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Dr Chitra Bharucha MB BS, FRCPath, FRSA, is a former Consultant Haematologist and Vice Chair of the BBC Trust. She is set to become the first woman to head the BBC, albeit in an acting capacity, following the resignation of BBC chairperson Michael Grade. Born in Madurai, India, she was educated at Ewart School, Madras and Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, gaining her medical qualification before moving to the UK in 1972. Between 1981 and 2000, she became Consultant Clinical Haematologist at Belfast City Hospital and was deputy director of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service. She was elected to the General Medical Council in 1999 where she served on a number of panels until 2003. She currently chairs the Fitness to Practise Adjudication Panels of the GMC.
In 1996, Bharucha moved into positions in the media industry, serving on the BBC Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland until 1999. In April 2001 she was appointed Northern Ireland member of the Independent Television Commission, where she served until December 2003 when the ITC was subsumed into Ofcom, and she became a member of the Advertising Standards Authority Council in November 2004.
In April 2002, Bharucha was appointed Chair of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs for the Food Standards Agency, and in 2006 she was appointed Lay Member of the Review Body for Judicial Complaints. In October 2006, it was announced that Bharucha would join the BBC Trust as Vice Chair when the body succeeded the Board of Governors on 1 January 2007, with Michael Grade, the then Chair of the Board of Governors, to become Chair. After the resignation of Grade in November 2006, Bharucha became the Acting Chair of the Trust, which she held until Sir Michael Lyons took over the chairmanship on 1 May 2007.