Herman Ouseley’s public service career has seen him rise to the top of leading institutions in the country, earning him both a knighthood and a peerage
Born in British Guiana in 1945, he arrived in the UK at the age of 12. He began his career in the 1960s, working in local government and rising to become head of the Greater London Council’s ethnic minority unit and chief executive of Lambeth council in London.
After serving as Director of Education, he went on to lead the former Inner London Education Authority, which oversaw more than a thousand schools and colleges in the capital. In 1993 he was appointed executive chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, a post he held for seven years. According to 100 Great Black Britons, he is widely credited with having restored the CRE’s flagging credibility.
His 2001 Ouseley Report examined the breakdown in race relations in Bradford, which led to rioting among Asian youngsters. The recipient of 14 honorary degrees from universities across the UK, he was knighted in 1997 for services to local government and community relations. In 2001 he was appointed to the House of Lords as Baron Ouseley of Peckham Rye in Southwark and sits on the cross benches as an independent peer.
Herman finds time to be actively involved with several charitable and voluntary organisations, among them the Institute of Race Relations and the Manchester United Foundation. He is the chair of PRESET Education and Training trust and the Policy Research Institute on Ageing and Ethnicity (University of Central England). He is a former president of the Local Government Association (2002-2005) and the founder of Kick-It-Out (Let’s kick racism out of football campaign).
Herman is a former non- executive director of Focus Consultancy Ltd and former independent adviser to the HM Revenue and Customs on its equality and diversity development activities. He was also an advisory member of the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. As a one-time council member of the Football Association, he chaired one of its advisory groups (2008-2013). He also chaired the External Implementation Group of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (2008-2014).