About us

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) exists to create a United Kingdom where the circumstances of birth do not determine outcomes in life.


The SMC is an independent statutory body (an organisation created by an act of Parliament). In line with the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, it is a continuation of the body previously called the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

Responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • publishing an annual report setting out our views on the progress made towards improving social mobility in the United Kingdom
  • promoting social mobility in England, for example, by challenging employers, the professions, universities and schools to play their part in promoting social mobility
  • carrying out and publishing research in relation to social mobility
  • providing advice to ministers (at their request) on how to improve social mobility in England - this advice must then be published

Who we are

The commission is comprised of:

A small secretariat, based in Glasgow, York and London, supports the SMC.

Commissioners

Ryan Henson

Ryan has been Chief Executive Officer at the Coalition for Global Prosperity, a think tank specialising in international development since April 2020. Prior to joining the Coalition, Ryan worked for CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, and on human rights policy at the Ministry of Justice. Ryan serves as a Reservist in the Royal Air Force and is a founding trustee of Diversity in Development, a social mobility charity working to widen access to the international development sector. Ryan was awarded an Aspen UK Rising Leaders Fellowship 2022 and was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Bedford at the 2019 General Election.

Matthew Goodwin

Matthew Goodwin is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Kent and was previously Senior Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House, and Fellow at the Legatum Institute. He is the author of many books, articles and research reports and has worked in the social sciences for more than twenty years. He was previously seconded to the Department for Communities and Local Government and has advised more than 200 organisations around the world on issues relating to social mobility, social cohesion and political volatility. He is forty years old and lives in London.

Dr Raghib Ali

Dr Raghib Ali has a number of roles, including Senior Clinical Research Associate at the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. His main research interests are the aetiology and prevention of non-communicable diseases and establishing prospective cohort studies in populations which have not previously been studied. He co-authored a submission to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in the major causes of mortality and their risk factors in the UK.

Resham Kotecha

Resham Kotecha is the Head of Policy & Government Affairs, EMEA at Wise. Resham has worked for over a decade on tackling social mobility, volunteering with the Prince’s Trust and the Shaw Trust, and giving talks around the UK. Resham worked for a think tank focused on social mobility and served on a Home Office Windrush Working Group. Resham is the Head of Engagement for Women2Win, a Trustee of the Fawcett Society and a Board member at the John Smith Centre. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cambridge University and has been recognised as a ‘Global Shaper’ by the World Economic Forum.

Parminder Kohli

Parminder has 26 years of senior leadership experience in 7 different industries, 3 continents and 4 organisations – the last 20 years of which have been with Shell. In May 2022, he was included in INvolve Empower’s Top 100 Senior Executives for his work on diversity and inclusion. Between 2018 and 2020, he was a non-executive director for Success For All Educational Trust which runs 3 secondary schools in the London Borough of Havering.

Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson is a former Member of Parliament for Reading East and Minister in the Cameron and May Governments. He spent 12 years as an MP and 10 years serving on the Conservative front bench with roles in higher education, health, DCMS, Treasury and Cabinet Office. He spent three years as Minister for Civil Society 2014-17. Before politics, Rob was an entrepreneur and founded businesses in the health and technology sectors using innovative and disruptive technology to develop new markets.  He continues to have a strong interest in new technology. Since leaving Whitehall and Parliament he has invested in new tech companies and taken a number of business roles that are in areas of interest, but particularly in new breakthrough technologies and products. Rob is chairman of national wheelchair sports charity WheelPower, that supports people with spinal injuries and other disabilities into sport. Rob writes for the Daily Telegraph and has published two books.

Policy and Evidence Advisory Panel

The Social Mobility Commission contracted a Policy and Evidence Advisory Panel in March 2022 for one year.  The panel is made up of independent experts the Commission can draw on for advice on any matters related to their expert area, for up to 1 day a month. They are not a decision-making authority for the Commission but provide valuable insights on different thematic issues.

Members are:

  • Jo Blanden
  • Barbie Clarke
  • Naomi Eisenstadt
  • Rosie Gloster
  • Anthony Heath
  • Yaojun Li
  • Sandra McNally
  • Susan James Relly
  • Tom Richmond
  • Anna Mountford-Zimdars
  • Michael Saunders
  • Luke Sibieta
  • Rebecca Tunstall
  • Patrick White

Definition of social mobility

Social mobility is the link between a person’s occupation or income and the occupation or income of their parents. Where there is a strong link, there is a lower level of social mobility. Where there is a weak link, there is a higher level of social mobility.

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