This commission has examined why the wider leadership of our region is not more representative of the people it serves. It has now reported on it's findings. Read the commission report, 'Leaders Like You' here.
Anita’s 26-year media career with the BBC has been varied; from being one of the first regionally based bi-media correspondents to being Head of the BBC’s Public Space Broadcasting. She has also presented Channel 4’s Eastern Eye and other national programmes. Anita is currently Chair of Performances Birmingham Ltd (Town Hall and Symphony Hall), Chair of the Creative City Partnership, Board member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and recent past Chair of MAC (Midlands Arts Centre).
Davinder Prasad is an alumni of Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) & Indian Railways Institute (Jamalpur) from India where he graduated in Mechanical Engineering. He served as a Divisional Mechanical Engineer in Indian Railways before he arrived in UK to undertake Postgraduate qualifications in Management Studies. He has worked in Coventry with NP Aerospace Ltd in various management positions including Laboratory Manager and recently retired from Morgan Composites & Defence Systems as head of the Environment, Health & Safety.
He was a member of Management Board of Coventry Voluntary Services Council in early eighties and also served as a member of Racial Equality Council in Coventry for many years. . He has also organised many fund raising events over the years and raised money for various disasters and natural calamities e.g. Gujrat Earthquake appeal in 2001, Indian Tsunami in 2004, Maharshtra Floods in 2005 etc. He was also a member of Executive Committee of Indian Overseas Congress for many years and organised several Cultural events in Coventry. One of his important contribution to community life of Coventry Asians was in eighties when he was one of the founders of an important organisation called “Coventry Indian Community” that brought various Asian community groups together and held joint cultural events . He is a member of Lions Club of Coventry, Mercia. His passion for British identity, integration of young British Asians into main stream British community, social cohesion and peace has inspired him to join others to form BOPA and he has been General Secretary since its formation in 2012.
Sunder Katwala is the director of British Future. He has previously worked as a journalist. He was general secretary of the Fabian Society think tank from 2003 to 2011, and was previously a leader writer and internet editor at the Observer, a research director of the Foreign Policy Centre and commissioning editor for politics and economics at the publisher Macmillan. He celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife, Stacy, in 2011, and is the proud father of four children, Zarina, Jay, Sonny and Indira. His support for Everton and Southend United football clubs reflects an upbringing in Cheshire and Essex, though he was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, to parents who came to Britain from India and Ireland, to work for the NHS.
Jacqui Francis has her own business Adinamay Consulting. It focuses on its core principles of confidential, bespoke support, for individuals and organizations.
For organizations, she specialises in independent scrutiny ensuring recruitment exercises are fair and transparent and follow the Nolan Principles - 7 Principles of Public Life. This includes – DEFRA bodies i.e. Natural England and The Food Standards Agency, The Home Office and Department of Health expert panels.
For candidates, there's advice on CV’s, applications and pre and post-interview coaching. Jacqui also offers confidential governance support for chairs and board members.
Jacqui is an Independent Member of the Bar Standards Board (regulates Barristers) Selection Panels and an External Panel Member for NHS Improvement sitting on NED Trust interview panels. She is a Lay Member of Birmingham & Solihull Advisory Committee recruiting and recommending to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice candidates for the magistracy. She is also a member of the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street’s Leadership Commission and an observer on the Board of Birmingham REP Theatre.
Outside of work, Jacqui is a volunteer at PAUSE a mental health drop-in centre for young people.
Sarah-Jane joined the NHS via the Graduate Management Scheme in 2000, and less than eight years later became CEO of Birmingham Children's Hospital. The Trust has been under her leadership ever since and was recently rated Outstanding by the CQC.
In 2015, Sarah-Jane took on the additional role of CEO of Birmingham Women’s, before going on to integrate the two Trusts, just 18 months later - and led the development of a new mental health partnership for 0-25 year olds – Forward Thinking Birmingham.
Sarah-Jane is also Chair of the NHS Maternity Transformation Programme Board, which aims to make maternity care safer and more personalised.
Following school in 1988, Bas joined the Royal Navy (RN) and qualified as a helicopter engineer, specialising in weapons engineering. Bas worked on Lynx Helicopters at both Royal Naval Air Station Portland and on board HMS Brilliant. During his military service he took an active part in many operational roles, the most notable of which was Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf (1991). During his time in the Gulf War, Bas received a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Teamwork and Bravery.
Bas left the RN to join Avon and Somerset Police in November 1993. His policing experiences have been varied and almost entirely operational, having worked in Response Policing, Neighbourhood Policing, Criminal Justice, Criminal Investigation and Critical Incident Management, plus various secondments to specialist departments both within the Police and external agencies.
