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About our Commissioners

Kishwer, Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Chair)

Appointed for four years from 1 December 2020

Baroness Falkner

Kishwer Falkner joined the Commission on 1 December 2020. She also serves as a Member of the House of Lords where she is a Cross Bench member. Additionally, she is a member of the Bank of England’s Enforcement Decision Making Committee.

In the Lords, she was Chairwoman of the EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee and a Member of the EU Select Committee from 2015-19.  She was a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats on Home Affairs, Justice and Foreign Affairs from 2004-2015. She has also served on several parliamentary committees including the Constitution Committee, the Joint Committee on Human Rights; and the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy.

Kishwer was formerly Policy Director at the Liberal Democrats; a political researcher at the Commonwealth Secretariat, and has held Fellowships at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford (2010), and at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2006).

Kishwer’s academic background is in International Relations, obtaining degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Kent.

Alasdair Henderson (Joint Deputy Chair)

Appointed for four years from 27 April 2018

Reappointed for four years from 27 April 2022
Appointed Joint Deputy Chair from 16 January 2023

Alasdair Henderson

Alasdair Henderson is a barrister at 1 Crown Office Row, specialising in public law, human rights, employment law and equality law. He previously worked in Rwanda for International Justice Mission, investigating cases of land rights violations.

He has been involved in several of the most high-profile public inquiries of recent years, including the Al-Sweady Inquiry, Leveson Inquiry, Litvinenko Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Manchester Arena Inquiry.


Eryl Besse (Joint Deputy Chair and Wales Commissioner)

Appointed for four years from 1 April  2022
Appointed Joint Deputy Chair from 16 January 2023

Eryl Besse

Eryl Besse is a lawyer by training and was a Partner at both Linklaters and Debevoise & Plimpton; she qualified as a Solicitor and Avocat à la Cour and practised in both London and Paris.

Since retiring from legal practice at the end of December 2012, she has been in public service. She served on the Board of the Charity Commission from 2013 – 2018 and was the Member for Wales. She was Deputy Chairwoman from 2016 -2018. She was subsequently the Senior Adviser to the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for UK victims of Qadhafi sponsored IRA terrorism.

Eryl is a native Welsh speaker and was educated in Wales up to the age of 18. During her term at the Charity Commission, she acted as its ambassador in Wales. She was also a member of the Advisory Board of Teach First Cymru (2015 - 2020) and its Chairwoman (2018 - 2020).

Marcial Boo (CEO)

Appointed on 20 September 2021

Marcial Boo

Marcial Boo has been Chief Executive of the Commission since September 2021.

For six years, he was CEO at the MPs’ spending watchdog IPSA. During Covid, he led the UK’s Public Health Register, the sector’s professional regulator. He was previously a director at the National Audit Office and a senior civil servant at the Home Office and Department for Education, where he led work on crime reduction, counter-terrorism, community cohesion and adult basic skills.

He chairs the Institute of Regulation, is a fellow at the UCL Constitution Unit, a trustee of the non-partisan think tank Demos, sits on the policy advisory board of the University of Bath and is an advisory board member of Unchecked UK.

He started his career teaching adult literacy and has written three books: a children’s picture book, a guide to public sector management, and proposals to improve constitutional regulation.

Jessica Butcher MBE

Appointed for four years from 1 December 2020

Jessica Butcher

Jessica Butcher is a serial technology entrepreneur, angel investor and business advisor. She was the cofounding CMO of Blippar from 2011 to 2015 during its rapid ascent as one of the global tech pioneers in the field of Augmented Reality.

A business mentor, speaker and writer on subjects as diverse as women in technology and entrepreneurship, work-life blend and humane technology, with deep interest around both equality of opportunity and how society might address some of the more recent negative societal and behavioural ramifications of social technology.

She is the recipient of awards including the BBC’s Top 100 Women, Fortune’s Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs, The Evening Standard’s ‘Progress 1000’  and Europe's Top 50 Inspiring Women in Tech. Awarded an MBE for services to technology and entrepreneurship in the 2018 New Years Honours List.


David Goodhart

Appointed for four years from 1 December 2020

David Goodhart

David is a journalist, writer and thinktanker. He worked for the Financial Times for 12 years before setting up Prospect magazine in 1995. He has been involved with issues relating to equality and discrimination for 20 years.

