Sam Budd
Independent Commissioner

‘It is with great pleasure that I take up the role of Independent Commissioner for Durham SU’s Culture commission. Recent events in wider society as well on university campuses across the UK have led to an urgent need for organisations to address inequality and I believe that this starts with a commitment to cultural transformation. We do this by focussing on creating a genuinely shared vision of the future, a vision that everyone contributes towards the shaping of so that everyone can feel that they belong and can flourish. I am excited to be part of a sector leading initiative that will ensure that Durham students lead the way in transforming their environment and improving the experience for everyone within the Durham University community’

About Sam

Sam is a specialist in inclusion and cultural transformation.

Sam’s work focuses on inclusion and cultural transformation with a particular emphasis on racial equity in the workplace. She supports senior leaders and boards to develop competence in racial literacy in order to confidently lead a strategic response to tackling institutional racism.

Sam has worked at board level for a wide range of organisations and is a board advisor for the Black Professional Network, the Inclusive Companies Network and Simply Communicate. She is an Associate Non-Executive Director of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, NHS Trust and a member of the Seacole Group, the national network for Black and Minority Ethnic NHS Non- Executive Directors, Chair of the Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board , University of West of England. She is a specialist contributor to the Oasis, School of Human Relations and is currently supporting the National Union of Students as the interim Director of NUS UK. Her background and career has been people focused with an emphasis on creating fair access to genuinely inclusive organisations. With a track record of successfully delivering results in complex environments within commercial, public and membership organisations, Sam is skilled at helping people develop genuine insight, and to become equipped for real change.

Sam’s passion about EDI issues, has led to numerous awards:

  • 2009 Guardian Public Sector Award for an innovative transport solution for disabled students.
  • 2016 Queens Award for the community volunteering work at Bristol SU.
  • 2016 National Centre for Diversity SU of the Year and shortlisted as Chief Executive of the year.
  • 2017 Bristol SU recipient of the NUS national Diversity Award.
  • 2018 awarded the Simpson King Staff Achievement Award by the NUS
  • 2018 awarded Diversity Champion, Education Sector – Inclusive Companies awards
  • 2018 Bristol SU ranked 43rd of top 50 Inclusive Companies in the UK
  • 2018 Bristol SU winner in the Third Sector Excellence 2-499 category at the Investors in People Awards
  • 2019 runner up Charity Governance Awards (Board inclusivity and Diversity)