Bas transferred to West Midland Police (WMP) in 2007 as a Detective Chief Inspector, where he qualified as a Senior Investigation Officer. He has since taken the lead in several serious and sensitive investigations within the West Midlands and wider.
In February 2011 Bas was promoted to the rank of Superintendent and was posted to the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, as Head of Operations and Crime. In June 2014 Bas moved to East Birmingham (Head of Local Policing and later Head of Operations), which is considered to be one of the most challenging and diverse policing areas in the United Kingdom.
In October 2016 Bas was appointed to his current role as Commander for Solihull Police. In addition to his main role, Bas has the WMP lead for academic research. He is also an accredited Silver Commander in both ‘Tactical Firearms Command’ and ‘Public Order Command’, areas of policing where Bas has gained significant experience and expertise. Bas also sits as an executive member of the WMP - Police Superintendent’s Association for England and Wales.
Bas has completed a post graduate diploma in Public Service Leadership (Coventry University) and also holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Criminology from the University of Cambridge, completing his Master’s thesis on the subject of ‘Public Confidence in Policing’. From Dec 2012 - Dec 2015 Bas was a member of the Board of Governors at Sandwell College, West Bromwich, where he also sat as a member of the Learners, Quality and Curriculum Committee.
Lawrence is Managing Director of GB Training (UK) Ltd, alongside a number of other executive appointments in the Leisure and Charitable industries (including Festival Director for Birmingham Pride).
Having led GB Training for over 15 years, Lawrence has a wealth of experience in the work-based learning arena including the delivery of Apprenticeships and the Adult Education budget. Under Lawrence’s leadership GB Training was awarded Grade 2 (Good) from Ofsted in 2015, and has facilitated a number of events with Ofsted through which learning providers have had the opportunity to understand the inspection process and common inspection framework through the eyes of inspectors.
As a business leader, Lawrence is passionate about delivering high quality learning, whilst also maintaining a profitable and successful business approach. Throughout all of his business roles he fosters a strong emphasis on business improvement, and is able to consistently deliver the right balance of quality and quantity to ensure business continuity and stability.
Anisa Haghdadi is Founder and CEO of the Beatfreeks Collective, a group of people and companies using creativity for good. Anisa has set up multiple companies and projects including Free Radical, Young Giant and Doink. She is a multi award winning social entrepreneur including a BEM aged 23 for Services to Education and Young People, one of The Observer and NESTA's 50 New Radicals changing the UK for the better, and is the youngest person to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Aston University as part of their 50 Year celebrations recognising 'pioneers of change'.
Anisa is passionate about youth, creativity and redefining the culture of enterprise so that business and social are seen as inextricable. Anisa recently curated the first ever TEDxYouth@Brum and is a former TEDxBrum speaker and host.
Deborah became Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority in September 2017, following a long and distinguished career in public service.
After gaining a degree in politics, she began her career in 1984 with the London Borough of Newham, before moving to Birmingham City Council where she worked on major regeneration projects and gained a master’s degree in economics.
Moving to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in 1996 as Head of Policy, Deborah gained a second master’s in management, before taking up a two-year secondment with the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions as Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team.
In 2003, after being appointed the Audit Commission's Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region, she became Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, before becoming Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency.
Deborah was Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council from 2011 to 2017 and has also been interim Chief Executive of Waveney District Council, Babergh District Council and Mid-Suffolk District Council.
She is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Trust and Joseph Rowntree Housing Foundation and as a dedicated and passionate female advocate at the forefront of the public sector, Deborah recently won the First Women Award for Public Service.
Deborah was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to local government.
Bishop Derek previously worked as an administrator for British Gas West Midlands before going into full time church work in 1987.
He is a Minister of Religion for the New Testament Church of God. He was National Director of Evangelism (1987 – 1991), then National Director of Youth and Christian Education (1991 – 1997) and since 1996 has been the District Bishop for Birmingham / Solihull.
Bishop Derek has served on a number of committees, including Relate (Executive Member), Lord Chancellor Advisory Committee, Birmingham Citizens, Chair of The Drum (Arts organisation) and was Chair of the West Midlands Police Authority.
