NSW - The Hon. Patricia Hewitt MP - Invite Only
Patricia is a Senior Independent Director, BT Group plc; non-executive director, Bupa (since 2013) and EuroTunnel (since 2010); chair, UK India Business Council; member, international advisory council, Sutherland Global Services. Previously Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (2001 to 2005), Cabinet Minister for Women (2001 to 2005), Secretary of State for Health (2005 to 2007) and MP for Leicester West (1997 to 2010).
Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt is the chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), the business-led organisation that works with the British government to promote bilateral trade between the UK and India.
Patricia had a long and distinguished career in politics and government, including as the longest-serving Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the last fifty years. In that role, she made India her top international priority, believing - as she said in 2002 - that India was rapidly becoming 'the world's most exciting knowledge-driven economy'. She also served in Tony Blair's government as Cabinet Minister for Women (2001 - 2005) and Secretary of State for Health (2005 - 2007).
Until March 2014, Patricia was Senior Independent Director for BT, where she served for six years on the Board, chairing the remuneration and pensions committees. She is a non-executive director of EuroTunnel and of Bupa, a member of the International Advisory Board of Sutherland Global Services and a member of the UK government's Asia Task Force. She has been for many years an active supporter of Katha, an NGO that is transforming the lives of children and their families in Delhi's slums.
Between 1997 and 2010, Patricia was Labour MP for Leicester West and continues to have close family and personal ties with the city and its large British Asian community. Patricia's husband, William Birtles, is senior judge at the Mayor's and City of London Court and they have two children, both in their 20's. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys reading, music, theatre and gardening. Although her efforts to learn Hindi have not been very successful, she wowed the Vibrant Gujarat summit in January 2013 with her speech in Gujarati!