Professor Nalin Thakkar named in Top 50 public sector leaders list

The University of Manchester’s Professor Nalin Thakkar has been included in a list of the top 50 most influential BAME leaders in the public sector.

Launched today by Inclusive Boards, alongside a study into the lack of ethnic diversity at senior levels within the sector, the list celebrates the achievements of individuals at the top of their fields.

Professor Thakkar is Associate Vice-President and Professor of Molecular Pathology at The University of Manchester, Consultant Histopathologist at the Central Manchester Universities Hospital NHS Trust and a Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority.

Barbara Kasumu, co founder of Inclusive Boards, said “We put a lot of time and thought into creating this list – it was important to us that people were included both for their contribution to their chosen field and for creating opportunities for others. We are delighted that Nalin has made the top 50 – his hard work is an inspiration not only to others in the Public Sector but also to the BAME community.”

The list was launched following research that found only 3.5 percent of leaders within the public sector were from BAME backgrounds. It is compiled by Inclusive Boards, an agency set up earlier in 2017 to support the third and public sector with their efforts to attract more Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders at board and executive level.

Professor Thankkar arrived in the UK from Uganda in his early teens. After schooling in North London, he read dentistry at The University of Manchester, and completed MSc in Oral Pathology and a PhD in Medical Oncology, also at Manchester. Unusually for a dentist, he followed a research and academic career in genetics and undertook specialist clinical training in histopathology.

He currently holds the Chair of Molecular Pathology and Genetics at The University of Manchester and has served as Associate Vice President at Manchester since 2010 with a remit to oversee research governance and integrity, and non-financial compliance and risk.

Alongside his University work, Professor Thakkar is also a Consultant Histopathologist at Central Manchester Universities Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and leads the head and neck histopathology service which supports a major head and neck oncology surgery centre at the hospital.

He has also served as Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority (HRA) since its inception as a Department of Health ‘arm’s length body’ in 2015. This ministerial appointment followed a long association with HRA’s predecessor bodies, where he served in various capacities including National Research Ethics Advisor and National Advisor. The HRA’s role is to protect and promote interests of the patients and publich health, and to make UK a great place to undertake medical and social care research.

This list is important not beacuse of the people who appear on it, but because it can inspire others - particularly our younger generations and those from BAME backgrounds - to strive to contribute at all levels in our society for the greater good.
Professor Nalin Thakkar

The full list can be found at

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