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:
- Kishwer, Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Chair)
- Caroline Waters OBE (Deputy Chair)
- Suzanne Baxter
- Jessica Butcher MBE
- Pavita Cooper
- David Goodhart
- Alasdair Henderson
- Rebecca Hilsenrath (Chief Executive)
- Susan Johnston OBE
- Helen Mahy CBE
- Mark McLane
- Bernard, Baron Ribeiro of Achimota (Ghana) and Ovington (Hants) CBE; FRCS
- Dr Lesley Sawers OBE (Scotland Commissioner)
- Su-Mei Thompson
Our Chair and Commissioners are public appointments made by the Minister for Women and Equalities. The latest round of appointments was announced in May 2018. The term of office of the Chair ended on 9 August 2020 and the Wales Commissioner ended on 31 May 2019 with both positions currently vacant. The government process to appoint a new Chair and Wales Commissioner has now closed.
The Board has a strategic oversight role. It does not directly manage our operations, but delegates that role to the CEO and our staff. It holds the CEO and the staff to account by monitoring performance against our 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 work is also guided by two 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 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.
We also have a:
To inform and advise the Commission’s work to protect and promote rights and equality for disabled people.
Our governance manual 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.
Register of Commissioners’ interests
The governance framework sets out rules and guidance for Commissioners on conflicts of interests, and we maintain a publicly available register of Commissioners' interests. Declarations of interests are available to download as Word documents, below.
- Suzanne Baxter: declaration of interests (Word)
- Jessica Butcher: declaration of interests (Word)
- Pavita Cooper: declaration of interests (Word)
- Baroness Kishwer Falkner: declaration of interests (Word)
- David Goodhart: declaration of interests (Word)
- Alasdair Henderson: declaration of interests (Word)
- Rebecca Hilsenrath: declaration of interests (Word)
- Susan Johnson: declaration of interests (Word)
- Helen Mahy: declaration of interests (Word)
- Mark McLane: declaration of interests (Word)
- Lord Bernard Ribeiro: declaration of interests (Word)
- Lesley Sawers: declaration of interests (Word)
- Su-Mei Thompson: declaration of interests (Word)
- Caroline Waters: declaration of interests (Word)
Last updated: 11 Feb 2021