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Professor Surinder Sharma

Professor Surinder Sharma has had a wide-ranging career with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. His first job was with the Commission for Racial Equality from March 1978 where he gained the strategic knowledge base on which his later career was built.

He has worked for BBC Television, the Littlewoods Organisation and for the Ford Motor Company (Europe) where he managed a European Team during a period of radical transformation. He served as a member of the Global Advisory Council at Novartis AG in Switzerland, where he was also a consultant to the company on Diversity and Inclusion. He has been a Commissioner at the Equal Opportunities Commission where he chaired the Legal Committee; he also co-chaired the European Work-Life & Diversity Forum. In 2004 he was appointed as the first National Director for Equality & Human Rights at the Department of Health and the National Health Service.

Surinder served as the High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 2016-2017 and has been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire. Surinder has been a City Councillor for Leicester and chaired the Housing Committee. He has served as a Justice of the Peace and was appointed an Alderman for the City of Leicester in 2013.


Current appointments include:

  • Trustee of UNICEF
  • Trustee of the National Space Centre
  • An Independent Person at Leicestershire County Council
  • Chair of the National Governing Council of the Health & Social Care BME Staff Networ
  • Member of the Ministry of Defence Diversity Advisory Panel
  • Member of the Equality Advisory Group at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Co-Founder & Co-Director of Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE), School of Media, Communications and Sociology, University of Leicesterman for the City of Leicester in 2013.
For his pioneering work Surinder has been awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Birmingham City University, De Montfort University and the University of Leicester, and Honorary Professorships from the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Manchester Business School.

Surinder is a member of Aston University's Nominations Committee and of the Audit Committee.

Surinder Sharma - Council
Surinder Sharma - Independent Council Member