Commission appoints Chief Executive

02 June 2011

The Equality and Human Rights Commission today announced the appointment of Mark Hammond as chief executive.

Mark Hammond joins the Commission after an extensive career in local and central government. He was previously chief executive of West Sussex County Council, a post he held from 2004 to 2010. He first joined West Sussex in 2000 as director of environment and development.

From 1985, Mark held a wide range of posts in the Civil Service including private secretary to the permanent secretary at the Department of the Environment; part of the UK team which negotiated the United Nations climate change convention; and the energy, environment and telecoms brief at the British Embassy in Washington.

Commenting, Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Trevor Philips said:

"Mark's appointment as permanent chief executive is a crucial step in the next phase of the Commission's life. We can already count many achievements to our name, including ground breaking legal cases and investigations, but we need to build on those successes - most of all in charting an inclusive path to economic prosperity.

"We've made much progress in modernising the organisation over the last 18 months, and we are now about to start consulting on a new strategic plan to deliver the Commission's vision of improving life for the whole of society.  Mark will be leading the work to create an efficient, effective and creative organisation which can deliver that vision. 

"His extensive experience of delivering large scale organisational change will be vital to us as we look to build on the progress made by his predecessors Helen Hughes and Neil Kinghan. The board is delighted that he will be leading the organisation into this new challenge."

Mark has also been appointed by the Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities as a commissioner and accounting officer.

Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities added:

"It is vital that we have a strong, effective and independent equalities and human rights body. I congratulate Mark on his appointment and am confident that he will work towards delivering this.”

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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

Mr Hammond was appointed after an open and competitive recruitment process. He will be paid a salary of £130,000.

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.