Appointed as chair of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in August 2021, Tom Ilube CBE is the first Black chair in the organisation’s History, after replacing Andy Cosslett at Twickenham, with the aim of overseeing the restoration of grassroots rugby.

Once ranked 1st. by Powerlist - the 100 most powerful people with African or Afro-Caribbean heritage in Britain – through his success as a tech entrepreneur and philanthropist, he is aiming to get the sport back to pre-lockdown levels and to be a champion of diversity, stamping out the elitism it has previously espoused.

The son of a Nigerian father and English mother, Tom (58) spent time in Uganda and Nigeria as a youngster, he’s building a winning system that delivers consistent success for the England men's and women's teams - whilst growing the sport and improving player welfare, which are among his longer-term aims - but he will also act as a champion of diversity in all its forms. A technology entrepreneur and educational philanthropist, he is Founder & CEO of London based Crossword Cybersecurity plc and a Non Executive Director of the BBC. Previously he was Managing Director of Consumer Markets at Callcredit Information Group, a UK credit reference agency.

Prior to Callcredit, he founded Garlik, a venture capital-backed identity protection company. Earlier, Tom served as Chief Information Officer of Egg plc, the pioneering British internet bank. His career has included Goldman Sachs, PwC and the London Stock Exchange.

An Advisory Fellow of St Anne's College, University of Oxford, he is Chair of the education charity, African Gifted Foundation and he also launched the African Science Academy, the first girls’ science and technology school on the continent.

In 2017, Tom was named as Britain’s most influential Black person. Tom was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to Technology and Philanthropy. He also received honorary Doctorates from City, University of London and University of Wolverhampton.

Tom believes rugby's elitist image is undeserved and must be challenged - though he accepts that will not happen overnight. Of his appointment, he said: “I’m the first Black chair of a national sports governing body, which is actually quite interesting in its own right. I’m really pleased that rugby was the sport that made someone the first Black chair, that’s great.”

“Rugby is a brilliant game and I would encourage people from all backgrounds to get involved in it.” He went on: "I'm immensely proud that rugby was the sport that made someone the first Black chair and I'm quite comfortable being that person.

“I've spoken to a lot of Black players, coaches and ex-players to get their take on it and they really love what the game has done for them, although they feel the game could be doing more.”

The one thing that the RFU (Rugby Football Union) has done is set a precedence at its very top – something that other major national sports in Britain will do well to look at!