The Commission is chaired 
by Lord Victor Adebowale,
 and is comprised of expert commissioners from across the worlds of business, research, health and charity.



Lord Victor Adebowale

Chief Executive of Turning Point

Victor is Chief Executive of Turning Point, a health and social care organisation providing services for people with complex needs, including those affected by substance misuse, mental ill health and those with a learning disability. 

Victor has a passionate interest in public service reform and reversing the inverse care law, (those who need public services most tend to get them least).  In pursuit of this he lectures and speaks widely on the subjects of poverty, social exclusion, equality and human rights, leadership and change management. 

Victor is a Non Executive Director of NHS England, on the Board of English Touring Theatre, President of the International Association of Philosophy and Psychiatry and Chancellor of Lincoln University. He is the founder and Chair of Collaborate at London South Bank University.

In 2000, Victor was awarded the CBE for services to the New Deal, the unemployed, and homeless young people and in 2001, was appointed a cross bench member of the House of Lords.

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    Geeta Nanda

    Chief Executive of Thames Valley Housing

    Geeta joined Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA) as CEO in April 2008. Thames Valley Housing has around 15,000 homes of which 5,500 are for social rent and the remainder are shared ownership, key worker housing, student housing, management of equity loans and market rent. It operates within London and into Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Aylesbury. It is a large developer of new homes having produced over 4,000 homes over the last 5 years and has a strategic partnership with Galliford Try to build homes for market sale under the Linden brand. TVHA has a strong emphasis on employment and training for residents and works with a large number of local community organisations where it provides funding for local support.

    Geeta has previously worked for Housing Associations over the last 23 years and prior to joining TVHA was Group Operations Director at Notting Hill Housing Trust. In 2012 Geeta launched FIZZY, the private rental subsidiary of TVHA, which has attracted £200m of investment from a sovereign wealth fund.

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      Jerry White

      London Historian

      Professor Jerry White has been writing London history since the early 1970s, much of it while pursuing a career in local government. He is a former Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hackney, and retired as Local Government Ombudsman in 2009. In 1975 he was lucky enough to become associated with Raphael Samuel and became a member of the editorial collective of History Workshop Journal from 1976. His first two books were oral histories of contrasting London communities. From 1997 he was engaged on a largescale study of modern London, beginning with London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People, winner of the Wolfson History Prize in 2002; this was followed by London in the Nineteenth Century: ‘A Human Awful Wonder of God’, and the final volume of the trilogy, London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing, was published by the Bodley Head in 2012. He has been associated with History and Policy since 2003. He was awarded the Hon. Degree of D. Litt. by the University of London in 2005 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2008. Since 2009 he has been teaching London history at Birkbeck. His Zeppelin Nights. London in the First World War was published in May this year; it has recently won the Spear’s Book Award for Social History of the Year.

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        Jonathan Portes

        Director of the NIESR

        Jonathan Portes is  (from February 1, 2011), Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Previously, he was Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office, where he advised the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, and Number 10 Downing Street on economic and financial issues.  Before that he held a number of other senior economic policy posts in the UK government. His particular interests include immigration, labour markets, and poverty. Mr Portes began his civil service career in HM Treasury in 1987.

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          Liz Meek

          Chair of Centre for London

          Liz chairs the London think-tank – the Centre for London- and is on the board of Sanctuary Housing association, Film London and Birkbeck  College. She was a Commissioner on the Schizophrenia Commission and leads the 100 people initiative to get people with schizophrenia and psychosis into work.

          Liz was the official leading the team which created the Mayor of London setting up the Greater London Authority and went on to become head of the Government Office for London and subsequently the North West. In these roles she delivered policies and programmes for 11 Whitehall Departments.

          Her career has centred on London policy, urban regeneration, combating social exclusion and worklessness and finding better ways of addressing youth crime. 

          Liz is a carer interested in improving services for people with schizophrenia and those who love them. 

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            Megan Dobney

            Regional Secretary for SERTUC

            Megan Dobney is the Regional Secretary of SERTUC. The Southern and Eastern Regional Council of the Trades Union Congress represents TUC affiliated trade unions in London, the South East and the East of England. SERTUC directly represents the interests of those unions’ two million members who live and work in this region.

            She is President of the European TUC’s “Inter-Regional TUC Channel” comprising Hainaut, West Flanders, Nord-Pas de Calais and SE England, and represents the TUC on the European TUC’s Economic & Social Cohesion Working Group.

            Megan was, until its closure in March 2012, a Board member of the London Development Agency, and is a non-executive director of Greater London Enterprise.

            She had over 30 years experience as a typesetter and typographer in the printing industry before being appointed as Regional Secretary, and was elected to serve on the Executive Committees of NGA, GPMU and Amicus.

            She lives in South London.

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              Richard Brooks 2015

              Richard Brooks

              Independent Consultant

              Richard Brooks was senior policy adviser to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families from 2007 to 09. In this role he was responsible for advising on education policy, further education and skills, qualifications, education funding, accountability and local delivery. He then became Director of Strategy at Ofsted from 2009-13.

              Richard was previously Associate Director for Public Services at IPPR and Research Director at the Fabian Society. He led the Secretariat for the Fabian Commission on Child Poverty and Life Chances. He is the author, co-author, or project director for numerous publications on public services, welfare, and especially education. These include Ofsted’s report ‘Unseen Children’ on the achievement of pupils from low-income families.

              Richard is now an independent consultant, working on a range of strategic issues for public and third sector organisations. Over the past year he has been working in Coventry for the Cabinet Member for Education with the objective of reducing the number of young people in that city who become NEET. He has previously been a councillor and cabinet member in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

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                Rosie Ferguson

                Chief Executive of London Youth

                Rosie Ferguson has been Chief Executive of London Youth since April 2012. Working with and through a network of 400 community based youth organisations, London Youth provides a range of opportunities that develop young people’s confidence, resilience and relationship skills. Rosie has led the organisation through the introduction of evidence-based evaluation and planning across all their work and has helped secure and establish significant five year investment from Big Lottery Fund in Talent Match London, which is building the evidence-base around what works to support the most vulnerable young people into fulfilling careers. Rosie joined London Youth in 2005 and pioneered their youth participation work before spending four years as Operations Director. She is a trustee of the Glass House Community-led Design, the Centre for London and of UK Youth. She has a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management, a Diploma in Charity Accounting and a BA from Goldsmiths College. She was previously Chair of UNA Exchange, an international volunteering organisation, through which she spent a fair amount of time oversees, including six months in Moscow.

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                  Sean Baine

                  Chair of The Equality Trust

                  Sean Baine has worked in both local government and the voluntary sector in London including being a chief officer in two London Boroughs and running the London CAB Service.  He has been Chair of London Voluntary Service Council and helped establish, and then chaired, London Civic Forum.  He is a member of My Fair London which campaigns in London on issues of income inequality and which is a sponsor of the London Fairness Commission.  He is also Chair of The Equality Trust which works on similar issues at a national level.

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                    Peter Estlin

                    Alderman of the City of London

                    Peter Estlin trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner with Coopers & Lybrand in 1993.  Since 1995 his career has been spent in Banking, working in Hong Kong, New York and London.  In parallel over this time, Peter has held a number of non-executive appointments including Treasurer of Bridewell Royal Hospital, a charity for disadvantaged children, Chairman of British Airways International Advisory Board and most recently Audit Committee member for HM Treasury.  He was elected an Alderman of the City of London in 2013 and is member of the City’s Education Board where he is actively involved in promoting education to employment opportunities across London.  He is married to Lindy and has three children.

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                      Alasdair Blackwell

                      Co-founder and Head of Innovation at Decoded

                      In 2011 Ali co-founded Decoded with the goal of teaching the world to code. 

