Biographies

Kate Pickett (Chair)

Kate Pickett FRSA FFPH, is Professor of Epidemiology, Deputy Director of the Centre for Future Health and Associate Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity, all at the University of York. 

Kate's research focuses on the impact of inequality on health and wellbeing.  She served on the York Fairness Commission, the national Living Wage Commission and is a member of the European Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality. 

Kate is a co-founder and chair of The Equality Trust and a Global Ambassador for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

Lord Simon Woolley

Lord Simon Woolley is the Director and founder of Operation Black Vote, a national and internationally renowned race equality organization.

In the last 25 years Lord Woolley has helped transform our political and civic institutions, ensuring they are inclusive and representative. In 1996 there were 4 BAME  MP’s now there  are 65 BAME MPs  

In 2017 Operation Black Vote, launched the ground breaking-The Colour of Power, the most in-depth look at the racial make-up of Britain's top jobs across 28 sectors that dominate British society.   

He is seen as the inspiration and one of the architects for the United Kingdom’s Race Disparity Unit and served as the Advisory Chair since its inception.

Lord Woolley received a Knighthood in the 2019 Birthday Honours for his services to race equality and was nominated for a life peerage in the same year

Miatta Fahnbulleh

Miatta is Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation. She has a wealth of experience in developing and delivering policy to empower communities and change people’s lives. She has been at the forefront of generating new ideas on reshaping our economy inside government and out.

Prior to joining NEF she was Director of Policy & Research at the Institute of Public Policy Research. Before this, she was a political advisor to the Leader of the Opposition and led on the development of policies ranging from devolution to local economic growth, housing, energy and climate change and transport. She spent eight years at senior levels in the Cabinet Office, including as Head of the Cities Policy Unit, where she was responsible for driving forward the Government’s economic devolution agenda in England. Prior to this, she was Deputy Director at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, leading on localism and local economic growth for No 10.

Miatta has a Masters and PhD in economic development from the LSE and a BA in PPE from Oxford.

Ruth Lupton

Ruth Lupton is currently an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester (UoM), having stepped back from her full-time position there in July 2020.  Ruth is a researcher and writer whose work focuses on poverty and inequality in the UK, with specific expertise in education, spatial inequalities and cities.  She formerly worked at the Institute of Education in London and at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at LSE, where she wrote her book Poverty Street: the dynamics of neighbourhood decline and renewal, and led a major research programme on the impacts of New Labour and Coalition social policies on poverty and inequality.  She served on the National Equality Panel between 2008 and 2010. 

Most recently (2016 -19) Ruth led the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and UoM funded Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit (IGAU) researching inequalities in Greater Manchester and working with a wide range of stakeholders to develop policy solutions.

Saeed Atcha

Saeed Atcha MBE DL is CEO of Youth Leads UK, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and Government Social Mobility Commissioner. He established the charity Youth Leads at the age of 15 and has supported more than 12,000 disadvantaged young Greater Mancunian’s access volunteering opportunities and skills development programmes. 

Saeed is a trustee of youth employment charity Generation, an Advisory Council member to the Care Tech Foundation and a school governor at his former secondary school, Ladybridge High School in Bolton.

Andrew Westwood

Andy Westwood is Professor of Government Practice and Vice Dean in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester. He is a Visiting Professor of Further and Higher Education at the University of Wolverhampton and a Governor at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. He has also acted as an expert adviser to the EU, the OECD and the IMF.

He is a specialist adviser to the House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs and has also advised the Digital Skills Committee. He has also been a special adviser to ministers on education, skills and science policy at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and a senior adviser at HM Treasury and in the Departments for Education and Communities and Local Government. He writes regularly for Wonkhe, the Times Education Supplement, the Times Higher Education magazine and The Guardian.

Andrew Westwood

Neil McInroy

Neil is CEO of CLES – the UK national organisation for local economies. CLES is a ‘think do’ organisation and is at the forefront of actioning workable progressive policy and practice at scale and pace, in response to the growing climate, economic and social crises.

Neil is a leading economic development thinker and doer and has worked with a range of local, regional and national governments, politicians and agencies across UK and in Europe, Asia, US and Australasia.  He is at present part-time secondment as a Community Wealth Building Adviser to the Scottish Government. He lives in Greater Manchester and was a commissioner to the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission (2012-13).