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Natural History Museum appoints first Muslim Trustee

19th Jun 2020
Natural History Museum appoints first Muslim Trustee

Hamed Chapman

First Muslim has been appointed by the Prime Minister to the Natural History Museum in London.

Harris Bokhari, who serves as a board member of Prince’s Trust Mosaic Initiative and as an ambassador for the British Asian Trust, becomes the third Muslim trustee at the top six museums in the capital.

Being the first British-born trustee appointment, Bokhari said, “One of my personal priorities will be to ensure that the museum continues to reach out to diverse audiences so that we can all equally share in its joy and wonder.”

“The museum is a true national treasure, home to one of the world’s most important natural history collections, with a crucial mandate to educate on some of our most prescient global issues,” said Bokhari, Founder of the charities Patchwork Foundation and the Naz Legacy Foundation.

Other Muslim trustees include Egyptian-born Minouche Shafik at the British Museum and Pakistan-born Farooq Chaudhry at the Tate. BAME members represent a total of 10 of the 98 trustee positions at London’s major museums.

“These institutions play such an important role in helping our society connect with their heritage. Having governance teams who reflect the realities of contemporary, diverse Britain will be an important step towards achieving that.”

His appointment coincided with the native of Bolton, Ismail Amla, becoming a board member of UK Sport for the next three years. He was appointed by Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden. Previously, he has worked extensively with non-profit organisations, who have used sports to increase aspiration levels in minority communities. He is Chief Growth Officer at Capita.

The Culture Secretary said the Government encourages people from all backgrounds to apply for public appointments and was why he was “delighted to see Harris and Ismail take up these roles. Our public bodies should represent society as a whole, and the Government is determined to help make that happen.”

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