Usha Prashar, Baroness Prashar

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Prashar
Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission
In office
3 April 2006 – 7 February 2011
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Christopher Stephens
Chancellor of De Montfort University
In office
Vice-Chancellor Philip Tasker
Preceded by John White
Succeeded by The Lord Alli
Members of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
15 July 1999
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born Usha Kumari Prashar
(1948-06-29) 29 June 1948 (age 70)
Nationality British

Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar, 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 chairman of a variety of public and private sector organisations. She became the first chairman 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.


Lady 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 was executive chairman 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. Lady Prashar was chairman of the National Literacy Trust from 2001 to 2005. She is also a governor of the Ditchley Foundation, which organises conferences in Oxfordshire.[1] Lady Prashar is a trustee of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity initiating fresh debate on the burning questions facing society.[2]

Lady 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. She became a governor of De Montfort University in 1996, and became its Chancellor in 2001. She was appointed a Trustee of the BBC World Service Trust in 2002, and is President of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is deputy chair of the British Council.[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]

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. ^ The Ditchley Foundation: The Governors Archived 26 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Cumberland Lodge: Trustees Archived 4 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Our organisation | British Council". Retrieved 2018-04-27. 
  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]