Judges

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Rupert McNeil

Rupert McNeil was appointed Chief People Officer at the Cabinet Office in January 2016.

Rupert joined the Civil Service from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was the Group HR Director. He began his career at the Confederation of British Industry before becoming a partner in Deloitte and Arthur Anderson. Since then he has worked for Barclays Bank plc, first as Executive Management Director and then as the HR Director for Global, Retail and Commercial Banking, and at Aviva where he was HR Director and then HR Centre of Expertise Director.

Rupert attended secondary school in Aberdeen, and graduated in Politics and Philosophy from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. During his undergraduate degree he spent a semester as an intern at the US Senate. He attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 2010.

Yvonne Coghill

Yvonne Coghill OBE has been appointed as Director, Workforce Race Equality Standard Implementation,

She will take forward work on the new Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) which will, for the first time, require organisations employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME Board representation.

Yvonne Coghill, who has more than 20 years experience in nursing, has held a number of operational and strategic leadership posts, and in 2013 she was voted by colleagues in the NHS as one of the top 50 most inspirational women, one of the top 50 most inspirational nurse leaders and one of the top 50 BME pioneers, two years in a row. She was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare in 2010.

James Greengrass

Executive Director - Central Government, Transport & Business Consultancy

James is one of the founders of Veredus, hailing from the Price Waterhouse legacy.  He has recruited to the public sector and the Civil Service at senior level for over 20 years, and leads the Veredus Government and Transport practices.  

Sue Owen

Sue was appointed Permanent Secretary for Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 4 September 2013 and joined the department on 1 October 2013. In July 2014 Sue became the Civil Service LGB&T Champion.

The Permanent Secretary leads DCMS civil servants that are responsible for the contribution of the arts, sport, tourism, creative industries and media to economic growth and wellbeing, as well as promoting equality and diversity in society. This includes implementation of Gay Marriage legislation, delivery of major projects such as broadband rollout, ensuring a long-lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and organising a fitting series of events to mark the First World War centenary.

Dr Nasser Siabi OBE

Dr Nasser Siabi OBE is co-founder and CEO of the UK’s leading Assistive Technology Company, Microlink PC (UK) Limited.  Microlink has enabled over a quarter of a million people with health conditions and disabilities to succeed in education and employment.

The company was founded in 1992 as a solution to the challenges experienced by the Directors in both education and the workplace. It offers a scalable service delivered by people passionate about creating a happier, healthier and disability confident workplace. With over 40% of its workforce having declared a disability or learning difficulty of some kind – compared to the national average of 8% – Microlink is proof in itself that being disability confident makes business sense.

In addition to his role at Microlink, Nasser devotes his time as a member of the DWP Disability Employer Engagement steering group, and leads a sub group on transitioning from education. The sub group’s objective is to bring the three core departments responsible (BIS, DWP and DfE) together making sure that people in education and in work get the advice and support that they need. He is also a trustee and board member of CSPOC, a Geneva-based United Nations accredited, not-for-profit NGO.

Nasser is a member of The Business Disability Forum (BDF), a founding member of Business Taskforce for Accessible Technology (BTAT), a founding member of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA), member and former Director of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP).

He has been awarded SME Director of the Year for London and the South East by the Institute of Directors (IoD) where he is also a fellow, and was Business Disability Forum’s SME Disability Champion in 2012. He received the award for ‘Outstanding Lifetime Contribution in the Field of Dyslexia’ from the British Dyslexia Association in 2012, and his contribution towards improving the lives of disabled students won him the NADP Annual Award in 2013 from the National Association of Disability Practitioners. Nasser has received Life Time Award from National Diversity Awards in 2015.

Nasser has a PhD from the University of Southampton in Electronics and Computer Science, and received an OBE for services to disabled people in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2010.

Jon Thompson

Jon was appointed Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in April 2016 after more than three years as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

As Chief Executive, Jon is responsible for delivering the department’s strategy, including HMRC’s ambitious transformation programme, business objectives and customer service improvements.

Jon is HMRC’s Accounting Officer, accountable to Parliament for the department’s expenditure and performance.

He is also a Commissioner of Revenue and Customs, and a member of the HMRC Board.

A member of the Civil Service Board, Jon leads HMRC’s relationships with other government departments.

Jon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA).

He is married to Dawn, they have three sons and live in Cambridgeshire.