Usha Prashar, Baroness Prashar

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The Baroness Prashar

Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission
In office
3 April 2006 – 7 February 2011
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byChristopher Stephens
Chancellor of De Montfort University
In office
Vice-ChancellorPhilip Tasker
Preceded byJohn White
Succeeded byThe Lord Alli
Members of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
15 July 1999
Life Peerage
Personal details
Usha Kumari Prashar

(1948-06-29) 29 June 1948 (age 71)

Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar[needs IPA], CBE, PC (born 29 June 1948) is a crossbench member of the House of Lords. Since the 1970s, she has served as a director or chair of a variety of public and private sector organisations. She became the first chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission upon its creation in April 2006.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Kenya, she came to Yorkshire with her father Naurhia Lal Prashar and family in the 1960s. She was educated at the independent Wakefield Girls' High School, becoming head girl in 1967. Prashar read Politics at Leeds University, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, after which she undertook postgraduate studies in Social Administration at the University of Glasgow.


Private Sector[edit]

Baroness Prashar was a non-executive director of Channel Four Television Corporation from 1992 to 1999, of UNITE Group plc from 2001 to 2004, and became a non-executive director of ITV plc in February 2005.

Public Sector[edit]

Baroness Prashar was executive chair of the Parole Board of England and Wales from October 1997 to October 2000. Having been appointed a Civil Service Commissioner in 1990, she was First Civil Service Commissioner from August 2000 to 2005.

Non-Governmental Sector[edit]

Baroness Prashar is a trustee of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity initiating fresh debate on the burning questions facing society.[1]

Baroness Prashar became a governor of De Montfort University in 1996, and became its chancellor in 2001. She was chair of the National Literacy Trust from 2001 to 2005. She was appointed a trustee of the BBC World Service Trust in 2002, and was president of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She was Deputy Chair of the British Council.[2]

Baroness Prashar was a director of the Runnymede Trust from 1976 to 1984, a Fellow with the Policy Studies Institute from 1984 to 1986, and a director of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations from 1986 to 1991. She is also a governor of the Ditchley Foundation, which organises conferences in Oxfordshire.[3]

Iraq Inquiry[edit]

Since July 2009, Baroness Prashar has served on the Iraq Inquiry. She was sworn of the Privy Council the same year[4] to facilitate access to the classified information related to the Iraq War.

UK Community Foundations[edit]

She is the Honorary President of UK Community Foundations (UKCF), the umbrella organisation for all community foundations, providing philanthropic advice to clients and delivering UK-wide grant-making programmes.

Honours and styles[edit]


She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire as a Commander (CBE) in the 1995 New Year Honours,[5] and was made a life peer on 15 July 1999 as Baroness Prashar, of Runnymede, in the County of Surrey.[6]She recently conferred the Honorary Degree (D.Litt.) from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University ,Bhubaneswar Odisha, India.

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1948–1995: Miss Usha Prashar
  • 1995–1999: Miss Usha Prashar CBE
  • 1999–2009: The Rt Hon. The Baroness Prashar CBE
  • 2009–: The Rt Hon. The Baroness Prashar CBE PC


  1. ^ Cumberland Lodge: Trustees Archived 4 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Our organisation | British Council". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  3. ^ The Ditchley Foundation: The Governors Archived 26 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  5. ^ "No. 53893". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1994. p. 10.
  6. ^ "No. 55559". The London Gazette. 21 July 1999. p. 7857.

External links[edit]