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Our Commissioners, Committees and Governance

The Board of Commissioners

Our Board of Commissioners is the highest level decision-making body in the organisation, responsible for the strategic oversight of the Commission.

The Board comprises:

  • David Isaac CBE (Chair)
  • Caroline Waters OBE (Deputy Chair)
  • June Milligan (Wales Commissioner)
  • Dr Lesley Sawers (Scotland Commissioner)
  • Susan Johnson OBE
  • Lorna McGregor
  • Professor Swaran Singh
  • Sarah Veale CBE
  • Lord Shinkwin 
  • Rebecca Hilsenrath (Chief Executive)

Our Chair and Commissioners are appointed by the Minister for Women and Equalities and are leading authorities in the fields of equality and human rights: see their biographies.

They are public appointments made by the Minister for Women and Equalities. You can read the announcements by Government on the appointments of our Commissioners here:

The Board has a strategic oversight role. It does not directly manage the Commission's operations, but delegates that role to the CEO and the Commission’s staff. It holds the CEO and the staff to account by monitoring performance against the Commission’s strategic priorities and ensuring that resources are being used to good effect.

The Board meets around six times a year, and we publish minutes of recent Board meetings.

Our Committees

Our work is also guided by three statutory Committees:

These Committees, whose roles are set out in the Equality Act 2006, advise the Commission about the exercise of its functions in Scotland, in Wales, and in respect of disability, and oversee the exercise of some delegated functions. The statutory Committees are chaired by Commissioners, and their membership is recruited by the Commission for their expertise and experience.

We have two additional non-statutory committees established by the Commission to support and inform our decision-making and work programme.

ARAC and HRRC are both chaired by Commissioners and have both commissioner and independent membership.

Our Governance

Our Governance Framework sets out in detail the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Commissioners, our statutory and non-statutory Committees, senior management and officers. It is designed to ensure the Commission operates in accordance with best practice and in a way that commands public confidence.

Our relationship with Government, and how the Commission operates as an independent arm’s length body is set out in a Government Commission Framework Document. This details how we operate in areas such as spending controls, recruitment and responding to Parliament in a way that ensures our independence of Government and our ability to fulfil statutory functions while remaining fully accountable for our corporate performance and use of public funds.

Last updated: 05 May 2017