An independent crossbench peer, formerly professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University and head of culture at the Greater London Authority. Baroness Young has been on the boards of a number of cultural bodies, including the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre. She was instrumental in developing the Black Cultural Archives and oversaw for a time the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. She was appointed a member of the House of Lords in 2004, and holds honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, the University of the Arts London and Sussex University. Baroness Young has chaired the judging panels of the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Caine Prize for African Writing.