Barbara, Lady Judge
|Barbara Thomas Judge|
|Born||Barbara Suzanne Singer
28 December 1946
New York City, New York, United States
|Residence||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Nationality||American and British|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
|Occupation||Lawyer and businesswoman|
Barbara Thomas, Lady Judge, CBE (née Barbara Suzanne Singer; born 28 December 1946 in New York City), known before as Barbara Singer Thomas, is an American-British lawyer and businesswoman who lives in London and has dual citizenship. Lady Judge is Chairman Emeritus of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Chairman of the Pension Protection Fund, and UK Business Ambassador on behalf of UK Trade & Investment. In February 2015 she was named as the first female chair of the Institute of Directors. She is married to Sir Paul Judge and has a son from her marriage to Allen L. Thomas, an American lawyer.
Education and early career
Singer's father owned a small business. Her mother Marcia Singer was associate dean of students at New York Institute of Technology until 2011 when she was 87 years old. Born in Manhattan, Singer grew up in Saddle Rock, New York.
In 1966 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her first husband Theodore J. Kozloff. In her graduate studies at New York University School of Law, she specialised in tax law, finishing with a Juris Doctor in 1969. She won numerous awards for her grades and was an editor of the New York University Law Review.
At her first employer, Barbara Singer worked as a corporate lawyer. In 1973, she joined Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays, and Handler, where she specialised in corporate law and financial transactions and became a partner in 1978. At that time she married Allen L. Thomas, a partner at her first firm.
SEC and banking
In 1980, Barbara Thomas was appointed a member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C. for a five-year term. As she was the youngest ever SEC commissioner, this was widely reported and a key stage in her career. In November 1983, after the birth of her son, she resigned from the SEC and was appointed the first ever female executive director of a British merchant bank Samuel Montagu & Co., and moved to Hong Kong with her husband. In 1987 she became senior vice president of Bankers Trust International Banking in New York. This was the first time that a woman had been appointed as a director of a London-based merchant bank.
Around that time, Barbara Thomas was also involved with Lincoln Savings and Loan Association and American Continental Corporation, two companies whose collapse in 1989 would cause a major financial scandal. Both companies were run by Charles Keating, for whom she gave a character reference to the SEC in 1988. Later she was one of many named in a resulting class action suit and settled out of court.
News International and private equity
In 1993, Barbara Thomas became an executive director of Rupert Murdoch's News International, and in 1994 she moved from New York to London with her husband and her son, whom she wanted to raise in England. Later she worked in the private equity business in the UK (acquisition of Scotia Haven Food Group and Whitworths Food Group) and founded Private Equity Investor plc.
Thomas was also the first woman on the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School of Management at the University of Pennsylvania and a founding director of the Lauder Institute of Management at Wharton. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of New York Institute of Technology and is also chairman of Executive Alumni.
In 2010, Lady Judge served on the board of US coal group Massey Energy, including roles on the finance, safety, environmental and public policy committees at the time of a Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that killed 29 workers in Beckley, West Virginia. Prior to the disaster, questioning her ability to devote sufficient time to the Massey board role, Lady Judge faced opposition from Massey Energy shareholders to her continued appointment as a non executive director. She resigned her position on the board three weeks after the disaster citing other ongoing business activities.
Nuclear power and pension protection
Lady Judge became a non-executive director in 2002, and in 2004 the chair, of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). After the sale of the UKAEA's decommissioning business to Babcock International Group in 2009, she was succeeded by Roger Cashmore in 2010. In the same year she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for "services to the Nuclear and Financial Services Industries". In February 2010, she was also appointed to the International Advisory Board for the development of nuclear energy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In February 2011, she led a trade delegation to India to discuss how British companies could take part in the construction of six giant nuclear reactors at Jaitapur on the west coast of the country.
In April 2010, Lady Judge was appointed Chairman of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), a position that she took up in July 2010. She was the first female chair of the PPF, which provides compensation to employees with pension schemes which may be affected in the event that their employer is declared bankrupt. Lady Judge was reappointed as chair in 2013. Between 2007 and 2010, Lady Judge was a Public Member of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, a body which develops ethical standards and guidance for use by professional accountants. Additionally, from 2004 until 2007, Lady Judge was Deputy Chairman of the UK Financial Reporting Council which regulates UK corporate governance and accountants.
Lady Judge is chair of the Energy Institute at University College, London. In January 2006, she was appointed by the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (SOAS) as Chairman of its governing body, and is also Chairman of the advisory board for the London Middle East Institute at SOAS. Elsewhere, Lady Judge is a member of the International Board of Overseers of Sabancı University, Istanbul, and a visiting fellow of the University of Oxford Saïd Business School, at the Centre for Corporate Reputation. In May 2012 she was appointed Chairman of Executive Alumni Ltd, an organisation that helps senior executives who have finished their corporate careers to remain productively involved in business.
In September 2012, Lady Judge was appointed Deputy Chairman of TEPCO Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. The committee is an advisory body of domestic Japanese and international experts that conducts external monitoring and supervises the activities of the "Nuclear Reform Special Task Force" set up by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), in order to implement nuclear reform to achieve the world’s highest standards of safety awareness, technical capabilities, and social interaction capabilities. Lady Judge has said that she is particularly honored to serve on the committee as it is important to have a woman as part of the group. It was reported that she was being hailed as the “secret weapon” and “saviour” of Japan’s nuclear hopes.
Honours and assessment
Lady Judge is an advocate for women in business and has stated that she believes women have a responsibility to help other women. In an interview with the Financial Times she noted that much of her drive comes from her mother who taught her that women should work “not because they were poor or alone … [but] because they had a brain and they should use it and they should earn their own money, because money was independence and they should be independent”. She has also said that women “can have a serious career and also be a serious mother.”
She has a keen interest in food of all kinds and has contributed reviews of restaurants to publications including The Daily Telegraph, Exclusive magazine and The Express. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, where she writes on restaurants visited on her international business travels.
Lady Judge is a strong proponent for energy conservation. She has written on how nuclear energy can be the critical resource to ensure the security of energy supply which in turn is crucial for national security. She is also chairman of the Energy Institute at University College London.
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- Photo in center with Dale E. Klein (left), former Chairperson of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,東電の原子力改革監視委が初会合 柏崎再稼働目指し、信頼回復図る [TEPCO First Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee Meeting, aiming to resume operation of Kashiwazaki–Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant under re-gain the trust by public] (in Japanese). Sankei Shimbun. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Document Related to the First Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee Meeting TEPCO News >Press Releases>Press Release (12 Oct 2012) and Framework for the Nuclear Reform, TEPCO News, Press Release (11 Sep 2012)
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