Brought up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Vidar studied French and German at Manchester University before a post-graduate Journalism course at London's City University. Now Diversity Consultant for ITV News across England, Wales and the Channel Islands Vidar spent over 25 years working for ITV in the Midlands - much of that time as Editor/Executive Producer on political and social action magazine programmes, documentaries and ‘live' debates - before joining the ITV News Senior Management Team leading on Diversity. Concurrently Vidar spent a number of years as a Consultant with Channel 4's Daytime political show produced by ITN, and also worked on documentaries for the BBC's Disability Unit. He has represented ITV as an Associate on the Broadcasting and Creative Industries’ Disability Network; the Leicester Multi-Cultural Advisory Group and Birmingham Diocesan Communications’ Advisory Group.
Vidar has reviewed audio-books for Radio 4's In Touch programme, as well as contributing to a number of publications including The Book Magazine; Disability Now; Vision Magazine; The FT and Art, Disability and Culture, and has been on a variety of judging panels for events including the Spoken Word Awards, The Asian Media Awards and the RADAR People of the Year Awards. For Insight Radio, Vidar reviews audio-described theatre, operatic and dance productions performed at a variety of venues, including the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Theatres - he also chairs the Birmingham Hippodrome's Access Forum, as well as a similar forum at Birmingham's Symphony/Town Halls. Vidar is also a Trustee with the RNIB Group; SHAPE; Performances Birmingham (which oversees events at Birmingham Symphony/Town Halls) and was a Board member with the national audio description charity, VOCALEYES, which he chaired from 2008 to 2011. Vidar has also been an advisory board member with Screen South and is an Associate with the Business Disability Forum.
In April 2013 Vidar began a new role as a director with Healthwatch, Birmingham and in June 2013 began the role of Director of Communications with Focus Birmingham. In the same year the Minister for Disabled People invited Vidar to become a role model for a new national DWP campaign aimed at encouraging young disabled people to aspire to their chosen career. Vidar has also been asked to join a new Birmingham City Council Challenge Unit focusing on the local authorities’ policy around Social Inclusion across the city.
As a motivational speaker Vidar gives after dinner speeches and presentations at awards ceremonies and charity events, as well as delivering university lectures. In the 2012 New Year’s Honours Vidar was awarded an MBE for services to broadcasting and visually impaired people.
Jenny Phillimore is Professor of Migration and Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham and also the Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity, better known as IRiS.
Jenny is responsible for co-ordinating all activity around conceptualising and finding new ways to research population complexity associated with superdiversity.
She is looking at access to welfare in superdiverse neighbourhoods. Jenny recently won a large European project funded by NORFACE, which is looking at developing a new concept of welfare bricolage to understand the ways in which residents of superdiverse areas, and that’s all residents, not just migrants or minorities, how they create an integrated package of health for themselves, across a wide range of sources of health, including formal like the NHS, informal, complementary, virtual and transnational. Now that project is a comparative European project so involves three other partners in Sweden, Germany and Portugal, and it uses a parallel, sequential methodology whereby we undertake ethnographic research to develop theory, and then we move on to a phase of epidemiological survey. There is also a mobile phone application being developed and she is working closely with poly-lingual, trained community researchers.
Jenny is also focusing on is migrant integration and asking a whole series of questions – whose responsibility is it to integrate? What should people integrate into? What resources come into the mix? And, what sort of social networks and social capital are important, and really trying to question the focus on the mobile to say that those who are sedentary also have a responsibility for integration. Jenny and her team are interested in bringing new knowledge that can help forward social justice issues for communities to help support policy development in an era of superdiversity as well as the development of theories and methods.
She is leading the research side of the Commission's work with Professor Kiran Trehan.
Lover of all people and life changer who sees endless possibilities. Rosie Ginday is no average baking businesswoman. Rosie founded Miss Macaroon to combine her passion for beautiful hand-crafted food, baking, and her desire to help disadvantaged young adults in her local area, Birmingham.
Miss Macaroon is passionate about providing only the very best, hand-crafted, premium macaroons for a sublime moment of indulgence, whether to mark a special occasion such as a wedding or as a gift for others. We also provide macaroons to other businesses and designer brands, often as an indulgent gift to their own customers, for branding and event purposes or via wholesale to sell in their own high-end establishments.
At Miss Macaroon indulgence is also a virtue as our social enterprise activities are supported through every macaroon we sell. We provide employment and training programmes aimed at youngsters who may have slipped through the education system, are care leavers or find themselves homeless. This adds an entirely new and unique flavour to our macaroons, and one that can truly be savoured and enjoyed beyond the mere eating of the Miss Macaroon product itself - we’re changing the world one macaroon at a time.
Rosie is a winner of the Enterprise Catalyst Social Entrepreneur 2015 awards, the Asian Business Young Entrepreneur Midlands Award 2016 and finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2016.
