Commission welcomes appointment of new Chair and Scotland Commissioner

Published: 26 Apr 2016

Welcoming the Secretary of State and Minister for Women and Equalities’ decision to appoint David Isaac as the new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, EHRC Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath, said:

'I am delighted to hear that David Isaac will be our new Chair.  David has a fantastic track record in championing equality and human rights and driving legislative and social change, and his experience on the boards of a number of highly-regarded charitable and cultural organisations will be a great asset to the Commission. His leadership and experience will help the Commission on our journey of progress and continuous improvement to deliver even greater impact in promoting a fairer society.'

Interim Chair Caroline Waters, said:

'This is a crucial time for the Commission, as we begin to deliver our new strategy to tackle the issues addressed in our Is Britain Fairer? report, in the context of significant potential constitutional, social and economic change. I’m confident that David Isaac has all the skills, experience, commitment and integrity needed to lead the Commission to build on our successes and deliver more significant and sustainable impact through the challenging period ahead.'

Interim Deputy Chair Sarah Veale, said:

'David is a first-class appointment as the new Chair of the EHRC and comes with outstanding experience and passion for making Britain fairer. He comes at a critical time with a lot of change ahead but we can all look forward with confidence with a candidate of his calibre at the helm.'

The Government has also announced the appointment of a new EHRC Scotland Commissioner. Dr Lesley Sawers will bring a Scottish perspective to the Commission’s Board and will chair its statutory Scotland Committee.

Welcoming Dr Sawers’ appointment, Rebecca Hilsenrath said:

'We are very pleased to welcome Dr Lesley Sawers as our new Scotland Commissioner. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will strengthen the Commission's Board and provide a powerful voice for greater fairness in Scotland. I look forward to working with her.'


Notes to editors

David Isaac CBE

David is a partner at law firm Pinsent Masons and was previously Chair of Stonewall from 2003 to 2012. He is also Chair of Modern Art Oxford, a Director of the Big Lottery Fund and a Trustee of both the Human Dignity Trust and 14-18 Now. David was awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to equality and diversity.

Dr Lesley Sawers

Lesley is currently Executive Chair of GenAnalytics Ltd, a specialist analytical and market insights consultancy focused on business performance improvement linked to equality and diversity in the workplace.

Previously Lesley was Vice Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor for Business, Enterprise and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian University and Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. She holds a number of senior public appointments with a focus on equalities, social justice and economic growth and last year completed a major independent review into the “Role and contribution of women in the Scottish Economy”.

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