Melanie Richards, CBE

Advisory Board Member (AiTH – Centre on AI Technology for Humankind)

Deputy Chair and Board Member, KPMG UK

As Deputy Chair of KPMG, Melanie Richards works with her fellow board members to drive the Big Four firm’s strategic direction as well as policy positions around the big topics. She leads KPMG’s Vice-Chairs who represent KPMG’s external voice in the market and works alongside our highest-profile clients and key stakeholders, including regulators, industry bodies and the public sector.

She joined KPMG in 2000 to develop the Debt Advisory practice and has more than 30 years of banking experience in bank lending, debt restructuring and capital markets’ instruments.

Melanie has personally driven a wide range of programmes designed to advance inclusion in the workplace. She has campaigned for the progression of women and underrepresented minority groups to senior positions for over a decade. She is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, which is focused on increasing female representation in FTSE Boards and Leadership, and in September 2017 she was named #1 in the Financial Times’ Female Champions of Women in Business list. She also sits on the Steering Committee of the Hampton Alexander Review.

Throughout her career, Melanie has become an influential voice on diversity, inclusion and social mobility.

Working with her colleagues she has played a significant role in the recognition of KPMG as the leading employer in the 2018 Social Mobility Employer Index. Melanie has been driving initiatives that create opportunities and upskill people across the country, helping them to achieve their potential and for their life chances not to be determined solely by the circumstances into which they were born for which she has been awarded the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards 2018 ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award.

In June 2016, Oxford Brookes University awarded Melanie an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration for her many achievements in business and her active promotion of gender equality. Until recently, Melanie sat on the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board.

Melanie is Chair of the KPMG Foundation, founded 2001, focusing on the most deprived children in the UK. She is Vice Chair of The Eve Appeal, which funds research into developing effective prediction and detection of gynaecological cancers.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2019, she was awarded a CBE for her services to Business and Inclusion and in 2019, Melanie was appointed advisor to the National Leadership Centre Advisory Board