Judges

Our judges are proud supporters of the awards and promote their specific category to colleagues through networks across government and actively encourage nominations.

Each of our judges are Civil Service Diversity Champions within their day to day role. 

 

Rupert McNeil

Civil Service Chief People Officer

Rupert McNeil was appointed Government Chief People Officer on 1 January 2016, joining the Civil Service from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was the Group HR Director.

As Government Chief People Officer, Rupert is responsible for delivery of the Civil Service People Strategy, which sets out what the Civil Service needs to do to attract the most capable and public-spirited people, and build a culture and ways of working that are as good, if not better, than anything on offer anywhere else. He provides leadership on the full range of people issues including talent, capability, inclusion, capacity, leadership, pay, performance, employee relations, culture and behaviours. Rupert is also Director General for Government Shared Services.

Rupert reports directly to John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary and is a member of the People Board and Senior Talent Forum.

Sir Mark Sedwill

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service

Sir Mark Sedwill was appointed Cabinet Secretary in 2018. He is also Head of the Civil Service and National Security Adviser.

Prior to this, Mark was the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office (2013-17), FCO Political Director (2012-13), NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan (2010-11), HM Ambassador to Afghanistan (2009-10) and Director of UKvisas (2006-8). He joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1989, serving in Egypt, Iraq, Cyprus and Pakistan.

Mark was educated at the University of St Andrews and the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and President of the Special Forces Club. He is married with one daughter.

Bernadette Kelly CB

Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport

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

Permanent Secretary, Department for Exiting the European Union

Clare Moriarty has been Permanent Secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union since April 2019.

Her previous roles include

  • Permanent Secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • 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.

Jonathan Slater

Permanent Secretary, Department for Education

Jonathan became the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education in May 2016.

His previous roles in government include:

  • Director General and Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat, Cabinet Office
  • Director General of Head Office and Commissioning Services, Ministry of Defence
  • Director General for Transforming Justice, Ministry of Justice
  • Chief Executive of the Office, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Director of Performance and Improvement, National Offender Management Service
  • Director, Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit

Before joining the Civil Service in 2001, Jonathan was a local authority Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Education.

Permanent Secretary

The Permanent Secretary is a member of the Department for Education Board and attends the Performance, Management and Audit and Risk Committees. The Permanent Secretary is:

  • Head of the Department, ensuring the effective day-to-day running of the department, providing strong leadership and working with the board to manage the department’s external reputation
  • Chief Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State and the ministerial team, supporting them to develop and achieve their priorities
  • Principal Accounting Officer, responsible and accountable to Parliament for the stewardship of the department’s budget, and ensuring value for money

Antonia Romeo

Permanent Secretary, Department for International Trade

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 began her career in the private sector, at strategic consultancy firm Oliver Wyman. She joined the Civil Service in 2000 as an economist.

Her previous senior roles in Her Majesty’s Government include:

  • Director-General and Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, responsible for coordinating policy advice to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and delivery of the PM’s top priorities
  • Director-General, Criminal Justice at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), responsible for all criminal justice policy and major programmes
  • Director-General, Transformation at MoJ, responsible for reform and savings programmes, strategy, Digital Services, communications, Group HR and Group estates
  • Executive Director, Enterprise and Reform at Cabinet Office, responsible for reforming the Government’s governance and Board model, working with businesses
  • Director of Policy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Principal Private Secretary to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice at MoJ

Antonia holds an MA (PPE) from Oxford University, an MSc (Economics) from the London School of Economics, and an Advanced Management Programme diploma from Columbia Business School. She is married with 3 children.

Sandra Kerr

National Campaign Director, Business in the Community

Sandra is the National Campaign Director for Business in the Community’s Race Equality campaign, a business-led network of organisations from the private and public sector working and committed to race equality as part of their good business practice. She works together with the Business in the Community Race Leadership Team to set the agenda for race diversity in the UK as a business imperative.

Sandra strongly believes there is a need for wider business engagement to promote best practice for recruiting and developing ethnic minority individuals; marketing to ethnic minority people as profitable consumers; including diverse communities within responsible business action; and including ethnic minority businesses and entrepreneurs in supply chains and networks. She is particularly passionate about inclusive leaders, raising the profile of senior role models from diverse backgrounds to inspire the next generation, and creating an inclusive environment through mentoring and sponsorship.

Before joining the Business in the Community race equality campaign (formerly Race for Opportunity) Sandra worked in the Cabinet Office advising on diversity and policies on race, disability, gender, and work life balance across Whitehall. Sandra has also managed very large teams in a frontline delivery role and also spent some years as a personal development and IT skills trainer.

In January 2012, Sandra was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year honours list for services to black and minority ethnic people.

Melanie Dawes DCB

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

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.