Sandra Wallace and Steven Cooper were appointed as interim chairs of the Social Mobility Commission (SMC) on a jobshare basis from today (10 July 2020). The appointment will ensure accountability and strong leadership are maintained until the conclusion of an open recruitment process to appoint a substantive chair following the resignation of Martina Millburn on 29 April 2020.
Sandra and Steven will continue the work of the SMC as we look to a period of national recovery, working collaboratively on shaping the government’s commitment to levelling up across all areas of the United Kingdom.
Sandra is a current SMC commissioner and is a Managing Partner UK and Joint Managing Director Europe at DLA Piper. She is one of the most senior female lawyers in the UK and has previously headed DLA Piper’s UK Employment group. The Powerlist 2020 recognised Sandra as one of the top 100 most influential black people in Britain.
Steven is a current SMC commissioner and is chief executive officer (CEO) at C.Hoare & Co. He has 32 years’ banking experience, most recently as CEO of Barclaycard Business. He was CEO of personal banking at Barclays for both the UK and Europe and prior to this, CEO Business Banking. Steven sits on several advisory boards. He is a non-executive director at Robert Walters plc and the Financial Services Compensations Scheme and is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School.
The appointment was made by exception without competition under paragraph 3.3 of the Governance Code on Public Appointments, following consultation with the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
This interim appointment will not exceed 9 months. It will involve a commitment to attend SMC meetings, sub-committee meetings and other ad-hoc meetings as required.
Remuneration is £350 per day for 2.5 days per month for each interim chair.
Neither Sandra or Steven have declared any conflicts of interest or political activity.