Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE is that rare individual who has lived global business and elite sport. In 2014, she became the first Muslim and Asian woman on the FA Council in addition to her role on the Inclusion Advisory Board at the FA and in 2015 was awarded an MBE for her contribution to equality and diversity in sport. In 2020, she was elected as Chair of the National Game Finance Committee and as a member of the National Game Board, overseeing the strategy and finances for the grassroots game. She holds a portfolio of additional strategic and boardroom roles, including as an Independent Non-Executive Director of both the Rugby Football League and the Sports Ground Safety Authority. She is also a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
Rimla has over 20 years’ experience in the sports industry across the UK, Middle East and Asia. She is a developer and strategist best known for her work as an Inclusion and Diversity specialist in sport, which led to her being ranked 14th in the 2018 Forbes global list of the Most Powerful Women in Sport.
Whilst carving out a successful career in the city at leading global professional services firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Rimla also captained Britain in Futsal competitions. She is Founder of the leading global sport development consultancy, RimJhim Consulting, and, as Chair of the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation until December 2018, she led the organisation to one with a distinct reputation nationally and internationally for its extensive work in the field of women’s sport. She is also co-founder of the global Muslim Women in Sport Network.
As a unique individual within the sports industry, she now shares her time between writing, speaking, mentoring, practical and strategic consultancy and campaigns. She independently advises and leads projects with governments, advocacy organisations, national and international sports bodies and community groups. Rimla is a sought-after speaker and commentator who communicates with quiet humility, practicality and passion.