- Minister for Women and Equalities appoints Eryl Besse as the EHRC’s Wales Commissioner
- Wales Commissioner will chair the Commission’s Wales committee, forge good relationships with the Welsh government and develop knowledge of the equalities landscape specific to Wales
- Besse was previously a Senior Adviser to the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on UK Victims of Qadhafi sponsored IRA Terrorism and a member of the Board of the Charity Commission.
The appointment further boosts the skills and knowledge of the EHRC board following the appointment of Akua Reindorf in December.
Besse is a native Welsh speaker. She recently worked as Senior Adviser to the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on UK Victims of Qadhafi sponsored IRA Terrorism. Prior to this, Besse was a Board member (2013 to 2018) and Deputy Chairman (2016 to 2018) of the Charity Commission for England and Wales; during her term, she was the Board member for Wales and acted as an ambassador for the Charity Commission in Wales. Besse is a lawyer by training (1981 to 2012) and was a Partner at both Linklaters and Debevoise & Plimpton.
Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, said:
“I’m delighted that Eryl has accepted this important role, her expertise and passion will be a huge asset to the EHRC and Welsh equality.”
The role of Wales Commissioner includes liaising between the EHRC and the Welsh government on all aspects of the Commission’s work.
The appointment follows a full public recruitment process that was carried out in line with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. Besse will serve as a Commissioner for a term of 4 years.
The appointment of the EHRC’s Wales Commissioner is made with the consent of Welsh ministers.
The role of a Commissioner includes supporting the Chair by forging good relationships with the private, public and voluntary sectors, enabling a wide range of views to be taken into account in Board decisions. In addition, in partnership with the Chief Executive, the Chair and Commissioners set the overall direction, policy and plans of the EHRC.