Adeeba Malik becomes West Yorkshire’s first ethnic minority female high sheriff

Professor Adeeba Malik CBE DL has made history as the first ethnic minority female to be declared high sheriff for West Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Legal News reported on Adeeba’s appointment in November 2023. Professor Malik has now made her oath of declaration in the formal declarations ceremony, presided by high court judge Sir Nicholas Hilliard at Leeds high court on Monday 25 March.

The year-long royal appointment, which is non-political and unpaid, continues a tradition which stretches back over 1,000 years. The office of high sheriff is the oldest secular office in the United Kingdom after the crown, and dates from Saxon times.

The office of high sheriff is carried out on a voluntary basis. It is appointed by the crown that represents King Charles in upholding all matters related to the judiciary and law and order.

Malik said: “It is an enormous honour to take on this important role. I look forward to serving my home county and meeting the many different people who do so much good for West Yorkshire. It will be a privilege to support those who work so hard in crime prevention, as well as those from the public, private, community, charity, and voluntary sectors, who create such positive impact for the region.

“West Yorkshire, like the rest of the UK, has faced many challenges over decades. However, through my years of work in the county, I know there is so much good work taking place by so many different people, and I want to acknowledge that in my year as high sheriff, and champion those people who do great work across our communities.”


Adeeba’s background

Professor Malik has been with the national ethnic minority-led charity, the QED Foundation, for over 32 years. Born in Bradford the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she began working as a teacher in Bradford and Hull. She then dedicated her career to creating social and economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities across the country.

Adeeba has a 27 year track record working across Whitehall, holding numerous ministerial and non-ministerial roles on various boards. Some of these include Yorkshire Forward, The Waterways Trust, Ethnic Minority Business Forum, Sheffield Hallam University, British Waterways, The Cabinet Office Race Disparity Advisory Board, and the Women and Work Commission.

From facilitating integration to shaping government policy, she has become a leading voice for the socially disadvantaged.

Adeeba has won many accolades and awards over the years, including the Yorkshire Post Top 20 Influential Women of Yorkshire and Top 50 Northern Power List for Women. In 2023, she was the recipient of Woman and Home magazine’s, Amazing Woman Award. In 2004, she received an MBE, and in 2015, a CBE for her contribution to mainstream public bodies.

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, CEO of the QED Foundation, said: “When I set up QED 34 years ago, I stated a vision, which was to see ethnic minorities play full roles in Britain’s mainstream social and economic life. I see this vision becoming reality in all walks of life, which gives me great pleasure that we are on the right track. Adeeba’s appointment as the first ethnic minority woman high sheriff for Yorkshire is a great example of that. I’m immensely proud of Adeeba and all her achievements and contribution to QED over the years. She’s already a much-loved and respected force for good in our region and beyond.”


Image: Adeeba Malik, high sheriff of West Yorkshire.
Emma Cockings
Emma is the content editor for Yorkshire Legal News. Emma is an experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury law for a major firm. She has attended and reported on numerous high-profile legal events in Yorkshire.