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Visiting Professor makes history as West Yorkshire’s first Asian female High Sheriff

Published: 27 March 2024

  •   Staff
A formal picture of Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Bryan with Visiting Professor Adeeba Malik CBE and Dr Mohammed Ali OBE

from l to r: Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Bryan with Visiting Professor Adeeba Malik CBE and Dr Mohammed Ali OBE

Professor Adeeba Malik CBE DL is the first ethnic minority woman to be declared High Sheriff for West Yorkshire. 

In the historic appointment, Ms Malik made her Oath of Declaration in the formal Declarations ceremony at Leeds High Court on Monday 25 March.  

The year-long Royal appointment, which is non-political and unpaid, continues a tradition which stretches back over 1,000 years. The Office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular Office in the United Kingdom after the Crown, and dates from Saxon times. The Office of High Sheriff is carried out on a wholly voluntary basis. It is appointed by The Crown that represents King Charles in upholding all matters related to the judiciary and law and order.  

Born in Bradford the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Ms Malik began working as a teacher in Bradford and Hull before dedicating her career to creating social and economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities across the country. She has been part of Bradford-based national ethnic minority-led charity, the QED Foundation for over 32 years, helping it become one of the most influential organisations of its kind in the UK. 

Ms Malik said: “It is an enormous honour to take on this important role. I look forward to serving my home county and meeting the many different people who do so much good for West Yorkshire. It will be a privilege to support those who work so hard in crime prevention, as well as those from the public, private, community, charity, and voluntary sectors, who create such positive impact for the region.” 

As High Sheriff, Ms Malik’s more formal duties will include attending royal visits throughout West Yorkshire and supporting His Majesty’s High Court Judges.  

During this time, she will also deliver her inaugural lecture ‘From Bradford to Buckingham Palace’ at York St John University, on 23 May 2024. Reflecting on the experiences that made her determined to challenge the inequalities faced by disadvantaged ethnic minorities and women, she will explore how much has really changed. Why is it more difficult for people from some backgrounds to progress than others? And how can we all play a part in creating a fairer and more just society? 

In a career spanning 34 years, Ms Malik has a long record of working across Whitehall, holding numerous ministerial and non-ministerial roles on various boards in Bradford, Yorkshire, and nationally. These include Yorkshire Forward, The Waterways Trust, Ethnic Minority Business Forum, Sheffield Hallam University, British Waterways, The Cabinet Office Race Disparity Advisory Board, and the Women and Work Commission.  

From facilitating integration to shaping government policy, she has become a leading voice for the socially disadvantaged. Currently she is a Board Member of the Home Office Strategic Race Advisory Board, Director of the Bradford Culture Company, Member of a State Honours Committee, and Member of Nurture Academies Trust.  She is a Visiting Professor at York St John University and a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. 

Professor Karen Bryan, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, said:  

I was honoured to attend Adeeba Malik’s installation as High Sheriff of West Yorkshire. Our university community is proud and delighted to see her well-deserved appointment to this role after all her achievements and dedication to the region. I am really looking forward to welcoming Adeeba for her inaugural lecture as a Visiting Professor at York St John University; her journey, insights and experiences serve as an inspiration to us all. 

Professor Adeeba Malik’s inaugural lecture takes place on Thursday 23 May 2024 in the De Grey Lecture Theatre at York St John University. Book free tickets via Eventbrite. 

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