Surinder Sharma

High Sheriff of Leicestershire 2016-2017

Surinder was born in Nairobi, Kenya. He moved to Leicester with his parents in March 1965 and has lived in the city ever since. He attended Westcotes Secondary and Gateway Grammar Schools in Leicester and studied Law at the University of Kent. He is married to Vijay and they have a daughter, Vibha, and a son, Sachet.

Surinder has had a wide-ranging career with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. His first job was with the Commission for Racial Equality from March 1978 where he gained the strategic knowledge base on which his later career was built. He has worked for BBC Television, the Littlewoods Organisation and for the Ford Motor Company (Europe) where he managed a European Team during a period of radical transformation. He served as a member of the Global Advisory Council at Novartis AG in Switzerland, where he was also a consultant to the company on Diversity and Inclusion. He has been a Commissioner at the Equal Opportunities Commission where he chaired the Legal Committee; he also co-chaired the European Work-Life & Diversity Forum. In 2004 he was appointed as the first National Director for Equality & Human Rights at the Department of Health and the National Health Service.

Surinder has been a City Councillor for Leicester and chaired the Housing Committee. He has served as a Justice of the Peace and was appointed an Alderman for the City of Leicester in 2013.

Gordon Arthur

High Sheriff of Leicestershire 2015-2016

Gordon was born in Khartoum and brought up in Essex. After graduating from Cambridge University he trained as a solicitor in Norwich and worked in London before arriving in Leicestershire in 1981 to join Leicester firm Stone & Simpson. The firm later merged with Harvey Ingram (now Shakespeares). He practised as a property lawyer, specialising in work for local housing associations until he retired in 2013.

Gordon is Lay Chair of the Gartree Deaneries and a member of the Diocesan Synod and of Leicester Cathedral Council. He is a Trustee of the St Philip’s Centre for study and engagement with other faiths and recently completed a Diploma in Inter-Religious Relations. He is also a Trustee of the Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust for the publication of local history in Leicestershire.

For the last thirty years Gordon and his wife, Janet, have lived in Smeeton Westerby, by coincidence very close to where his grandmother grew up before World War One. Their three children have now left home to work elsewhere. They enjoy country life and try to keep fit by walking dogs and swimming. They also appreciate the excellent opportunities for concerts and theatre in Leicester.