Category champion

Category Champions

The Civil Service Awards Category Champions are proud supporters of the awards and promote their specific category to colleagues through networks across government and actively encourage nominations. 

Our Category Champions select an expert panel to support them in reviewing nominations and choosing the top 5 shortlist for their category. Our 2019 Champions are: 


Alex Aiken - Category Champion for the Communication & Engagement Award

Alex Aiken is the Executive Director for Government Communications. He was appointed in December 2012 and has been responsible for creating the Government Communications Service and developing cross-government campaigns. Alex's panel includes:

  • Cheryl King-McDowall, Deputy Director GCS Professional Standards, Cabinet Office 
  • David Rose, Head of GCS Communications and Membership Services, Government Communication Service

Alex Chisholm - Category Champion for the Innovation & Science Award

Alex Chisholm became Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in September 2016. Prior to that he was Joint Permanent Secretary for BEIS. He is also a Trustee and Deputy Chair at the international charity Breadline Africa. Alex's panel include:

  • Damitha Adikaari, Acting Director, Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Carol Chaffer, Business Growth, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Alasdair Grainger, Deputy Director, Commercial Advisory & Investor Relations, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Liz Fellman, Executive Director, Science and Technologies Facilities Council, UKRI
  • Dan Hodges, Deputy Director, Strategy, Innovate UK, UKRI
  • Hayaatun Sillem, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Academy of Engineering

Melanie Dawes - Category Champion for The Citizenship Award

Melanie Dawes took up her role as Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Governmentnon 1 March 2015. She is also gender champion for the Civil Service. Melanie's panel include:

  • Kenny Ingram, Northern Powerhouse Policy Manager, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Linnet Kaymer, Communities and Migration Policy Adviser, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • John-Paul Marks, Director General, Work and Health Services, Department for Work and Pensions 
  • Hamid Motraghi, Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum, Home Office 
  • Kathryn Pritchard, Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Andrea Siodmok, Head of the Policy Lab, Cabinet Office 

Elizabeth Gardiner - Category Champion for the Developing People Award

Elizabeth Gardiner took up the post of First Parliamentary Counsel and Permanent Secretary of the Government in Parliament Group in the Cabinet Office on 24 November 2015. Elizabeth's panel includes: 

  • Jonathan Duff, Acting Director of the Regional Schools Commissioner’s office, Department for Education 
  • Alison Hilton, PT Operations Deputy Director, HM Revenue & Customs 
  • Alice Hurrell, HR Director, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Stephen Kerr, Social Security Director, Scottish Government 
  • Sonny Leong, Chief Executive Officer, Civil Service College
  • Sandeep Mahida, Project Lead, Planning & Resources Unit, Home Office 
  • Nicole Mason, Team Leader, Serious Organised Crime, Migration and Modern Slavery Africa Directorate, Foreign & Commonwealth Office 
  • Natalie Pearson, Head of Organisational Development and Engagement, Welsh Government  

Jonathan Jones - Category Champion for the Health & Wellbeing Award

Jonathan took up his role as Treasury Solicitor and Permanent Secretary of TSol on 1 March 2014. TSol became the Government Legal Department on 1 April 2015.He is a barrister and a bencher (senior member) of Middle Temple, where he is active in training junior members of the Bar. Jonathan's panel include: 

  • Graham Hooper, Chief Executive Officer, Charity for Civil Servants
  • Sue Husband, Director, Employer and Employee Engagement, Education & Funding Skills Agency
  • Andrew Kean, Director Civil Service Employee Policy, Civil Service HR, Cabinet Office

John Manzoni - Category Champion for the Commercial Award

John Manzoni became Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office in August 2015. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Civil Service in October 2014 and continues in this role also. John's panel include:

  • Clare Benham, Commercial Director, Department for Education, Department for Education 
  • Emma Ferguson-Gould, Commercial Director, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • John Hatton, Commercial Director, Department for Work and Pensions 
  • Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer, Cabinet Office
  • Sean Hanson, Chief Executive, Local Partnerships 

Rupert McNeil - Category Champion for the Diversity & Inclusion Award

Rupert McNeil was appointed Government Chief People Officer in January 2016. The shortlist for the Diveristy & Inclusion Catgeory will be made up of the winners from the individual categories within the Diversity & Inclusion Awards for which Rupert is the over arching champion of. 

Dame Shan Morgan - Category Champion for the Inspirational Leadership Award

Shan joined the Civil Service on graduation, working on employment and training policy in the Manpower Services Commission, and on secondment to the European Commission. Shan was appointed Welsh Government Permanent Secretary in February 2017. Shan's panel includes:

  • Karen Cornish, Deputy Director, Children & Families Division, Welsh Government 
  • Jeff Farrar, Non Executive Director, Welsh Government 
  • Owain Lloyd, Deputy Director, Childcare, Play and Early Years Division, Welsh Government 
  • Ruth Marks, Chief Executive, Wales Council for Voluntary Action 
  • Kate Rose, European Maritime & Fisheries Fund Process Manager and Welsh Government PRISM Co-Chair

Clare Moriarty - Category Champion for the Digital Award

Clare Moriarty has been Permanent Secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union since April 2019. 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. Clare's panel includes: 

  • Janet Hughes, Director, Major Projects and Head of Project Delivery, Department for Education 
  • Amanda Smith, Head of User Centred Policy Design, Justice Digitial and Technology 
  • Giuseppe Sollazzo, Head of Developing Data Unit, Department for Transport 
  • Lara Sampson, Product Owner Director (Universal Credit) and Head of Product Management, Department for Work and Pensions 
  • Ols Bamgboye, Cabinet Office 
  • Peter Grzeszczak, Government Digital Service, Cabinet Office 
  • Emma Stace, Chief Digital Officer, Department for Education 
  • Jacky Wright, Chief Digital and Information Officer, HM Revenue & Customs 
  • Andres Honeywell, Chief Information Officer, Customer Strategy and Tax Design, HM Revenue & Customs 
  • Tim Skinner, Head of Central Government, Agencies and Public Bodies, BT

Antonia Romeo - Category Champion for the Rising Star Award

Antonia Romeo is the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade, which has responsibility for global trade promotion and finance, inward and outward investment, trade policy, and trade negotiation and market access arrangements with countries outside the EU. Prior to this, Antonia was Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York and Director General Economic and Commercial Affairs USA, and Special Envoy to the US technology companies. Antonia's panel includes: 

  • Matthew Gould, CEO-designate, NHSX
  • Lynne Owens, Director General, National Crime Agency
  • Amy Rees, Director General of Probation and Wales, Ministry of Justice
  • Susannah Storey, Director General, Department for Exiting the European Union 

Matthew Rycroft - Category Champion for the Project Delivery Excellence Award

Matthew Rycroft CBE has been the Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Development since 22 January 2018. Matthew was previously the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations from April 2015 to January 2018. Matthew's panel includes:

  • Zamila Bunglawala, Deputy Head of Unit & Deputy Director Policy and Strategy, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office 
  • Susheel Dodeja, Sponsor Representative, BJSS
  • Janet Hughes, Director, Major Projects and Head of Project Delivery, Department for Education 
  • Suzanne Newtown, Director, Portfolio Transformation, HM Revenue & Customs 
  • Fiona Spencer, Director for the Project Delivery Profession, Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA)
  • Susheel DodejaHead of Government and Healthcare Practice, BJSS

Peter Schofield - Category Champion for the Public Service Award

Peter became the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions on 16 January 2018. Peter's panel includes:  

  • Richard Cornish, Chief Operating Officer, Natural England 
  • Emma Fraser, Spending Review Director, Home Office
  • Joanna Key, Director for Legislation and Constitution, Cabinet Office 
  • Rebekah Warburton, Service Leader, Department for Work and Pensions 

Jonathan Slater - Category Champion for the Collaboration Award

Jonathan became the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education in May 2016. Jonathan's panel includes: 

  • Philip Barton, Director General, Consular and Security, Foreign & Commonwealth Office 
  • Lindy Cameron, Director General, Country Programmes, Northern Ireland Office
  • Beth Chaudhary / Rachel Cooper, Strategy Director (Job Share), Cabinet Office
  • Nour Sidawi, One Team Gov, Ministry of Defence 
  • Tracey Waltho, Director General, Civil Service Group, Cabinet Office

Sir Jon Thompson - Category Champion for the Resilience & Rapid Response Award

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. Jon's panel includes: 

  • Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive Officer, HM Courts & Tribunals Service 
  • Angela MacDonald, Director General, Customer Services, HM Revenue & Customs 
  • John-Paul Mark, Director General, UK Operations, Department for Work and Pensions 

Sir Chris Wormald - Category Champion for the Policy & Use of Evidence Award

Sir Chris Wormald was appointed Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health and Social Care in May 2016. Chris's panel includes:

  • Jonathan Athow, Interim National Statistician, Office for National Statistics 
  • Baljit Ubhey, Director of Prosecution Policy & Inclusion, Crown Prosecution Service 
  • Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor, Governtment Office for Science 
  • Anna Wechsberg, Director of Corporate Strategy, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport