As Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa was a key supporter of the London Olympic bid right from the start and played an instrumental role in bringing the Games to Britain.
A passionate believer in the power of sport as a force for social good around the world, she is credited with bringing the entire government behind the bid and since the decision in 2005 has worked tirelessly to keep preparations on track for an outstanding display in 2012.
Tessa entered Parliament after an early career in psychiatric work, social policy and public sector management and innovation, culminating in a directorship at the mental health charity MIND. Her first government post as Public Health Minister saw the inauguration of the SureStart Children’s Centres, and Ministerial positions for Women, Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities followed. Later, as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport she oversaw the renegotiation of the BBC Charter in the new digital age, a review of media regulation, the foundation of OFCOM, and secured a decade of funding for the arts.
Tessa Jowell’s political life has been characterised by a strong set of guiding principles seeded in her early years as a child care and psychiatric officer. Her passion for education, public heath, employment and equality is driven by the belief that the mental and physical health of society is paramount, and that all should have the same opportunity to succeed. For Tessa the Olympics are the grand extension of this – the biggest peace time logistical operation in our history, yet offering huge potential in terms of social engagement, health and youth education and inspiration.
Alongside the more serious keynote subjects Tessa can also shed an ironic light on what she likes to call the ritual humiliation of politics. A sense of humour, thick skin and morale building skills are essential, as well as a cool head when finding yourself in a lift with David Beckham...
Tessa speaks with authority on:
Project management and delivery
Women in leadership
Available for keynote and after dinner speeches and conference hosting, Tessa is a warm and funny personality with a wealth of experience to share.