Baron Victor Olufemi Adebowale, CBE


born 21 July 1962, is the Chief Executive of the social care enterprise Turning Point and was one of the first to become a People’s Peer.

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to the New Deal, the unemployed and homeless young people.

In 2001 he became one of the first group of people to be appointed as people’s peers and was created a life peer on 30 June 2001 taking the title Baron Adebowale, of Thornes in the County of West Yorkshire, sitting as a crossbencher.

In 2009 he was listed as one of the 25 most influential people in housing policy over the past 25 years by the housing professionals’ magazine Inside Housing. He was reckoned by the Health Service Journal to be the 97th most influential person in the English NHS in 2015.

He was educated at Thornes House School, Wakefield and the Polytechnic of East London. He began his career in Local Authority Estate Management before joining the housing association movement.

He spent time with Patchwork Community Housing Association and was Regional Director of the Ujima Housing Association, Britain’s largest black-led housing association. He was Director of the Alcohol Recovery Project and then Chief Executive of youth homelessness charity Centre point. Adebowale was a member of the Social Exclusion Unit’s Policy Action Team on Young People and was Chair of the Review of Social Housing Co-ordination by the Institute of Public Policy Research.

Adebowale joined Turning Point as Chief Executive in September 2001. Turning Point is a care organisation providing services for people with complex needs, including those affected by drug and alcohol misuse, mental health problems and those with a learning disability. In addition to providing direct services, Turning Point also campaigns nationally on behalf of those with social care needs.

Adebowale has been involved in a number of taskforce groups, advising the government on mental health, learning disability and the role of the voluntary sector.

He is Co-Chair of the Black and Minority Ethnic Mental Health National Steering Group and is a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. He is a patron of Rich Mix Centre Celebrating Cultural Diversity, a patron of Tomorrow’s Project and of the National College for School Leadership.

He was a member of the National Employment Panel, the New Economics Foundation Board and is a member of the Institute for Fiscal Studies Council. He is a Director of Leadership in Mind organizational development consultancy, a non-exec of the health IT consultancy IOCOM, Chair of Collaborate and in 2015/16 chaired The London Fairness Commission. He has advised governments of all parties on Employment, Housing, Poverty and Public Service Reform.

Adebowale has an honorary PhD from the University of Central England in Birmingham, an honorary doctor of letters from the University of Lincoln, an honorary PhD from the University of East London an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford, where he is involved with their Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, and most recently an honorary doctorate from the University of York.

He is an honorary fellow of London South Bank University and Honorary Senior Fellow in the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham. In 2009 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree from Lancaster University.

On 12 December 2008, Adebowale was installed as Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. Adebowale has a Post Graduate Diploma from the Tavistock institute and an MA in Advanced Organizational Consulting from the City University London.