Kiran Trehan is Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development, Director of External Engagement, and Co - Director of the Enterprise and diversity Alliance [EDA] at Birmingham University, Business School. Kiran is a key contributor to debates on leadership, Enterprise development and diversity in Small firms. Kiran has led a number of enterprise and business support initiatives and extensively published a number of journal articles, policy reports, books and book chapters in the field. Professor Trehan’ s work has been supported by grants from a full range of research funding bodies; including the Economic and Social Research Councils and Arts Humanities Research councils, government departments, regional and local agencies and the private sector. Professor Trehan has also taken up national advisory roles that shape debates and policy in leadership Diversity and Enterprise development.in Small firms. She is also Vice President at the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) and Sub Group Chair of the Enterprise mentoring group at British Bankers association (BBA.)
She is leading the research side of the Commission's work with Professor Jenny Philimore.
With over 15 years Corporate Banking experience, including a strong focus on the Education sector, Suzy Verma leads the Public Sector and Higher Education team at HSBC.
Dr Dorian Chan is a highly motivated entrepreneur with a strong vision, enthusiasm and an unquenchable thirst to achieve success across a multitude of sectors whether it be the hospitality industry, education, or non-profit organisations.
Her management and business experience has provided her with a strong understanding of business operations where her skills in strategic planning, campaign development and management, sales and marketing, together with an ability to develop and maintain relations whether they be private, corporate, or government bodies, have all played a part in her success.
Currently, as Vice Chairman of the Wing Wah Group, she is involved in overseeing all investments and expansions and has been directly involved in the opening of each restaurant, and in a very competitive market, she has achieved sustained year on year growth, with successful branches in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Burton and Coventry. In addition to the establishment of the Wing Wah Chinese restaurants, several other successful business ventures have been founded. These include the Ming Moon chain of restaurants, Caffe Chino, Café 55, Kochi Ltd and Kudos Management. These successful ventures ultimately led to her being awarded the Midland Business Woman of the Year in 2006.
As Vice Chairman of Coronation International Holdings Limited, she has accumulated a large property portfolio of successful investments including both residential and commercial properties.
In addition to having played a major role in promoting the growth and success of the Wing Wah Group and Coronation International Holdings Limited, she is heavily involved with the success of non-profit organisations in a variety of areas, and her strong commitment to public service is clearly evident as her portfolio in this area ranges from having been a member of Birmingham Leadership Foundation Board of Trustees, Governor of the Birmingham Chinese School, member of the Nechells Bath Regeneration Project Board of Trustees, member of the West Midlands Leadership Commission, and member of the Bong Lam Educational Bursary Advisory Panel.
These are all indicative of her passion towards the success of non-profit organisations, which has resulted in her acquisition of numerous awards and accolades. Most recently, she was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from Aston University in 2014, where she has also been appointed as a Member of the Aston University Council. Additionally, the Wing Wah Group received the prestigious Nachural Entrepreneurship Award in 2017.
Not only is she the Vice Chairman of the Wing Wah Group and Coronation International Holdings Limited, she is currently the Vice President of the Institute of Oriental Business UK, Vice President of the Confederation of Chinese Business UK, member of the ITV News Central Diversity Advisory Panel, and Vice President of the Zhuhai Co-operative Association (UK). A very successful and committed entrepreneur, Dr Dorian Chan is devoted to the expansion and success of these organisations as well as other charitable works, and thus, enhancing Sino-UK relations and opening up new opportunities for both.
Tim is joint national head of the Property Disputes team at Browne Jacobson LLP which has offices in Birmingham, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Exeter. He deals with the full spectrum of property-related disputes with a strong focus on commercial property. He has particular expertise in dilapidations and hostile lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 acting for some of the most active and high profile investors and estates in the city.
His recent cases include the widely reported dilapidations decisions of Acredart Limited & Car Giant Limited v London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham  EWHC 197 (TCC), and South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust v Laindon Holdings Ltd  FWCA Civ 377 (Court of Appeal); as well as Roxburgh v Cheshire Academies Trust Limited (successful defence of a claim for noise nuisance).
