March 6th 2018 |

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Rupert McNeil, Government Chief People Officer (Cabinet Office)

As Government Chief People Officer, Rupert is responsible for delivery of the Civil Service Workforce Plan, 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 and employee deal, performance, employee relations, culture and behaviours.

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

Richard Heaton, Race Champion & Permanent Secretary, MoJ

Richard Heaton has been Permanent Secretary for MoJ since August 2015. 

As Permanent Secretary, his responsibilities include: 

  • agreeing with the Secretary of State the overarching strategy for delivering Ministerial objectives
  • leading, and managing the Ministry to ensure that it operates as effectively and efficiently as possible
  • reporting to the Justice Secretary and to Parliament on overall performance​​​

In April 2014 Richard became the Civil Service Race Champion.

Rob Neil, Head of MoJ's Project Race and Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum

Rob was a founding member of the MoJ’s BAME Staff network in 2001 and later that year became the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum (CSRF).

Over the past 15years he's continued his MoJ career in HR. As an original member of the MoJ’s Employee Engagement Team, Rob led the design, recruitment & launch of the Engagement Champions Network in 2008. Where he was responsible for the development of Employee Engagement Champions [EECs] across the MoJ. 

Recognised in ‘New View 50’ as an influential Black Asian Minority Ethnic professional in the public sector, Rob has gone on to lead the MoJ’s Race Project – an inward facing programme of work aimed at supporting the MoJ’s published Diversity & Inclusion objectives and turning the dial on race equality. In September 2016, he was elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum; an umbrella network of BAME Staff Networks across the civil service which includes over 30 Government departments and reaches in excess of 6,000 BAME civil servants working at all levels. 

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS South East

Jaswant has been with the CPS since 1989 and undertaken various roles within the CPS. She began her most recent post as Chief Crown Prosecutor in CPS South East in January 2014.

As the Head of the Old Bailey Trails Unit, Jaswant has handled all homicide offences pan-London, including some of the highest profile & heinous murder offences. She’s handled specialist police complaints, led a team of lawyers reviewing past convictions in cases involving corrupt police officers and handled cases arising out of large scale public disorder. Following her 2007 appointment as Chief Crown Prosecutor for Lincolnshire and Chief Crown Prosecutor for Sussex in 2010, Jaswant went on to become Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the larger South East Area with responsibility for operational delivery and the digital working programme. She moved to CPS headquarters in 2013 to take up the national position of Deputy Head of the Central Fraud Division and then later also additionally took on the national role of Deputy Head of Welfare, Rural and Health Division.

Jaswant was the CPS national lead on victims and witnesses and piloted the original victim advocacy scheme at The Old Bailey and currently is the CPS national lead on youth justice.

Philip Orumwense, Head of Corporate Services, DWP

Philip is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supplies (CIPS) and heads up the Corporate Services Commercial Management function at the Department for Work and Pensions.

He has mentored several Departmental staff and plays an active role in the cross Whitehall Minority Ethnic Talent Association (META) – an association which helps to provide improved access opportunities for diverse ethnic groups within the UK public service.

Claudette Sutton, Diversity Consultant and Former CEO of META - the Civil Service Minority Ethnic Talent Association

Claudette’s background is in business and leadership development, particularly for under-represented groups. Claudette joined the Civil Service from a career in University teaching, having previously researched business opportunities for diverse students whilst a Senior Lecturer at Lancashire Business School. She founded the cross-Whitehall Minority Ethnic Talent Association (META) in 2006. As CEO of META she introduced the ‘Growing Talent’ (GT) mentoring programme for talented diverse staff who were on the threshold of attaining senior leadership. Claudette was supported in this initiative by two Cabinet Secretaries.

Claudette believes that talent is everywhere.  Her approach was that META should be a gateway to finding talented BME staff and nurturing unrecognised potential.  Growing Talent helped more than 60 BAME staff to the threshold of senior leadership, from which several have attained entry to the SCS.

The GT programme has had considerable impact across the Civil Service.  Claudette left the Civil Service in 2016 and now runs the Claudette Sutton Consultancy, providing executive coaching, leadership development and tailored events that deliver outstanding outcomes for participants and their organisations.  

Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation

Chi Onwurah is a British Member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and is also Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy Science & Innovation.