                      He helped oversee Decoded's growth, scaling the company to a team of over a hundred people across London and New York, and up-skilling teams from the likes of Google, Talk Talk, British Gas, and even the Cabinet Office.

                      In 2012 he was part of the nationwide movement that got Computing onto the National Curriculum. He introduced an apprenticeship scheme at Decoded, and served on the board of Tech City Stars until January 2016. 

                      Since leaving Decoded last year, Ali has worked on The Good Jobs Campaign, developing technology-focused learning pathways for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has also returned to his roots as a theatre practitioner, working as the creative technologist on an Arts Council funded contemporary dance where the audience controls the performance using their phones.

                      He is currently working at The Small Axe where he is busy refactoring Bite the Ballot's voting app for the upcoming mayoral election.

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                        Ann Pettifor

                        Director of Policy Research

                        Ann Pettifor is the director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME). Her work and writing has concentrated on the international financial architecture, the sovereign debts of the poorest countries, and the rise in sovereign, corporate and private debt in OECD economies. Her latest book Just Money was published by Commonwealth in 2014. She is well known for her leadership of an organisation Jubilee 2000, that placed the debts of the poorest countries on the global political agenda, and brought about both substantial debt cancellation, and radical policy changes, at national and international levels. In 2003 she edited the New Economics Foundation's ‘The Real World Economic Outlook’ (Palgrave) and in 2006 Palgrave published her book: “The coming first world debt crisis”. In 2008 she co-authored “The Green New Deal”, published by the New Economics Foundation.

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                          Caroline Murphy

                          Campaigner for social justice

                          One of London’s most influential campaigners, Caroline Murphy’s support for social justice has great breadth:  A committed trade unionist, she has organised and supported workplace campaigns from grassroots to national level.  Her most recent elected role is to the regional political committee of Unite the Union.  A passionate campaigner for improved health and safety, Caroline is a Trustee for the London Hazards Centre.

                          During her time in the private sector, Caroline was highly regarded as one of the UK’s top five private business women.  She successfully used this profile to raise awareness of employee owned co-operative business models and promote workplace democracy.

                          Named as an influential role model in this year’s European Diversity Awards; Caroline is a disability rights activist, regularly speaking out to challenge mental health stigma.  She is an energetic campaigner within the LGBT community and stalwart promoter of women in industry; particularly construction.  Caroline draws on her own experience as a survivor of sexual violence, to campaigning for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls.

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                          Danny Dorling

                          Professor of Geography, University of Oxford

                          Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. He grew up in Oxford and went to University in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has worked in Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield and New Zealand. With a group of colleagues he helped create the website which shows who has most and least in the world. More recently he helped set up to provide comprehensive insights into the state of poverty and inequality in the capital.  His work concerns issues of housing, health, employment, education and poverty. 

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                            Dr. Bobbie Jacobson July 07 cropped

                            Dr Bobbie Jacobson

                            Public Health Expert

                            Dr Bobbie Jacobson has devoted 25 years of her professional life to tackling inequity in London-initially as Director of Public Health in the East End of London , and more recently as Director of the former London Health Observatory (LHO). The LHO was renowned for producing timely and scientifically credible health intelligence and evidence for London and national decision-makers. She is currently a Senior Associate in the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Hon Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Health Equity, UCL.

                            She led the development of  LHO’s national and international lead roles on monitoring health inequalities, ethnicity and tobacco, and works with WHO to support the development of the health observatory model across the globe. Bobbie’s watchwords are :

                            “Evidence, transparency and advocacy.”

                            Before qualifying in medicine in 1979, she was a health journalist, and went on to work for Action on Smoking and Health, the UK’s main tobacco control advocacy programme, spearheading  a highly successful international movement on women and tobacco and working extensively with the national media. She has published widely in professional and popular  media- including several books on population health issues rangeing from causes to outcomes.  She was awarded an OBE in 2006.

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