Press release

Preferred candidate selected for Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

After a recruitment process, Cambridge academic, Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve, has been selected as Government’s preferred candidate

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller, has written to Dr Hywel Francis Chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Committee will now hold a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing with Baroness Onora O’Neill.

Ms Miller said:

“This is a really important time for the EHRC - strong leadership is vital and the new Chair will play a crucial role in ensuring that it remains the valued and respected national institution it was always intended to be.

“I warmly commend Baroness Onora O’Neill to the Committee for this role.”  

The Committee’s conclusions will be considered carefully before the final appointment is decided.

Notes to Editors

  1. This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and all stages of the recruitment process were conducted in accordance with the Commission for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial appointments to public bodies.

  2. Baroness O’Neill is currently a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords; she was a former Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge.  She holds the title of Honorary Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, University of Cambridge, and has written extensively on equality and freedom throughout her academic career and is highly regarded as a specialist on human rights. She was also the former chair of the Nuffield Foundation and was President of the British Academy from 2005-09.

  3. Subject to pre-appointment scrutiny, the preferred candidate would dedicate up to 2 days per week to the role, at a pro-rated salary of £130K.

  4. We have extended the deadline for applications to the posts of Deputy Chair of the EHRC, Disability Commissioner, and Commissioners to 9.00am on 15 October. For further details, please see the Public Appointments section on the Cabinet Office website.

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