In 2013 he published a book on race and immigration, 'The British Dream' (runner up for the Orwell prize). When director of the Demos think tank he set up the Integration Hub website as a focus for data and debate about ethnic minority integration and segregation.

In his current role as Head of the Demography Unit at the Policy Exchange think tank he has contributed to most of the policy debates on race including cowriting a report (with Shamit Saggar and others), 'Bittersweet Success', on ethnic minority people in elite jobs. His two most recent books are 'The Road to Somewhere: The New Tribes Shaping British Politics' (2017) and 'Head, Hands, Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Stats in the 21st Century' (2020). 


Akua Reindorf KC

Appointed for four years from 1 January 2022

Akua Reindorf

Akua Reindorf KC is a barrister at Cloisters Chambers. She specialises in employment, discrimination and human rights law, focussing on complex and protracted litigation and high profile internal investigations. She has particular expertise in the higher education sector. She has been a Fee Paid Employment Judge since 2020 and she was appointed King’s Counsel on 27 March 2023.

Dr Lesley Sawers OBE (Scotland Commissioner)

Appointed for five years from 29 March 2016
Re-appointed for four years from 29 March 2021

Lesley Sawers

Lesley is currently a non-executive director of Crosswinds Developments Ltd and a Trustee of Smart Works Scotland. She is also a Director of GenAnalytics Ltd, a specialist analytical and market insights consultancy. Previously Lesley was Vice Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor for Business, Enterprise and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian University, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and Deputy Chair of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

She has also held senior executive positions at Scottish Power plc, Royal Mail, CACI Inc and VisitScotland. She is also a past Trustee and Chair of Action for Children (Scotland), Age Scotland, Chair of the Royal Mail Advisory Board Scotland and Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance.


Su-Mei Thompson

Appointed for four years from 1 December 2020

Su-Mei Thompson

Su-Mei Thompson is CEO of Media Trust, a non-profit organisation which works with the media industry to give charities and young people a stronger voice while helping the media sector to be more representative.

Previously, she was CEO of The Women’s Foundation Hong Kong. She started her career as an associate at Linklaters and has held senior management positions at The Walt Disney Company and Financial Times.

Su-Mei also serves on the Supervisory Board of IMD in Lausanne and as a trustee of the Orwell Foundation.

One of Charity Times’ top 15 women leaders inspiring other third sector leaders in 2022, she is a former Member of the Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong, founded the 30% Club’s Hong Kong chapter, was a founding board member of Save The Children Hong Kong and an Associate Producer of the award-winning documentary “She Objects”.

Kunle Olulode MBE

Appointed for 4 years from 1 January 2023

Kunle Olulode

Kunle Olulode is the Director of Voice4Change England, a infrastructure charity. Its members numbering over 500 Black community organisations covering everything from criminal justice to migrant rights. He is acutely aware of how lack of diversity in thought is crippling serious debate on social policy issues, including race. 

As a policy adviser and activist at Camden Council, from 2002 to 2011, he led the Camden Black Workers staff group, representing over 500 Black and Asian staff members, founded its award-winning Camden Black History Forum.

Possessing a long-standing interest in culture and arts development, he has supported projects in the UK and Spain for over 25 years. A member of South Bank’s BFI’s African Odyssey programme steering group, he is also a Trustee of the English Heritage Trust, which is responsible for some of England's most iconic buildings and monuments.

Joanne Cash

Appointed for four years from 16 January 2023

Joanna Cash

Joanne Cash is a human rights expert and advocate. She has advised consecutive governments, think tanks and organisations on equalities legislation and policy for almost 20 years.

She practised as a barrister at 1 Brick Court for 15 years, serving as the South Eastern Circuit Junior and a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

In 2010 she stood for parliament in the marginal seat of Westminster North and used that first-hand experience of inner city challenges to found the social mobility programme Parent Gym in partnership with the behavioural science business Mind Gym. In 2012 she was made Board Chair of Mind Gym where she oversaw its ground breaking work on diversity and inclusion and the expansion of Parent Gym to a national programme. In 2018 she led the successful listing of Mind Gym on AIM.

Joanne remains a non-exec at Mind Gym plc and Chair of Parent Gym. She is also a Board advisor to Women2Win and on the advisory panel of the Longevity Forum with a special focus on the science of health equality.

Last updated: 16 Aug 2023