Surinder Sharma took up his post as the first National Director for Equality & Human Rights at the Department of Health in October 2004. Surinder has worked in the Diversity field for over 30 years, gaining a reputation for success and excellence along the way. As a lawyer, he began his career with the Commission for Racial Equality in 1978, gaining the strategic knowledge base on which his later career was built. He has been a Councillor at Leicester City Council, where he Chaired Housing Committee, was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1983 and now Chairs the Leicester Race Equality Council.
His career has taken him to a variety of different organisations where he has won many awards: BC Television, the Littlewoods Organisation and Ford Motor Company (Europe) where as the European Director he managed a European Team during a period of radical European transformation. He was a Commissioner at the Equal Opportunities Commission, where he chaired the Legal Committee. He is also a Co-Chair of the Conference Board European Work Life & Diversity Forum, a Trustee of the National Space Centre, appointed as a Independent Person at Leicestershire County Council, Chair of the Governing Council of the Health & Social Care BME Network. He is also a member of the Ministry of Defence Diversity Panel, member of Equality Advisory Group at the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, Council Member of Aston University (where he is the Chair of the Ethics Sub Committee & a member of the Audit Committee) Member of the Global Advisory Council at Novartis AG in Switzerland, where he is a consultant to the company on Diversity & Inclusion.
For his pioneering work Surinder has been awarded Honorary Doctorates degrees from Birmingham City University, De Montfort University and Honorary Professorships from the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Manchester Business School. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2013.