The Rt Hon The Baroness Prashar of Runnymede CBE PC

Chair of Trustees


Baroness (Usha) Prashar of Runnymede has been Chair of Trustees at Cumberland Lodge since January 2019. She succeeded Sir Stephen Wall when he stepped down after 10 years in the role. Baroness Prashar was previously a member of our Board for 10 years. She served on our Academic Advisory Panel and was the founding Patron of the Friends of Cumberland Lodge.

Baroness Prashar is a cross-bench member of the House of Lords. She is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Freedom of Information and the European Union Select Committee on Services. She previously served on the European Union Select Committee and chaired its Sub-Committee on Home Affairs. She was a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Select Committee on Economic Regulation, and the Joint Committee on Legislative Scrutiny of the draft Parliamentary Buildings Restoration and Renewal Bill.

In 2021, Baroness Prashar was appointed to Sky Group’s new Diversity Advisory Council, which is helping Sky to achieve its ambitions for diversity and inclusion. In August 2022 she became a Non-Executive Director of Hans Airways.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation, President of Community Foundation Network, and President of the National Literacy Trust (which she co-founded with Sir Simon Hornby). She is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the IE Business School in Madrid, and Patron of Social Mobility Business Partnerships. She has chaired the UK Council of Confederation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) since November 2019.

Baroness Prashar has served as chief executive or chair of a variety of public and private sector organisations. She was President of the Royal Commonwealth Society, having previously served as the Society’s Chair, and she served as a Board member of the Arts Council and Salzburg Global Seminar, where she is now a senior fellow. She was also a trustee of Beacon Collaborative, a charity that promotes philanthropy.

She was a member of the Iraq Inquiry, Deputy Chair of British Council, and the inaugural Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission. She was also the First Civil Service Commissioner (2000-2005), Chairman of the Parole Board for England and Wales (1997-2000), Director of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (1986-1991), and Director of the Runnymede Trust (1976-84). She was a member of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice (1991-1993) and a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (1992-1997). She was also a policy and diversity advisor to Nationwide Building Society, having previously served as a Non-Executive Director.