Tim has been consistently recommended in the legal directories since 2010. Chambers and Partners 2017 says: “Tim Rayner is ‘really thorough and fightes his client’s corner’ confirm interviewees. Recent work highlightes include break clauses, rent reviews and dilapitation claims”
Tim was born and raised in Solihull and apart from a short period in Leeds and York (University and College of Law respectively) he has lived in Solihull and Birmingham all his life. He now lives in Hampton In Arden with his wife and young daughter. He trained and qualified at Martineau Johnson solicitors in 2004 and joined Browne Jacobson in 2010. He was promoted to partner in 2015 and became joint head of the property disputes team earlier this year. Tim is very active in Birmingham and passionate about the city. He is a director of Business Professional Services (BPS) Birmingham - a well-established Birmingham organisation which has at its core an aim to improve and promote the skills in the professional services sector. The BPS Birmingham board is taking an active role in the Productivity and Skills Commission dealing with issues relating to the productivity gap in the Combined Authority region. Tim is also the lead partner responsible for the firm’s relationship with the West Midlands Growth Company and is actively engaged with the mentoring juniors both inside his own organisation and beyond.
Outside of work Tim is a (very) keen cyclist and enjoys spending time with his young family.
Christina is a leading barrister specialising in privacy, media, copyright and information law. She is known as a leading practitioner in social media & image rights work and is the author of The Law of Photography & Digital Images (2004). Christina is appointed to the Attorney General’s panel of advocates authorised to act on behalf of government departments – a highly competitive and prestigious appointment. Christina is a trustee of Birmingham Womens’ and Childrens’ Hospital Charity and grew up in Solihull . She led a Bar Council working group tasked with creating a series of films for schools and universities to recruit candidates to the Bar from more diverse backgrounds and has a special interest in promoting professional diversity. In 2015, she was elected a Bencher of Gray’s Inn (one of the four Inns of Court) and is a A Grade accredited advocacy teacher.
Johur Uddin is the Chief Executive of Community Connect Foundation, a registered charity and Company Limited by Guarantee that provides a wide range of services including training opportunities, community development and youth work. He is responsible for the overall strategic development of the organisation, its services and ensuring long-term sustainability. CCF was established in 1997 to address issues of disadvantage and deprivation experienced by communities in Smethwick, however, over the years, the organisation has now provides services throughout the West Midlands.
Johur has been working in both the public and voluntary sector since 1991 and has wide-ranging experience of public policy, urban regeneration and developing local communities. Prior to working for CCF, he worked for Sandwell Council and was engaged in community economic regeneration activity and undertook community capacity building work, designing and delivering bespoke training courses and developing social enterprises. He has also undertaken a number of consultancy projects specialising in developing community regeneration strategies and securing funding for third sector organisations.
Johur’s qualifications include Master of Business Administration (MBA).
David Roberts is Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University. He has held academic posts at the Universities of Bristol, Kyoto, Osaka, Oxford and Worcester. His monographs have been published by the University Presses of both Oxford and Cambridge, including his most recent study, Restoration Plays and Players (2014). He has also written for leading journals including Shakespeare Quarterly, ELH, The Review of English Studies and Cambridge Quarterly.
A National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, he also maintains a profile in educational publishing. His latest title, Games for English Literature, was co-authored with Izabela Hopkins and published in 2016. Currently he is writing a biography of the dramatist George Farquhar and trying to complete his second novel.
Professor Stuart Croft is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, which employs some 6,000 people, has some 25,000 students, and a turnover approaching £600m per year.
Stuart joined Warwick in 2007 as Professor of International Security and has since served the University's Pro Vice-Chancellor, and subsequently as Provost.
Outside Warwick, Stuart chairs the Board of the Equality Challenge Unit, the sector agency that leads on equalities and diversity, as well as sitting on various Boards including the Russell Group, and The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities (a body of 18 institutions across the continent that Warwick led in establishing). He is also chair of the Midlands Innovation board (the group of the region's leading eight research intensive universities), and is a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board, where he is the co-chair of the Skills sub-committee.
Stuart's field of scholarship is in international security. Following a PhD at the University of Southampton, he worked in London at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, before moving to the University for Birmingham, where he worked for nearly 20 years, including a period as Head of Social Sciences. At this time he also served as Programme Director for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 'New Security Challenges Programme'; the ESRC, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 'Radicalisation' programme; and later, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory/ESRC 'Integrator' research programme.
His research has been funded by the European Union, the ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, NATO, Nuffield and the Cadbury Trust. He has served as the Ngee Ann Kongsi distinguished professor at the Rajaratnam School at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and is a past chair of the British International Studies Association. He has also been elected as an Academician in the Academy of Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He has published over a dozen books and more than 50 other works on arms control, NATO and counter terrorism as key themes. His central works include Culture, Crisis and America's War on Terror (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Securitizing Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He has also supervised 32 research students who have succeeded in passing their PhD.
Born in Leicester, he went to Grammar School in Woking before embarking on his academic career. He has lived in the Midlands for the majority of his life, currently in north Worcestershire, and is a season ticket holder at Aston Villa football club.