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Simon Woolley

Co–founder and Director for Operation Black Vote


Simon Woolley is co–founder and Director for Operation Black Vote. An organisation that tackles persistent race inequality through Black and Minority Ethnic democratic engagement. In May 2008 the Government Equalities Office released his publication on ‘How to achieve better BME political representation’ and in 2012 he received an honorary Doctorate for his work in Equality and Human Rights by the University of Westminster.  Over the past 3 years he has been a Visiting Lecturer at Nottingham University in their Social Sciences Department. More recently, he has taken up the position as Chair of the government’s Race Disparity Advisory group.

Simon is and has been a valuable member of several national and local boards and committees. Including:

  • Two successful government Taskforces
  • Chair of No10 Downing St, Race Disparity Unit, Advisory Group
  • Open Society Foundation: Roma Initiative Organisation
  • Open Society Foundation: Global Drugs Policy Project
  • Commissioner at the EHRC – (responsibility for Race) 2008-2012
  • Police Now

Simon was received a number of accolades and awards including, the Grassroots and Black Powerlists 2002/2012 – 2017 the Men of Merit Award in 2003 and the Bernie Grant Community Award in 2005.  He was also voted as one of the Daily Telegraph’s most influential ‘Left’ thinkers in 2009 and 2010, as well as making the Evening Standard’s London’s 1000 most influential people in 2010 and 2011. Simon is a regular contributor for the African, Caribbean and Asian press as well as a contributor and writer for The Guardian, The Huffington Post and The Independent newspapers.  He regularly appears on national TV and radio programmes.  Website: