Technology chief Jonathan Kestenbaum set for Lords

By Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010
Jonathan Kestenbaum

Jonathan Kestenbaum

The former manager of Great Britain’s Maccabiah Team is expected to be named as a Labour peer later today.

Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of the endowment fund for science and technology (NESTA), has been tipped to be included on a list of as many as 50 new working peers to be announced by Downing Street.

Jewish academic Dr Maurice Glasman and former Labour MP Oona King are also expected to be given peerages, as are Andrew Feldman, the joint chairman of the Conservative party, and the party’s treasurer Stanley Fink.

Mr Kestenbaum, who grew up in Japan and then studied at Cambridge and the LSE, previously worked as chief executive of the office of the Chief Rabbi. Under his leadership in summer 2009 Team GB gained its first Maccabiah Open football medal in almost 50 years.

He is to step down from his role at NESTA at the end of the year. The fund, founded in 1998, invests in companies in sectors including IT and environmental/clean-technologies.

He was a member of the judging panel for the JC’s Dragons Den competition earlier this year.

Community organisation champion Dr Glasman, a London Citizens activist and director of the faith and citizenship programme at London Metropolitan University, is likely to join Mr Kestenbaum on the red benches. Ms King, who in September unsuccessfully sought the Labour nomination to be the party’s candidate for the 2012 London mayoral elections, could also be granted a peerage.

Mr Feldman is a close friend of Prime Minister David Cameron from their university days, and was central to raising funds for Mr Cameron’s leadership campaign. Hedge fund manager Mr Fink has donated £1.9 million to the Conservative party since 2003.

Last updated: 10:54am, November 19 2010