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Meet the Commissioners

 BAME Inequalities Comission logo

Councillor Asma Begum


Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Youth and Equalities. Chair of the Commission.

She is an active community campaigner and trained paediatric nurse. She began her political journey in 2010 after recognising that there were not enough Black, Asian and minority ethnic women and young people participating in local decision making. Asma initially joined the local women’s forum where she served as Vice Chair.

As part of her role as community activist and elected politician, Asma leads on promoting women’s and young people’s participation in politics and decision making, as well as advocating for ethnic minority communities.

Councillor Mufeedah Bustin


Councillor Mufeedah Bustin was elected as a representative for Island Gardens ward in 2018. Since June 2020, Mufeedah has been Cabinet Member for Planning and Social Inclusion (Job Share) – Lead on Social Inclusion. Her portfolio has oversight of the Tackling Poverty programme and digital inclusion.

Mufeedah went into politics to have better representation in local government. And to improve diversity in the local area. She’s an advocate for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic and women’s rights. She has been a Trustee for a local women’s health charity since 2015.

Mufeedah has a financial services background. She has chaired a diversity and inclusion council in the insurance industry. She has also held inclusion events in the wider market. Recently, Mufeedah has worked in the charity sector. She’s applied her corporate experience to organisations that work with young people from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

Lord Simon Woolley

Lord Simon Woolley photo

Lord Simon Woolley is a political and equalities activist. He is the founder and Director of Operation Black Vote and the Chair of the UK Government’s Race Disparity Unit Advisory Group. He has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since October 2019.

Safia Jama


Hi! I'm Safia Jama and I am the founder of Women's Inclusive Team (WIT). I grew up in Tower Hamlets, went to primary and secondary school here. I am an activist for women's rights and especially black women's rights.

Dr Kambiz Boomla


Dr Kambiz Boomla has been a GP in Tower Hamlets for 35 years and is a  Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Population Health Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. 

Past Chair of GPs’ City & East London Local Medical Committee 

Past member of national Confidentiality Advisory Group of the Health Research Authority.

He is heavily involved in the analysis of data from GP clinical systems using new web based technologies. This information is used for service development, audit, and research.  He is clinical lead in the NHS Discovery Data Service Programme.  Research interests include equitable delivery of quality improvement programmes in primary health care, and the governance of information for clinical and third party uses.

He is Treasurer of Tower Hamlets Stand Up to Racism, and lives at Mile End.

Ian Parkes


Ian Parkes took over as Chief Executive of ELBA in April 2016. His career spans the public, private and not for profit sectors. Formerly Chief Executive of AZTEC, he founded SOA Development in 2001. SOA Development was an independent practice specialising in project management, strategy development, partnership development, and organisation governance. Clients were drawn from the public, not for profit and the private sectors. He was involved with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and development of growth strategies in London and the south east.

Strongly committed to helping children and young people meet their full potential, Ian is a serial school and college governor. He is Chair of the Governing Body at Graveney School in Tooting, and Vice Chair of Graveney Trust. He has been chair of governors at two inner London primary schools.

Vivian Akinremi


It is time to educate and reshape the world we live in and being a member of the race commission gives me the ability to help better the lives of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in Tower Hamlets. As a young black woman in Tower Hamlets, I want better for myself, I want better for my peers and most importantly I want better for the generations to come and the Race commission is the beginning of the change for better in Tower Hamlets and I am honoured to be a part of it.

Edwin Ndlovu


I am the Director of Operations for East London NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to this I was the Borough Director for the Tower Hamlets Mental Health and Learning Disabilities services. I am a qualified Mental Health Nurse with over 20 years experience of working in mental health care in East London.

Pam Bhamra


Pam has been the Chair of the Tower Hamlets Housing Forum (THHF) since September 2019. THHF is a partnership between registered housing providers working in the Borough and the council. We have a common interest in providing high quality affordable homes for the local community and delivering a great standard of service to our residents.

As a group of housing providers, our objectives are to share experience, plan together, develop common standards, discuss and debate housing and community policy, and work towards the common goal of making Tower Hamlets the best possible place to live. We do this through several sub-groups and participating in key partnership forums supporting the Council in the delivery of the Tower Hamlets Plan.

Pam is the Director of Operations at Tower Hamlets Community Housing and has a considerable track record in delivering housing and resident services at Director level for a range of different housing associations.     

Graeme McDonald


Graeme McDonald is Managing Director of Solace and Solace in Business and is responsible for the overall strategic direction and management of the organisation.

Graeme has spent over 25 years working in local government. Prior to joining Solace he worked for London Borough, Metropolitan and District councils; his final role was as the Director of Policy and Performance at the London Borough of Ealing. He also has experience in roles within social care, housing and environmental services, as well as a range of corporate and change management roles.

Graeme focuses on leadership development; influencing policy across central government and ensuring the very best of the sector is shared and built upon. He is particularly keen to develop the sector's long term leadership capabilities and has developed a number of programmes aimed at firmly embedding high quality diverse professional leadership in local public services.