Sir Richard Leese (CBE) was born, brought up and went to school in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. After graduating from the University of Warwick, worked as a teacher in Coventry and as an exchange teacher in the USA before moving to Manchester to take up a post as a youth worker. Employed variously in youth work, community work, and education research 1979-1988. Elected to the City Council in 1984. Deputy Leader from 1990 to 1996 having previously Chaired the Education Committee (1986-90) and Finance Committee (1990-95). Political interests include the links between economic development and social policy, developing open democracy and the community leadership role of local authorities; and the role of cities in creating a sustainable future.
Director of Manchester Airport Holdings Ltd. Chair of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub. Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). Chair of the Regional Leaders’ Board (RLB), and Chair of the Core Cities Cabinet.
Interests outside politics include cinema, music, and sport as a spectator (principally football and cricket), a regular runner and cycling to the Town Hall most days.