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UCL's Equality Champions

John Hurst
LGBTQ+ Equality Champion
Member of Council

I'm John and I'm the LGBTQ+ Champion on UCL Council – the governing body of the University. I joined UCL as Senior Lecturer in 2007, and I’m now a Reader in Respiratory Medicine within the Division of Medicine. My clinical and research interest is in smoking-related lung disease. I’m pleased to have the role of providing the LGBTQ+ voice on Council and ensuring that LGBTQ+ issues are considered at the highest level within UCL.

Baroness Diana Warwick of Undercliffe
Gender Equality Champion
Member of Council

I am currently the Chair of the Human Tissue Authority. Before that I was the CEO of Universities UK, where I was responsible for representing the interests of 130 universities throughout the UK. My other roles have included CEO of the Association of University Teachers and Chair of Voluntary Services Overseas. I am a Member of the House of Lords and have been a Labour life peer since 1999. From my experiences working at UUK and in politics I know how much progress on gender equality has been made over the course of my career. However I am aware that there remain some significant challenges, for women in leadership positions in academia in particular.

Professor Geraint Rees
Race Equality Champion
Dean of Life Sciences

Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to UCL’s founding ethos and our ongoing ambition as a leading global university. I am delighted to have the chance to contribute, as one of UCL’s Race Champions, to that progressive mission. We urgently need to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students at UCL, and to tackle the subtle biases and deeply rooted structural inequalities that can disadvantage black and minority ethnic people. With our Race Equality Charter action plan, we have an important framework to help us and I will work hard with Ijeoma Uchegbu and Marcia Jacks, the Co-Chairs of UCL's Race Equality Steering Group, and other colleagues to help deliver that goal.

Dame Nicola Brewer
Gender Equality Champion
Vice Provost (International)

Part of the reason I joined UCL a year ago was its reputation as the first university in England to admit women on equal terms to men. I'm delighted to have a chance to contribute, as one of UCL's Gender Champions, to continuing that progressive tradition. My commitment to gender equality was honed when I worked in the Department for International Development and learned that the single best development intervention is to educate a girl child - because it benefits her, her family, her community and the wider economy. The same commitment led me to become CEO of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, where I campaigned for shared parental leave among other things. I look forward to working with the UCL community - men and women - to champion gender equality: there's lots more to do!

Mr. Rex Knight
Disability Equality Champion
Vice Provost (Operations)

I was pleased to be asked to act as a disability equality champion. UCL depends on the excellence of its staff and students, and we should be supporting everyone to achieve at the highest level they can. A particularly important issue that we need to tackle is the relatively low levels of declaration of disability we have, especially for staff. Only when staff and students have the confidence to disclose disabilities can we engage most effectively in ensuring that their needs are fully addressed. 

Professor. Anthony Smith
LGBTQ+ Equality Champion
Vice Provost (Education)

I joined UCL in January 2012 when I took up the newly-created role of Vice-Provost (Education). At the time of joining UCL I was struck by the incredible importance attached to its founding values and mission. The values of openness and opportunity are just as important today as they were in 1826 and that applies particularly to LGBT colleagues. Much good work has already been achieved but it is clear that there are areas of the organisation where colleagues feel uneasy with being open about their identity and sexuality. I am honoured to have been asked to be the LGBT champion and I will work tirelessly across the community so that we can all be comfortable and open about who we are.



Last updated: 25th April 2017