4th April 2018
' Nominations Open '
9th May 2018
' Nominations Close '
26th July 2018
' Shortlist Announced '
5th October 2018
' Awards Ceremony '



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.

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.

Melanie Dawes CB

Melanie Dawes took up her role as Permanent Secretary for DCLG on 1 March 2015. She continued this role for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 8 January 2018. She is also gender champion for the Civil Service and sits on the Civil Service Board and Senior Leadership Committee.

Melanie was Director General of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat (EDS) at the Cabinet Office from October 2011, responsible for overseeing the system of Cabinet decision-making.

Between 2006 and 2011 she was at HMRC, including as one of the department’s Commissioners. She was Director General for Business Tax from November 2007, which involved responsibility for all the business taxes and duties as well as leadership of the department’s relationships with big business. From 2009, she also led the development of HMRC’s overall strategy as a department.

Before joining HMRC, Melanie spent 15 years at the Treasury, including as Europe Director from 2002 to 2006. She started her career as an economist and has worked on public spending, tax and tax credit policy, macroeconomics, monetary policy and the euro.

Bernadette Kelly CB

Bernadette Kelly became Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport on 18 April 2017.

From September 2015 to April 2017, Bernadette Kelly was Director General, Rail Group in DfT. Prior to that she was a Director General at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) from April 2010.

Bernadette joined the Civil Service after graduating. She has spent most of her career working on public policy in relation to business and the economy. She has led work in government to reform the planning regime for major infrastructure; boost housing supply; establish the Competition and Markets Authority; strengthen utility regulation; reform corporate governance; and on industrial strategy and local growth and devolution.

In addition to DfT and BIS, Bernadette has worked in the Department for Communities and Local Government, HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit; as well as on secondment to ICI plc.

Bernadette was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2010.

Clare Moriarty

Clare Moriarty has been Permanent Secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs since August 2015.

Her previous roles include

  • Director General, Rail Executive in the Department for Transport
  • Director General, Corporate Group, Department for Transport
  • Constitution Director, Ministry of Justice
  • Head, NHS Foundation Trust Unit, Department of Health
  • Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health
  • secondments to the NHS and the UCL School of Public Policy.

Clare has a long-standing interest in leadership, change and diversity. She is a member of the Westminster Abbey Institute Council of Reference and the Advisory Council of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy.