Royal representative to receive honours


Paul Sabapathy CBE, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for the County of the West Midlands, will be awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Birmingham City University tomorrow.

A former Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors, Paul will receive his award in recognition of his outstanding service to the University for more than seventeen years.

Paul's commitment to education is evident from his time spent on the Higher Education Funding Council's Committees on Leadership, Governance and Management, Sustainability and Accountability Framework. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Committee of University Chairmen from 2004 to 2005 and, in 2005, was awarded the CBE in recognition of his contribution to Higher Education and Business.

He became involved with Birmingham City University (formerly the University of Central England) in 1992, stepping down as Chairman in March 2009 - a role that saw him become the first non-white Chairman of a British University.

Paul's accomplishments also extend to the business community. Born in India in 1942, he came to the UK in 1964, completing a Masters degree in Industrial Administration at Aston University. He then qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant and went on to join IMI Plc as an accountant. After six years he was appointed to the Board of IMI Refiners, one of IMI's largest subsidiaries, and over a period of 28 years, he held senior management positions, including a directorship for 22 years. Once again, he was the first non-white person to be appointed at managerial level in IMI.

After retiring as Assistant Managing Director of IMI Titanium in 1996, Paul joined the NHS as Chief Executive of Northern Birmingham Community Trust, providing healthcare in the community for 600,000 people.

Paul is a former President of Walsall Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of West Midlands Industrial Development Advisory Board, and also sat on the Advantage West Midlands Venture Capital Trust Investment Advisory Committee.  

He served on the Boards of both the Black Country and Birmingham Heartlands Development Corporations and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1995 in recognition of his Contribution to Urban Regeneration.

He has recently been appointed Chair of the India Co-ordination Group to look at opportunities for West Midlands businesses with India and is an Ambassador of Advantage West Midlands. Currently, Paul is Chairman of Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust and Vice-Chair of the PCT Network of the NHS Confederation. He is also a Trustee of the world famous Bournville Village Trust in Birmingham

In 2007, Paul was awarded the further honour of being appointed Lord-Lieutenant of the County of West Midlands, the first non-white Lord-Lieutenant. He is the most senior Royal Representative in the County of West Midlands and the Queen's Personal Representative in the County.

In 2008 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Aston University, forty years after gaining his MSc at that university.

His award is due to be conferred at 10.45am Wednesday 10 February, 2010 at the Awards Congregation ceremony in Symphony Hall which will celebrate the work and achievements of students graduating from Birmingham City Business School and the Faculty of Health.

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