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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.

Caroline Waters OBE (Deputy Chair)

Appointed for five years from 15 January 2013
Re-appointed for five years from 15 January 2018

Caroline Waters

Currently Vice President of Carers UK, Trustee of RSPCA, Advisory board member International Longevity Centre, Member of leaders as Change Agents board and Founder and CEO of CW Consulting Box, Caroline Waters was also Director of People and Policy at BT and has a distinguished record on equality, inclusion, and human resources, and has been the driving force of many diversity-focused groups.

She chaired, for example, Employers for Carers from 2001 to 2013, was founder and inaugural Chair of the Employers' Forum on Belief, and Chair of the Lone Parents working group.

She was awarded HR Director of the Year in the 2009 and Most Influential HR Director of the decade in 2016 HR Excellence Awards and has also judged a number of prestigious diversity awards including the CRE Race in the Media Awards and Help the Aged's Living Legends.

She was awarded the OBE for services to diversity and equal opportunities in the New Year’s list in 2010.

She is a Director of Wilson James and appears on the Disability 100 Power list.

 

Marcial Boo (CEO)

Appointed on 20 September 2021

Marcial Boo

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

He was CEO for six years at the MPs’ spending watchdog IPSA and, during Covid, 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, and sits on the policy advisory board of the University of Bath.

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.

Eryl Besse (Wales Commissioner)

Appointed for four years from 1 April 2022

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).

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). 

 

Alasdair Henderson

Appointed for four years from 27 April 2018
Reappointed for four years from 27 April 2022

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 and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

 

Helen Mahy CBE

Appointed for four years from 27 April 2018
Reappointed for four years from 27 April 2022

Helen Mahy

Helen is chair of the Renewables Infrastructure Group, which is listed on the main market on the London Stock Exchange. She is also a Non-executive Director of SSE plc and Chair of its Safety, Health and Environment Committee. She is Co-Chair of the Employers Social Mobility Alliance.

She was, until she retired in 2013, Group Company Secretary and General Counsel of National Grid plc for 10 years. At National Grid, she was also executive sponsor of inclusion and diversity, about which she is passionate. Helen has also been on the boards of Aga Rangemaster Group plc, Stagecoach Group plc, SVG Capital plc, Bonheur A.S.A, Primary Health Properties plc and was Chairperson of Medicx Fund Ltd. She qualified as a barrister and was an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute. She is also an accredited performance coach.

Helen is a member of the steering board of the Parker Review in to Ethnic Diversity of UK Boards and is a Bencher at Middle Temple.

She was also an advisory board member of Opportunity Now. Helen was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2015, for services to business and voluntary service, particularly to the legal profession and Diversity in the Workplace.

 

Akua Reindorf

Appointed for four years from 1 January 2022

Akua Reindorf

Akua Reindorf 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 is a Fee Paid Employment Judge (appointed 2020) and a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (B Panel) (appointed 2019).

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 Age 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), 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 Orwell Foundation board, ENO advisory board and WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications London)’s campaign committee.

One of Cranfield’s 50 BAME Women to Watch 2019, 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'.

Last updated: 26 Jul 2022