From Sept 2015-October 2016 Chi was Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. From Jan 2013 - Sept 2015 Chi was Shadow Cabinet Office Minister leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency. From Oct 2010 – Jan 2013 Chi was Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on Broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM. 

Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS.  She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France 

Cherron Inko-Tariah, Founder, The Power of Staff Networks and former civil servant

Cherron Inko-Tariah is the founder of The Power of Staff Networks, a former civil servant and has undertaken leadership roles in various policy and strategic positions across Whitehall, including working with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. 

Cherron has facilitated bespoke training to educate employees on the benefits of proactive development. She is dedicated to providing practical help so that staff networks can access their power and influence change. She qualified in HR with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and is also a qualified career coach with the Institute of Leadership and Management.

In 2011, Cherron received an MBE for her services to HM Government and, also for her work in the faith community with young people.

Elaine Powell, Peak Performance & Communication Expert, SWC Training & Consultancy Ltd

Elaine Powell is an Award-Winning Professional Speaker, Peak Performance & Public Speaking Coach and founder of SWC Training & Consultancy.  A company dedicated to equipping individuals and organisations with the mindset to perform a at their best and unleash their greatness through public speaking, leadership and peak performance training.

Elaine has trained over 25,000 people and delivered over 600 workshops in the art of public speaking, worked with some of the best speaking trainers in the world, Curator of TEDxYouthCroydon and a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentor.  

Gamiel Yafai, Author of 'Demystifying Diversity' & Award winning Diversity & Inclusion Strategist, Diversity Markeplace

Recipient of the Global Diversity Leadership Award 2017 presented by the Global HRD Congress, Gamiel has worked with some of the UK's largest Employers to design and implement Change/Positive Action initiatives to both attract new talent from diverse backgrounds and to support existing talent reach their potential. Gamiel founded and headed up the Diversity Practices for two of the UK's largest HR Resourcing/Branding Agencies (Barkers now Penna & Euro RSCG Riley now Havas) before setting up Diversity Marketplace.

He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of Diversity & Inclusion leadership and the impact of Unconscious Bias, in relation to the employment cycle. Particularly the barriers faced when attempting to direct source or support diverse talent. Gamiel has been a facilitator/coach on the Civil Service's Positive Action Pathway for the last 4 years. 

Nagesh Reddy, Deputy Director, Digital Technology Transformation, DWP

Joining the civil service as a casual AO in 1994 from university. Nagesh Reddy has worked across a range of disciplines, agendas & sectors including: Finance, Operations, IT, Project/Programme delivery and HR; working for the MoD, HMRC, Cabinet Office and DWP respectively.

He’s had the opportunity to work both in front line delivery for the Disability Benefits Unit, Pensions Service and JobCentre Plus as well as in corporate centre roles delivering individual and multiple changes/projects, across the full lifecycle, with varying team sizes of between 1 and 300+, with budgets of £300k - £250m and impacting both internal and external customers ranging from 10 to 23m.

He enjoys meeting people and exploring how as an organisation, the Civil Service creates opportunities and impacts many people’s lives both in what we do and how we do it. 

Mushtaq Raj, 2016 Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Award Winner for Championing BAME People

Mushtaq has excellent leadership and communication skills and has championed diversity and inclusivity in the workplace by making significant positive changes in the working environment. Mushtaq has campaigned tirelessly for race equality and justice with moral courage and strength, supporting the Home Office Diversity Agenda and being recognised for exceptional excellence at a national level. Mushtaq has broken down barriers, helped the Home Office deal with issues around unconscious bias, bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Through his leadership role with the Home Office’s BAME staff network, Mushtaq has delivered Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination sessions nationally.

Hayley Trezel, MOJ Prison Reform Implementation; Communications & Engagement lead for MoJ's Project Race

Hayley started her career within Justice in 2008 as an Executive Officer at the Parole Board for England and Wales, having previously temped as an Admin Officer during university holidays. Having worked in a number of roles in the organisation (Operations, Corporate Services, Assurance, Transformational Change) she has recently joined the MoJ’s Prison Reform as an Implementation Manager. Hayley also leads on communication and Engagement for MoJs Project Race, working alongside Rob Neil. Hayley acknowledges that she was a late joiner as an active participant on the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda and recently wrote a blog about her journey on the race agenda. You can read her blog here: