Geoff Thompson MBE
Geoff Thompson MBE a former world champion athlete and one of the country's most respected sports administrators and youth activists, succeeds Mark Stephens CBE, who is stepping down after eight years at the helm. Raised in Hackney, Mr Thompson has unique connections to east London and is a lifelong advocate of the role that education, sport and culture play in improving the lives of young people. During a distinguished sporting career, he was the world heavyweight karate champion and world team karate champion between 1982 and 1986 and won more than 50 national and international titles. Following his retirement from competitive sport, he established himself as an influential sports politician and administrator, taking on numerous public and private sector appointments with the aim of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels of society. He is the Founder and Executive Chair of the Youth Charter, a UK-based international charity and United Nations Non-Governmental Organisation that uses the ethics of sport and artistic excellence to tackle the problems of educational non-attainment, health inequality, anti-social behaviour and crime in some of the UK's most troubled communities. His public and private sector appointments include chairing Sport England's Advisory Group on Racial Equality in Sport and serving as a member of its grant assessment panel. Among other appointments, he has been a director of the Sports Council Trust Company, a board member of the New Opportunities fund, an honorary fellow of the former Institute of Leisure, Amenities and Mangement, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and independent assessor for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. In 1995, Mr Thompson was appointed an MBE for his services to sport and last year he was included in the Top 100 BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Leaders in Business list, in association with the Sunday Times.