London gets second Indian-origin deputy mayor

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2016 01:35 IST
London mayor Sadiq Khan with Shirley Rodrigues, the newly appointed deputy mayor for enterprise and energy. (HT Photo)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed Shirley Rodrigues as the deputy mayor for environment and energy, making her the second Indian-origin person named to such a post after Indore-born Rajesh Agrawal was appointed for business in June. 

Rodrigues was born in Nairobi and her family has roots in the villages of Siolim and Aldona in Goa. The family migrated to Britain in 1967. As deputy mayor, she will push forward Khan’s agenda for a cleaner and greener London. 

Before her appointment, Rodrigues was acting executive director for climate change at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charity that works to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries. She oversaw a £155 million global strategy and portfolio. 

Rodrigues has a track record of developing and implementing new environmental policies in London, having worked in senior policy roles from 2005 to 2009. She helped to implement the London Low Emission Zone and programmes to retrofit the city’s residential and commercial buildings.

The mayor’s office said Rodrigues will also oversee the delivery of the “Energy for Londoners” project, helping residents generate more low-carbon electricity and help boost recycling rates and cut landfill.

Khan said: “Shirley Rodrigues brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience and is the perfect person to deliver my agenda to make London a cleaner and greener city.”

Rodrigues added: “Sadiq has already proposed a radical and wide-ranging approach to clean up London’s dirty air and I feel privileged to be able to lead on this vital piece of work that will boost the quality of life and health for millions of Londoners.”

As deputy mayor for business, entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal, 39, has been tasked with championing London’s interests following the June 23 EU referendum in which Britons voted to leave the European Union, and protecting jobs and growth while the Brexit negotiation process takes place.

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