Nominations are open


10 May 2017
' Nominations open '
21 July 2017
' Nominations close '
16 October 2017
' Shortlist announced '
23 November 2017
' Awards ceremony '


The Civil Service Awards judges review the shortlists and select the winners in each of the awards categories. The judging panel comprises the following senior figures:

Richard Heaton CB

Prior to becoming Permanent Secretary for MoJ, Richard was the Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office (from August 2012). He was also First Parliamentary Counsel (from February 2012).

Richard’s previous role was as Director General for the government’s policy on pensions and ageing society at Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Before that, he worked in legal teams across government, focussing particularly on criminal law, the constitution and human rights law.

He has been the chief lawyer at DWP, Department of Health (DH) and MoJ. He joined the civil service as a legal adviser at the Home Office in 1991.

Richard lives in Southwark, London, where he is chair of a local charity. He is also the civil service champion for race equality.

Karen Blackett OBE

Karen has been in media for 22 years and is currently Chairwoman of MediaCom, the largest media agency in the UK with billings over £1 billion. Prior to this Karen was CEO for 5 years.
Karen has been instrumental not only in the success of MediaCom, but in championing diversity throughout the advertising and media industry. In 2012 Karen launched the first ever Government backed Apprentice Scheme for the sector, where the apprentices qualify for an NVQ in Marketing and Communications.
In June 2014, Karen received an OBE in the Queen's Birthday honours. Karen has won the Women in Marketing (WIM) Outstanding Contribution to Marketing Award, featured 5 times in the Power List of Britain's 100 Most Influential Black People (heading the list in 2015, the first business woman to do so), and has appeared in the Woman's Hour Power List of Top 10 Influencers, and Marie Claire's Women At The Top Awards.
Most recently Karen has been appointed as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service, and as a UKTI Business Ambassador for No 10. In March 2016 Karen became the President of NABS, the advertising industry charity which focuses on health and wellbeing in the workplace and presenting the business case for Diversity.

Bjorn Conway

Björn leads EY's UK Government and Public Sector business across central government, local public sector, health and infrastructure. His focus is on creating an innovative and clear leadership strategy across all the servicelines, to enable the EY practice to help Government departments to transform and improve the delivery of public services. He is also EY’s Global Defence Leader, responsible for setting a clear vision and bringing together a network of global defence practitioners.

Over his career, Björn has worked with a range of Government departments including Department of Health, Home Office, Ministry of Defence, DCMS, UKTI and CLG. He was an independent member of the ‘Levene Defence Reform Steering Committee’, which led to the significant restructuring of the Ministry of Defence.

Björn is passionate about inclusiveness, authentic leadership and helping people to deliver social impact through their work. For the last five years, he has been a judge on the Civil Service Awards. Outside of EY, Björn is a keen cyclist and enjoys playing sports with his two teenage children.

He is a Trustee at the Whitehall & Industry Group and am actively involved in promoting engineering through the Company of Engineers.  Björn regularly writes blogs and articles around key issues affecting the public sector. You can read one here which discusses how disruption can impact government innovation.

Leslie Evans

Leslie Evans was appointed as Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government on July 1, 2015. In this role, Leslie is the principal policy adviser to the First Minister and Secretary to the Scottish Cabinet.

She is also the Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Government with personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of Government finance and for economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.

Leslie is the senior Civil Servant in Scotland and leads more than 5,000 civil servants working for the Scottish Government, supporting development, implementation and communication of government policies, in accordance with the Civil Service Code.

Leslie joined the Scottish Government in September 2000, having spent 20 years working for local authorities in Scotland (City of Edinburgh Council and Stirling Council) and England (London Borough of Greenwich and Sheffield City Council).

Her previous post within the Scottish Government was Director General Learning and Justice. Previous positions include Head of Local Government Constitution & Governance Division, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Head of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Director of Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.

Married with one son, Leslie was born in Northern Ireland and has lived in Scotland since 1985. She attended High Storrs School in Sheffield and studied Music at the University of Liverpool.

Mark Lowcock CSE

Mark Lowcock is Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development. He was appointed on 9 June 2011.

Mark began his career in DFID (formally the Overseas Development Administration) in 1985 and occupied the following roles:

  • Private Secretary to Baroness Chalker, Minister for Overseas Development from 1992 to 1994
  • Deputy Head and latterly Head of the DFID Regional Office for Central Africa (based in Harare) from 1994 to 1997
  • Head of European Union Department from 1997 to 1999, before returning to Africa as Head of the DFID Regional Office for East Africa (based in Nairobi)
  • Director, Finance and Corporate Performance, from 2001 to 2003 and Director General, Corporate Performance and Knowledge Sharing from 2003 to 2006
  • Director General, Policy and International from 2006 to 2008 and Director General, Country Programmes from 2008 to 2011

Mark is active on Twitter: @DFID_Mark

Sir Amyas Morse

Comptroller & Auditor General, National Audit Office.

Amyas was born in Edinburgh, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He led the Coopers & Lybrand practice in Scotland, before moving to London to manage the London City Office, and subsequently becoming the Executive Partner of the Coopers & Lybrand UK firm. When PricewaterhouseCoopers was formed, he took on global responsibilities, and served as Global Leader of the Assurance Practice (audit and related services), and then as Global Managing Partner (Operations).

Amyas joined the Ministry of Defence in July 2006 as the Defence Commercial Director. During his time as Commercial Director he was responsible for shaping the Department's relationship with industry, and he played a key role in the agreement of strategic commercial arrangements. More widely across government, he served as a member of the Major Projects Review Group, the Public Sector Board of CIPS, and on an NHS Project Board.

Charlotte Pierre

Charlotte joined the Department for International Development through the Fast Stream in 2000. She has worked on a range of issues, including delivering UK objectives within international financial institutions, the UK’s Ebola response and fighting maternal death in South Asia. She has completed overseas postings in Uganda, Ghana and Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, working on poverty reduction, conflict prevention and humanitarian responses. Charlotte was seconded to the FCO in 2006 to help deliver Comprehensive Peace Agreement shortly after the end of the North/South Sudan civil war. She currently works in DFID’s Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department focused on implementation of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Charlotte is committed to help deliver a more socially mobile and diverse Civil Service. She is keen to support the Service access the wealth of talent on offer in the UK, particularly from our inner cities and less affluent communities.

Charlotte has two children, lives in London and loves music. 

Oliver Robbins

Oliver is the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union. As Permanent Secretary, he will have responsibility for supporting the department in the negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU.

Previously, Oliver Robbins was the Second Permanent Secretary at the Home Office where he had responsibility for immigration and free movement policy, and oversight of the borders, immigration and citizenship system.

Having initially joined as a graduate entrant, Oliver has had a long Civil Service career spanning HM Treasury, Downing Street and the main board of an operational agency. From January 2014 to September 2015 he was Director General, Civil Service, leading on Civil Service Reform. Prior to this, he was Deputy National Security Adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron and the UK’s National Security Council.

Oliver studied philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford.