Usha Prashar, Baroness Prashar

Last updated

The Baroness Prashar

Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission
In office
3 April 2006 7 February 2011
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded byChristopher Stephens
Chancellor of De Montfort University
In office
Vice-Chancellor Philip Tasker
Preceded byJohn White
Succeeded by The Lord Alli
Members of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
15 July 1999
Life Peerage
Personal details
Usha Kumari Prashar

(1948-06-29) 29 June 1948 (age 70)

Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar[ needs IPA ], CBE , PC (born 29 June 1948) is a crossbench member of the House of Lords. Since the 1970s, she has served as a director or chairman of a variety of public and private sector organisations. She became the first chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission upon its creation in April 2006.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

House of Lords upper house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is granted by appointment or else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.


Early life and education

Born in Kenya, she came to Yorkshire with her father Naurhia Lal Prashar and family in the 1960s. She was educated at the independent Wakefield Girls' High School, becoming head girl in 1967. Prashar read Politics at Leeds University, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, after which she undertook postgraduate studies in Social Administration at the University of Glasgow.

Kenya republic in East Africa

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.

Wakefield Girls High School

Wakefield Girls' High School (WGHS) is an independent school in Wakefield, England established in 1878 in Wentworth House. The initial enrolment of 59 pupils has since increased to 665.

University of Leeds university in England

The University of Leeds is a public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1874 as the Yorkshire College of Science. In 1884 it merged with the Leeds School of Medicine and was renamed Yorkshire College. It became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887, joining Owens College and University College Liverpool. In 1903 a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII.


Private Sector

Baroness Prashar was a non-executive director of Channel Four Television Corporation from 1992 to 1999, of UNITE Group plc from 2001 to 2004, and became a non-executive director of ITV plc in February 2005.

A non-executive director, independent director or external director is a member of the board of directors of a company or organisation, but not a member of the executive management team. They are not employees of the company or affiliated with it in any other way and are differentiated from executive directors, who are members of the board who also serve, or previously served, as executive managers of the company. However they do have the same legal duties, responsibilities and potential liabilities as their executive counterparts.

Channel Four Television Corporation media company headquartered in London, United Kingdom

Channel Four Television Corporation is a publicly owned media company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Its original and principal activity is the British national television network Channel 4.

ITV plc British-based media company

ITV plc is a British media company based in London, England. It holds 13 of the 15 regional television licences that make up the ITV network, the oldest and largest commercial terrestrial television network in the United Kingdom. The network, which is branded ITV by ITV plc, has vied with BBC One for the status of the UK's most watched channel since the 1950s.

Public Sector

Baroness Prashar was executive chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales from October 1997 to October 2000. Having been appointed a Civil Service Commissioner in 1990, she was First Civil Service Commissioner from August 2000 to 2005.

First Civil Service Commissioner

The First Civil Service Commissioner heads the Office of Civil Service Commissioners, which ensures that the Civil Service in the United Kingdom is effective and impartial and that appointments are made on merit, and hears appeals under the Civil Service Code.

Non-Governmental Sector

Baroness Prashar is a trustee of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity initiating fresh debate on the burning questions facing society. [1]

Cumberland Lodge country house in Windsor Great Park

Cumberland Lodge is a 17th-century Grade II listed country house in Windsor Great Park located 3.5 miles south of Windsor Castle. It is now occupied by a charitable foundation which holds residential conferences, lectures and discussions. The gardens of Cumberland Lodge are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Baroness Prashar became a governor of De Montfort University in 1996, and became its chancellor in 2001. She was chairman of the National Literacy Trust from 2001 to 2005. She was appointed a trustee of the BBC World Service Trust in 2002, and was president of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She was Deputy Chair of the British Council. [2]

De Montfort University university in Leicester

De Montfort University (DMU) is a public university in the city of Leicester, England.

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity based in London, England, that promotes literacy.

Trustee person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another

Trustee is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, is a synonym for anyone in a position of trust and so can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another. A trustee can also refer to a person who is allowed to do certain tasks but not able to gain income. Although in the strictest sense of the term a trustee is the holder of property on behalf of a beneficiary, the more expansive sense encompasses persons who serve, for example, on the board of trustees of an institution that operates for a charity, for the benefit of the general public, or a person in the local government.

Baroness Prashar was a director of the Runnymede Trust from 1976 to 1984, a Fellow with the Policy Studies Institute from 1984 to 1986, and a director of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations from 1986 to 1991. She is also a governor of the Ditchley Foundation, which organises conferences in Oxfordshire. [3]

Iraq Inquiry

Since July 2009, Baroness Prashar has served on the Iraq Inquiry. She was sworn of the Privy Council the same year [4] to facilitate access to the classified information related to the Iraq War.

UK Community Foundations

She is the Honorary President of UK Community Foundations (UKCF), the umbrella organisation for all community foundations, providing philanthropic advice to clients and delivering UK-wide grant-making programmes.

Honours and styles


She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire as a Commander (CBE) in the 1995 New Year Honours, [5] and was made a life peer on 15 July 1999 as Baroness Prashar, of Runnymede, in the County of Surrey. [6] She recently conferred the Honorary Degree (D.Litt.) from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University ,Bhubaneswar Odisha, India.

Styles of address

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  1. Cumberland Lodge: Trustees Archived 4 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Our organisation | British Council". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  3. The Ditchley Foundation: The Governors Archived 26 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  5. "No. 53893". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1994. p. 10.
  6. "No. 55559". The London Gazette . 21 July 1999. p. 7857.