Michael Jay has been an independent cross-bench member of the House of Lords since 2006 and was appointed Chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission in July 2008. He is a non-executive director of Associated British Foods, Candover Investments, EDF SA and Valeo SA, and Chair of the medical aid charity Merlin and the educational charity Culham Languages and Sciences. Following a career in the Ministry of Overseas Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he was British Ambassador in Paris from 1996-2001, Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office from 2002-2006 and the Prime Minister's Personal Representative for the G8 in 2005 and 2006. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College Oxford and was a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College Oxford in 1996.
Jane Campbell progressed through a number of local government equal opportunities roles, principally focusing on disability human rights issues before becoming an Independent Consultant on Direct Payments (1994-96). She then co-directed the National Centre for Independent Living before becoming the founding Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (2001-2005). She served as a Commissioner on the Disability Rights Commission for its duration (2000-2007), and then served as Commissioner on the Equalities & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) from 2007-2009. She is currently working with the government on developing legislation and practical guidance to extend choice and control for disabled people over their public service support. She was appointed as an independent cross bench peer in 2007 and is now Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Disability Group.
Joan Higgins has had a career in social and health policy at Southampton and Manchester Universities, has undertaken significant healthcare advisory work and has held various public appointments. She was Chair of the Christie Hospital NHS Trust (2002-2007), a leading cancer centre. Since 2007, she has been Chair of the NHS Litigation Authority, which defends the NHS against claims of clinical (and other) negligence.
John Low had a mix of public and private sector experience, notably as Chief Executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), before taking over as Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in 2007. He is a Director of CAF Bank Ltd and of the Euclid Network of European Third Sector Leaders, having been Trustee and Chairman of ACEVO from 2003 to 2009. Dr Low is also an Independent Member of Council at City University, London. His early career was in research and in science-based roles in the private sector. He became Director in charge of R&D for a Swiss technology business, Sortex, in 1988, and left in 1999 to join RNID, firstly as a Director before being promoted to Chief Executive.
Lord Hart is Chancellor of the University of Greenwich and a Labour Peer. Before entering public service, he was a partner in the city law firm Herbert Smith, specialising in planning and administrative law. Lord Hart is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Merits of Statutory Instruments and the Select Committee on the Constitution. He is also a member of the Development and Strategy Committee of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Past appointments include terms as Chairman of the Almeida Theatre and Deputy Chairman of the Architect Foundation. He has served as a trustee of the British Architectural Library Trust and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Fellow and former Lay Member of Council at University College London.
Lord Howard is a former leader of the Conservative Party, having served as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons for nearly three decades. Lord Howard served as Secretary of State for Employment, Secretary of State for the Environment and Home Secretary in the Conservative government before taking the front-bench opposition roles of Shadow Chancellor and Shadow Foreign Secretary. He was elected to Parliament in 1983 and served as an MP until April 2010 before being appointed a Conservative Life Peer. Prior to his career in government, Lord Howard practised as a barrister for over 20 years, achieving the rank of Queen’s Counsel in 1982. Since leaving politics, he has pursued a variety of international business interests. He is chairman of Northern Racing Limited, chairman of Luup Limited, deputy chairman of Entree Gold Inc., and is a senior adviser to Hawkpoint Partners Limited.
Baroness Scott was created a Life Peer in 2000 after a career in local government in Suffolk. In addition to holding significant positions within Suffolk County Council, Baroness Scott has been a senior member of the Local Government Association, Member of the Board of the Audit Commission, and a UK delegate to the European Union Committee of the Regions. Since becoming a Member of the House of Lords, Baroness Scott has held front bench positions as the Liberal Democrat spokesman for Local Government and Communities, and for Transport. Between 2008 and 2010 she held office as President of the Liberal Democrats.