- Minister for Women and Equalities appoints four new Commissioners to EHRC board
- Jessica Butcher MBE, David Goodhart and Su-Mei Thompson will sit on the board for a period of four years
- Lord Ribeiro also appointed to the Board for one year, to provide medical and public health expertise
Today (12 November) the Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, has appointed four new Commissioners to the Board of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Jessica Butcher MBE, David Goodhart and Su-Mei Thompson have been appointed to the Board for a period of four years. In addition, the former President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Lord Ribeiro, has been appointed to the Board for one year, to help ensure that the EHRC has medical and public health expertise, strengthening its work on equalities and human rights during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement follows the recent appointment of Baroness Kishwer Falkner as the new Chair of the EHRC, subject to the formal scrutiny process.
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, said:
“The appointments of Jessica Butcher, David Goodhart, Su-Mei Thompson and Lord Ribeiro are a positive step forward for equality in this country.
“Their combined expertise and experience will help the EHRC carry out its important work of upholding and advancing equality and human rights at this vital time for the United Kingdom.“
The new Commissioners will have an important role to play in assisting the EHRC fulfil its role as the country’s expert body on equality and human rights issues.
Notes to Editors
These appointments were conducted in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, which makes clear that the three principles governing public appointments are merit, fairness and openness.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It is an independent body responsible for protecting and promoting equality and human rights in Great Britain. It aims to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex.
Jessica Butcher MBE, David Goodhart and Su-Mei Thompson have been appointed to the Board for a period of four years from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024.
Jessica Butcher MBE is a serial technology entrepreneur, angel investor and business advisor. She was the Co-founding CMO of Blippar from 2011-2015 during it’s rapid ascent as one of the global tech pioneers in the field of Augmented Reality (a global CNBC ‘Top 50 Disruptor’ business in 2015/16/17 alongside the likes of Uber, AirBnB and Spotify). Jessica is a passionate start-up/ scale-up mentor, public speaker and writer on subjects as diverse as women in technology and entrepreneurship, work-life balance and humane technology, with particular passions 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 numerous awards including the BBC’s Top 100 Women, Fortune’s Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs, The Evening Standard’s ‘Progress 1000’ list of London influencers & Europe’s Top 50 Inspiring Women in Tech.She was awarded an MBE for services to technology and entrepreneurship in the 2018 New Years Honours List.
David Goodhart is a journalist, writer and think-tanker, and 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 book prize). When he was director of the Demos think tank he set up, with Trevor Phillips, the Integration Hub website as a focus for data and debate about ethnic minority integration/segregation. In his current role as head of the Demography unit at the Policy Exchange think tank he has contributed to most of the key policy debates on race including co-writing a major report (with Shamit Saggar and others) Bittersweet Success on minority entry into elite jobs. After training as a journalist on the York Evening Press, David spent 12 years on the Financial Times, including a stint as a foreign correspondent in Germany, before setting up his own monthly magazine, Prospect. After 15 years editing Prospect he moved into the think tank world in 2011, and has since written two books: The Road to Somewhere: The New Tribes Shaping British Politics, (2017), and Head, Hand, Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century (2020).
Su-Mei Thompson is CEO of Media Trust, a non-profit organisation which works with the media and creative industries to give charities and young people a stronger voice while helping the media sector to be more representative. Previously, Su-Mei was CEO of The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong. She started her career as a corporate lawyer at Linklaters and has held senior management positions at The Walt Disney Company, the Financial Times and Christie’s. Su-Mei is also a council member of Cheltenham Ladies College and serves on the Orwell Foundation board, the ENO’s advisory board and WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications London)’s campaign committee. Su-Mei has a distinguished record of advocating for greater diversity and inclusion and empowering young people to reach their potential. A former Member of the Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong, she founded the Hong Kong chapter of the 30% Club, was a founding board member of Save The Children Hong Kong and an Associate Producer of the award-winning documentary “She Objects”. One of Cranfield’s 50 BAME Women to Watch 2019, Su-Mei was Public Affairs Asia’s 2016 Communicator of the Year and is a past recipient of the AmCham Women of Influence Non-Profit Leader Award.
Lord Ribeiro was born in 1944 in Achimota in Ghana. Ribeiro qualified as a doctor at Middlesex Medical School in 1967 and then specialised in surgery, five years later being awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). From 1979 until his retirement in April 2008, he was consultant general surgeon at Basildon Hospital with a special interest in urology and colorectal surgery, and he helped to establish the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital’s & NHS Foundation Trust’s advanced laparoscopic unit. He was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1998 and served as President from 2005-8. He holds Honorary degrees from the University of Bath and Anglia Ruskin University and he received an Honorary Fellowship from the American College of Surgeons. In the 2004 New Year Honours he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to medicine, and was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2009 New Year Honours. He was created a life peer on 20 December 2010, as Baron Ribeiro, of Achimota in the Republic of Ghana and of Ovington in the County of Hampshire. From 2012-2019, Lord Ribeiro was Chair of the Department of Health’s Independent Reconfiguration Panel, advising the Secretary of State for Health on changes to local health services in England. He is President of the Council of Dean Close School.