Lord Simon Woolley, Principal of Homerton College, is the first black man to head an Oxbridge College and was the founding Director of Operation Black Vote (OBV), the internationally renowned campaigning NGO which he launched in 1996. OBV works with ethnic minorities in the UK to increase understanding of civic society, participation in Parliament and public life, and to promote equality and human rights. Formerly an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, in 2018 Lord Woolley was appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May to create and lead the UK Government’s pioneering Race Disparity Unit. The Unit collects, analyses and publishes data on how crime, education and health are affected by ethnicity.
Repeatedly recognised in the Black Powerlist, Lord Woolley is dedicated to promoting opportunity for underrepresented communities and individuals, and to building consensus across political and community lines.
Simon Woolley was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2019 and was created a life peer in December of the same year. He sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Westminster in 2012. He is a regular contributor to newspapers nationally and internationally on topics relating to equality, diversity and social justice.