Honorary Graduates 2012 no.7 – Janet Paraskeva
Janet Paraskeva has worked as a teacher, a schools inspector, and – most recently – she has become an indispensible problem-solver for several consecutive British Governments.
She started her career as a science and maths teacher before working for HM Inspector of Schools. She has since worked as the first Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency here in Leicester and first Director for England of the National Lottery Charities Board as well as the first Chief Executive of the Law Society.
She has also served as Chair of the Government’s Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, as a non-executive director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency(SOCA) and as Head of the Olympic Lottery Distributor, which oversaw the provision of Lottery funding to facilitate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron selected Paraskeva as one of three members of an inquiry to determine whether British intelligence officers were complicit in the torture of detainees – including at Guantanamo Bay.
Born in Newport, South Wales, in 1946, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2010.