Commission appoints Interim Group Director, Regulation

23 April 2010

The Equality and Human Rights Commission today announced the appointment of Sheila Kumar to the role of Interim Group Director, Regulation. Sheila joins the Commission from the Ministry of Justice on 26 April on a 12 month secondment.

Sheila will take over responsibility for the existing Strategy Directorate and will develop the new Regulatory Directorate, working closely with Legal colleagues. Her role will be to guide the Commission in the exercise of its regulatory functions.

Sheila’s background is in law and regulation. She has previously worked at HM Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Agriculture where she led on the set up of a new regulatory body with powers of standard setting, monitoring, inspection and enforcement, establishing a single, unified national regulator.

At the Ministry of Justice Sheila’s roles included Head of Consumer Protection and then Head of Competition Issues Branch. She also led the team which undertook an independent review of the competition, access and regulation of the legal sector. Sheila's most recent role was as Director of Change and Performance Excellence at the Law Society, the largest regulator and professional body for lawyers. Elements of that significant programme included developing the model for the separation of regulation from representation and advising Lord Hunt in his Review of Regulatory Practice.

Neil Kinghan, Director General of the Commission said: “With her background in creating and developing successful regulatory bodies, Sheila will bring a huge amount of expertise to the Commission as we continue to shape our role as a regulator. She will play an important part in the Commission’s role in helping ensure the successful implementation of the Equality Act.

Sheila Kumar said: 'The Equality and Human Rights Commission has a vital regulatory role to play in working with public and private sector organisations to help making Britain a fairer place for all. I look forward to joining the team and to working with partners to develop the Commission’s expertise and role.'

Ends

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.

For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Notes to Editors

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.