Chris is Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer with a tally of 9 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze. He was also LOCOG’s Director of Paralympic Integration, responsible for the organisation of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Chris joined the House of Lords as Lord Holmes of Richmond in 2013, focusing his time on education, employment and skills, media and sport, and the digital opportunity. He has been a member of Select Committees on Digital Skills, Social Mobility and Financial Exclusion. Chris is also Diversity Adviser to the Civil Service, non-executive director at Channel 4 and Deputy Chancellor of BPP University. The Future Talent Steering Group is another key passion of Chris's, a group which he is a prolific member of. This group offers thought leadership and the best way to develop opportunities and skills for people in a changing world. Chris is also involved in various campaigns to promote accessibility and celebrate diversity, most recently chairing Channel 4’s Advisor Group for the Year of Disability (YODA).
Chris worked as a journalist before qualifying as a commercial lawyer specialising in employment and pensions once he retired from competitive swimming. He also took non-Executive Director roles at the Disability Rights Commission and UK Sport and was an Ambassador for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid. In 2009 Chris was appointed Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012. In this role, Chris drew on political skills, strategic know-how and his incredible determination to deliver the most successful Paralympics ever. The first games to have all sponsors signed to both Olympics and Paralympics was the London 2012 Olympic Games , the first games to sell out all the stadia for every session and, incredibly, the first games to achieve worldwide television audiences in the hundreds of millions.
Chris’s talents and contribution to the country have not gone unnoticed, with The Prime Minister inviting Chris to enter the House of Lords. Chris relishes this political role and his experiences navigating the ancient corridors of power with guide dog Lottie offer numerous entertaining anecdotes. Chris’s qualification landed him the role of non-Executive Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2013-2017) where he headed up the Disability Committee and was responsible for important diversity and inclusion programmes. His responsibilities ranged from sport to broadcasting and precedent setting legal action concerned with the Equality Act 2010 and establishing principles around accessibility and inclusion. Chris is supporter and patron of several charities including Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Help for Heroes and Guide Dogs.
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