inspiring woman with the skills needed to provide the strong leadership necessary to steer the EHRC through this crucial period,” Ms Miller said.“I look forward to seeing her progress as the EHRC is transformed into a valued and respected national institution that will continue to help deliver a free and fair society for everyone.”
Baroness O’Neill said she was “delighted” to take up the role. “The work of the commission is vital to our society and it is important it continues to promote fairness, challenge unacceptable inequalities and monitor progress in reducing them,” she added. “I intend to ensure the EHRC continues to strive towards excellence.”
The Government announced a number of reforms to the EHRC earlier this year, including the appointment of a new chair and a smaller board with stronger business and governance skills.
The EHRC said"The Equality and Human Rights Commission today welcomed the appointment of Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve as the Commission’s new Chair."
Mark Hammond, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:
“This is a challenging but very exciting time for the Commission and Baroness O’Neill’s appointment is a crucial step in the next phase of the Commission’s life. The Commission has been responsible for a significant number of achievements including ground breaking legal cases and inquiries and we are all looking forward to working with Baroness O’Neill to build on these successes.
“Her knowledge of human rights and equality coupled with her experience as Chair of other organisations will help the Commission continue the improvements we have made to the way we work and the positive impact we have on equality and human rights for everyone.”
Baroness Onora O’Neill said:
“I am delighted to be appointed as the new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and am looking forward to starting work.
“The work of the Commission is vital to our society and it is important it continues to promote fairness, challenge unacceptable inequalities and monitor progress in reducing them. I intend to ensure the EHRC continues to strive towards excellence as an effective and trusted source of expertise that delivers real value.” Source: Department Culture & Sport & Equalities & Human Rights Commission.
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