15 May 2017

College leader and renowned educationalist Dame Asha Khemka DBE has been made a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire; the county where she has lived for almost 20 years.

The principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College was appointed by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian James Dudson CBE KStJ, at a commissioning ceremony at Staffordshire County Council’s County Buildings in Stafford on Tuesday 9 May.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant is the Queen’s representative in the county. The role of Deputy Lieutenant is to help the Lord-Lieutenant with his ceremonial duties throughout the year including representing him at civic and voluntary events and activities within the lieutenancy.

Deputy Lieutenants are people who either have served their local community or have a history of public service in other fields.

Dame Asha said:

“As a long-standing resident, I am proud and humbled to be asked to represent the Staffordshire Lieutenancy and serve the place where I have lived for almost 20 years. It is a huge honour to be appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of the county that I love so much.

“Staffordshire is blessed to have many hard-working individuals and dedicated groups and charities that make up the very fabric of its communities, and a plethora of fantastic businesses that contribute enormously to its economic prosperity.

“I am relishing the opportunity to meet many of these in an official capacity and make my own personal contribution to this unique and wonderful county. For me, there will be no greater honour and privilege.”

Being appointed a Deputy Lieutenant is the latest in a long line of achievements by Dame Asha. She was recognised for her services to further education with an OBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List and a Damehood in the 2014 Honours List; the first woman of Indian-origin in 83 years to receive the title.

Dame Asha has scooped a host of accolades throughout the past decade, including the Woman of the Year award from then-Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014. This came just weeks after she became the first recipient of the Dadabhai Naoroji Award for education, jointly presented by then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj.

Earlier this year she was named Businesswoman of the Year at the fifth annual Asian Business Awards Midlands, held in Birmingham, and in April she won the coveted Lifetime Achievement accolade at the Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 Business Awards.

Other accolades have included the Asian Woman of Achievement award in 2008, and the National Jewel Award for Excellence in Healthcare and Education in 2007.

Dame Asha lives in Rangemore, Burton, with husband Shankar; a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Queen’s Hospital, Burton.

West Nottinghamshire College provides education and training to some 30,000 full- and part-time students across all major industry sectors and at pre-GCSE to university level.

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