Dr. Samir Shah Appointed Chair of BBC: First Person of Indian Origin to Hold Prestigious Position

Featured & Cover Dr Samir Shah Appointed Chair of BBC First Person of Indian Origin to Hold Prestigious Position (BBC)

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced the appointment of Dr. Samir Shah as its chair, effective from March 4, 2023, for a four-year term. The UK government disclosed his nomination for this significant role in December 2023.

Dr. Shah, a seasoned professional with over four decades of experience in the broadcasting media, has become the first individual of Indian origin to be selected for this prestigious position. Prior to assuming this role, he had been the CEO of Juniper, an independent television and radio production company, since 1998. Furthermore, Dr. Shah had previously served as the head of current affairs and political programs at the BBC.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to journalism, Dr. Shah was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award by the Royal Television Society in 2022. His impressive career also includes being a non-executive director of the BBC from 2007 to 2010. Additionally, he held the position of chair at the Museum of the Home from 2014 to 2022 and served as a trustee and deputy chair of the V&A from 2004 to 2014. Dr. Shah also chaired the Runnymede Trust from 1999 to 2009 and One World Media from 2020 to 2024. His involvement extended to being a member of the arts and media honors committee from 2022 to 2024.

Queen Elizabeth II recognized Dr. Samir Shah’s remarkable contributions to television and heritage by awarding him the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2019. He had previously received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year’s Honors list in 2000.

Elected as a fellow of the Royal Television Society in 2002, Dr. Shah was appointed as a visiting professor of creative media at Oxford University in 2019. The University of Nottingham also honored him with a special professorship in the Department of Post Conflict Studies.

Born in Aurangabad, India, in 1960, Dr. Shah migrated to England. Expressing his thoughts on the appointment, he remarked, “The BBC is, without doubt, one of the greatest contributions we have made to global culture and one of our strongest calling cards on soft power.” He emphasized the BBC’s significant role in British life, stating, “The BBC has a great place in British life and a unique duty to reach a wide audience right across the country, and I will do all I can to ensure it fulfills this in an increasingly competitive market.”

In his capacity as the chair of the BBC’s board, Dr. Samir Shah will be responsible for upholding and safeguarding the BBC’s independence. His role extends to ensuring the BBC fulfills its mission to inform, educate, and entertain, especially in the face of challenges posed by an increasingly competitive media landscape.

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