Cabinet Secretary’s Outstanding Leader Award Shortlist

A Modern Civil Service

Cath Kelsall Headshot

Cath Kelsall

Department for Education (DfE)

Cath Kelsall is part of the Schools Commercial Team (SCT) within DfE. The team support school business professionals (SBPs) and leadership teams to achieve greater efficiency, value for money and compliance in their buying, contributing to delivering better outcomes for learners and children. Cath is part of a team which provides objective advice and guidance to SBPs through a webinar programme, attending regional or national events, and by working closely with groups/networks across the country, championing the user voice in the delivery of new initiatives. This nomination is in recognition of Cath’s work to create the National Network of Special Schools (NNoSS), recognising the unique challenges that SBPs in special schools’ face and the value of peer-to-peer support in this part of the sector.

Lynn Cooper Headshot

Lynn Cooper

Companies House

Since becoming Registrar of Companies for Northern Ireland, Lynn Cooper has continually brought challenge to established practices and fresh ideas to the NI Registry and to Companies House as a whole. Lynn’s approach has been, not so much to think outside the box, but rather to remove the box altogether! Lynn has been at the cutting edge of efforts to improve Register Integrity and her efforts have been considerably above and beyond the traditional role of a Registrar. Lynn’s efforts have yielded tangible, measurable benefits and she is making an impact in the fight against economic crime in NI.

Maria Loizou-Griggs Image

Maria Loizou-Griggs

Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

Maria was instrumental in the success of the first jury with a deaf juror supported by interpreters, following the legislative changes in 2022. Due to the unprecedented nature, there was no guidance readily available, so Maria took the initiative to work with the juror, interpreters and HQ teams to pull together guidance, that has since been shared nationwide, ensuring it was fit for purpose for the court and future jurors and interpreters. Feedback has been resoundingly positive, including from the juror and interpreters who praised “…the exemplary preparation and support provided and couldn’t fault the arrangements put in place.”