2017 Top 20 LGBT+ Public Sector Executives

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Dinesh Bhugra CBE

World Psychiatric Association

As President of the World Psychiatric Association, Dinesh’s Action Plan was on social discrimination against people with mental illness but also those who are underserved e.g. LGBT+ individuals, migrants, elderly and those intellectual disabilities and set up  Presidential Task Forces on developing undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education curricula and policy documents, specifically calling out the need for inclusion and highlighting the additional challenges faced by those who are LGBT+. For the first time ever the organisation has taken a major step by releasing a position statement on LGBT+ mental health with very clear recommendations that there is no place for conversion therapy. Previously, as President of the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dinesh sponsored LGBT+ causes, raised awareness in organisation-wide, national and international press and also mentored a wide range of staff, psychiatrists and medical students. He also sits on many panels in medical bodies advocating for both LGBT+ rights and the difficulties faced by other minority groups, to ensure the challenges faced by these groups are not forgotten and that they have positive role models. Outside of his role, Dinesh drafted a Bill of Rights for the World Psychiatry Association, which was backed by 60 not only UK and US but international  organisations including Mind, the Mental Health Foundation and Beating Blue from Australia, but also mental health organisations from areas where LGBT+ people still face significant discrimination in terms of their legal standing and healthcare. He has contributed to the UK LGBT Archive and his features in various publications such as the Guardian and the Telegraph, are considered to be all the more impactful given that his standing as an LGBT+ person in India would be illegal.

Maura Healey

Attorney General
Massachusetts Attorney General's Office

Maura Healey has spent her career fighting to protect and expand civil rights, including for LGBT+ Americans. Before her election as Attorney General in 2014, Healey served as Chief of the Office’s Civil Rights Division, where she oversaw key initiatives to promote equality and inclusion. Most notably, in 2009 Healey worked with Gay and Lesbian Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) to file the first successful state challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a significant milestone on the road to national marriage equality. Since her election as Attorney General, Healey  has continued her record of civil rights advocacy. Healey and her team worked closely with the Massachusetts Legislature to pass one of the strongest transgender protection bills in the country, which prohibits transgender discrimination in restaurants, parks, and other public spaces. In response to reports of harassment of vulnerable populations after the 2016 election, Healey set up a bias-motivated hotline to collect these reports and coordinate investigations with local law enforcement. And since January of this year, Healey has been a strong and passionate voice in defense of transgender students and individuals in the military, LGBT+ employees, and others who have been targeted by the Trump Administration.

Lee Marshall

Chief of Staff
Church of England Pensions Board

In 2007, Lee felt there was a need in his office for an LGBT network and therefore co-founded the first diversity group at the CofE’s headquarters. It is still going strong, with several straight allies at director level who regularly attend events. He is the only out LGBT senior executive within the CofE administrative centre and over the years he has mentored and developed many LGBT staff. He also acts an advocate for diversity issues within what sometimes seems to be an organisation which is not that welcoming to minority groups. Externally, Lee was the co-founder and original treasurer of Stonewall, and subsequently spent many years on the board. Since then he has advised various LGBT related charities on a global basis, getting them to network and work together for the common good. He also Chairs the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, a grant making trust which has sought to eradicate bullying and raise awareness of its long term effects, and Ditch the Label, a global anti-bullying charity supporting young people.

Antonio Zappulla

Chief Operating Officer
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Antonio has become one of the most visible LGBT+ leaders at Thomson Reuters. Earlier this year, he became a One Young World Counsellor and a World Economic Forum agenda contributor, writing and speaking about the business case for LGBT inclusion. He is also the European Co-chair of Pride at Work, the Thomson Reuters LGBT network. In this capacity, he has created and launched a global LGBT mentorship programme which allows LGBT employees to connect and mentor each other. Externally, Antonio is a Board member of All Out, chairing the Communications and Development Committee. He contributed to the expansion of the Board by successfully recommending an openly Saudi female-to-male transgender appointment. Antonio is an Out&Equal Champion Award Finalist, and a Stonewall Programme Alumni. Additionally, he sits on the Advisory Board of Out in Business at the London Business School, and he’s an active supporter of Open for Business and Wake Up Italia.

Tammy Smith

Major General
US Military

In 2012 Tammy became the first General Officer in the United States military to come out as LGBT. Her visibility has provided opportunity to educate and inform about LGBT service members at the highest levels of the military. She participates in Army ceremonies with her wife and they live on an Army installation with other military families. In official engagements she create an inclusive tone by making a point of referring to her wife. Externally, Tammy has been actively involved in the Deloitte External Inclusion Advisory Council, the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Board of Directors, and the US Army Diversity Council.

Professor Gill Valentine

Interim Provost and Deputy VC
University of Sheffield

As interim Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the University’s Senior LGBT Champion, Gill regularly engages with the views of people at all levels across the University. She represents LGBT and diversity issues at the University Executive Board level, and ensures that LGBT equality remains at the forefront of University policy. She led a membership review of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, changing the membership to ensure the LGBT staff network had the opportunity to input into the development of University equality and diversity priorities. She also gave the keynote speech at the launch of the University’s Allies Programme, is often featured in internal media, and on International Transgender Day of Visibility, launched a new e-learning module to the University’s 8,000+ staff, designed to help people understand trans issues. She has always fully supported her institution’s entry into Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, and her work has contributed to the University’s ranking as a Top 100 Employer for four years running. As an academic she works on the sub-disciplinary field of geographies of sexualities and rethinks intersections between gender, age, race, disability, and sexuality in processes of inclusion.

Carole Anderson

Head of Strategy and Performance
Golden Jubilee Foundation

Carole initiated work between her organisation and Stonewall as part of their Diversity Champions programme in 2008, and led the Golden Jubilee work to become the Top Health and Care organisation in the Stonewall WEI in 2016. Together with her co-lead, she set up the Golden Jubilee LGBT+ network, leading on improving internal communications on LGBT+ issues. She also secured more senior commitment to the organisational LGBT+ inclusion work which resulted in the Golden Jubilee taking part in their first Pride march in Glasgow. She has taken responsibility for supporting the Golden Jubilee Allies, enabling their self-organisation and initiating their work with the GJ LGBT+ network. Externally to Golden Jubilee, she offers support and advice to various LGBT+ networks, and was sought out to support a conference of HR professionals. She has volunteered with young people for nearly 10 years, and recently delivered training on LGBT+ issues for young people through Volunteer Glasgow. She is a passionate supporter of Stonewall Scotland, having been a keynote speaker at the 2017 Stonewall Scotland Education Conference, and is Chair of SWAN, Scotland’s largest LGBT network covering public, private and third sector, which is now a charity supporting LGBT+ people in workplaces and communities.

Alan Gemmell OBE

Director India
British Council

Alan founded fiveFilms4freedom, the world’s first and largest online LGBT+ film festival.  In 2017 1.7 million people in 202 countries – including Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Russia, Uganda and Yemen – watched a film.  By harnessing the British Council’s global network, more than 3 million people have watched a film since the 2015 launch of fiveFilms4freedom.    Alan is responsible for a 600-person operation in India improving opportunities for tens of millions of young Indians (by increasing access to the English language, to UK education and qualifications, and UK creativity and ideas).  He has screened fiveFilms4freedom in the 9 British Council centres in India and hosted talks with LGBT+ groups and activists in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Hyderabad, Telangana.  Alan uses his media profile to speak whenever he can on the need for greater freedom and equality.

Ken Batty

Non Executive Director
East London NHS Foundation Trust

Ken prides himself on being a completely out board member, who speaks up on LGBT+ issues at board and other meetings. He actively supports the LGBT+ employee group and, whilst at IBM in 2000 he set up their first UK LGBT+ group. Outside of his role, Ken was one of the founders of the Albert Kennedy Trust in 1989. He has previously been a Trustee and Secretary, and he and his husband won the first 25 years long term service award from the Trust. He is also actively involved in lobbying political bodies on the importance of LGBT+ inclusion, and the need for a more open and diverse culture across industries.

Craig Beaumont

Head of External Affairs UK
Federation of Small Businesses

Without a dedicated diversity staff member on the Senior Management Team, Craig decided it was important to take the lead on diversity and inclusion, supporting the Chief Operating Officer and elected Chairman. As the leader of FSB’s UK Policy operation based in Westminster and a member of the Senior Management Team, he set up FSB’s first ever LGBT+ campaign, to celebrate LGBT+ small business owners. Campaigns only work if staff share the values. Given that, it was fantastic to see the whole team get involved. FSB’s HR strategy now includes an approach to the LGBT+ community, with input from Craig, as well as staff benefits that include LGBT+ partners. Craig’s work with the FSB naturally extends beyond the internal operations of the organisation. They’ve used their member magazine and online media presence to build on their already rapidly expanding involvement in Pride marches around the UK. He has succeeded in getting Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Education Secretary Justine Greening, Business Secretary Greg Clark, and Small Business Minister Margot James to take part in FSB’s Pride campaign, helping reach out further to new audiences on LGBT+ issues.

Martin Shanahan

IDA Ireland

Martin believes the most important thing that he can do is to lead by example as a gay man, not just in his own organisation but across the Irish public sector & business community, making being “OUT” unremarkable. One of the key pillars which underpins his organisation’s  strategy is ‘Culture and Diversity’, recognising and encouraging the individual and collective uniqueness of the organisation’s most valuable asset, people. He has brought the issue of diversity in all its forms to the forefront in IDA Ireland. Externally, Martin has been forthright on LGBT+ issues, most notably during the Irish Same Sex Marriage Referendum campaign in 2015. As CEO of IDA Ireland and a senior public servant, his contribution, which highlighted the positive message of openness, inclusivity and welcome for diversity that passing the referendum would send out internationally, attracted a significant amount of comment from many quarters and received widespread media coverage at the time. In 2016 he became an LGBT+ Diversity Ambassador for the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network and has spoken at public events to promote LGBT+ diversity.

Aziz Rashid

Head of BBC North West

Aziz always works to demonstrate that LGBT+ people can be in charge and successful and care about ALL their staff. He invited AllAboutTrans to MediaCityUK to do media briefing sessions for programme editors from Five Live, BBC Breakfast, North West Tonight, Radio Manchester and Newsround, resulting in much better informed coverage of trans issues. Two years ago, BBC Radio Manchester employed Stephanie Hirst, the first trans presenter on mainstream radio. Externally, Aziz was a member of Imaan and helped to organise an event in Bradford where young gay Muslims from across the North got their first opportunity to share their stories and to hear how older gay Muslims had navigated family life, gay life, and being British. He also works with the Social Mobility Foundation, for UpRising and is on the board of the Royal Exchange Theatre. In all these roles he ensures that LGBT+ people are represented.

Malcolm Press

Manchester Metropolitan University

Malcolm has provided leadership and oversight of Manchester Met’s equality and diversity agenda, as well as endeavouring to be a positive role model. He has overseen a revamp of equality and diversity governance and delivery, leading to a much-improved strategy and purposeful actions. He provides his personal support to a range of activities undertaken by the LGBT+ Staff Forum, which have commemorated the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation. Since he took over as Vice-Chancellor, there are at least four out senior colleagues at the University, including the Chancellor and a Board Member. Externally, Malcolm is a Trustee of Kew Gardens and WWF UK.  Within Greater Manchester, he sits on the boards of Health Innovation Manchester, Corridor Manchester, Manchester Science Partnerships, and the Manchester International Festival. Within each of these organisations, he is able to share the good practice that has been developed at the University in relation to promoting LGBT+ equality, and to provide leadership in this area.

Dr Neil Bentley

WorldSkills UK

WorldSkills UK is charity partnership between governments, business and education, helping accelerate young people’s career development. As part of a new business plan, Neil has established a diversity strategy and working group for his workplace and across their partnership supply chain, with LGBT+ as a core element, to demonstrate action and commitment to their workforces, partners and the 100,000 young people they work with annually. Externally, Neil is a strong supporter, and former deputy Chair, of Stonewall, and a mentor in the OUTstanding Mentoring Programme. He is also advising Warwick University on their LGBT+ and Ally staff programme as an openly out member of their board. As a former deputy director general for CBI, he remains engaged in their LGBT+ diversity work and recently spoke on LGBT+ inclusion at their major diversity conference alongside CBI director general Carolyn Fairburn.

Rob Salter-Church

Partner, Consumers and Competition

Since joining Ofgem in 2013 Rob has set up an LGBT+ network, the first – of now several – diversity networks in the organisation. The network has a visible presence in the induction processes and intranet pages so employees are aware of what they offer to LGBT+ people and straight allies. He also acts as a visible day-to-day senior role model, and is the diversity champion for Ofgem, which has recently agreed a board-level focus on the issue. As part of this Ofgem will challenge the energy companies they regulate on what they are doing to promote diversity in their workplaces. Externally, Rob is an avid supporter of Pride in London, and has previously been a volunteer for The Food Chain, providing important nutritional services to those with HIV and AIDS related illnesses.

Polly Shute

Executive Fundraising Director
Together for Short Lives

Keen to drive challenge and change, Polly joined Pride in London as their first Director of Strategic Partnerships and Fundraising almost 3 years ago. Alongside Together for Short Lives, a charity that supports children with life-limiting illnesses, she works closely with major corporate partners, supporting and advising them on how to ensure their involvement in Pride is authentic and part of a strategic focus on diversity and inclusion. She also helped develop Pride in the City, and has provided consultancy advice to Sport England on LGBT+ participation and volunteering in sport to identify solutions that would make sports organisations more accessible and welcoming. Under her leadership, Pride in London has grown to now be the biggest LGBT+ platform in the UK and one of the largest and most diverse Prides in the world. As a strong campaigner for women’s rights she was part of the team that played a major role in supporting the 2017 Women’s March in London, and was the driving force in ensuring that the Women’s Stage for Pride in London got a higher profile location in Leicester Square in 2017.

Tony Lloyd

ADHD Foundation

Tony ensures that all staff at the Foundation are trained in cultural diversity and the Equalities Act and, as the largest patient led service for ADHD in Europe, they have a proactive policy to recruit from minority population groups including LGBT+. Having experienced illegal discrimination when working in a school as a psychologist, where he insisted on being out as gay man, he is passionate about workplace equality and actively promotes their service as LGBT+ friendly and participates in LGBT+ community activities. Externally, Tony has regularly been invited to speak on diversity at conferences and addressed the UN in Geneva on Equality and Diversity. He led and raised the funding for 14 groups of young adults on visits to Auschwitz in Poland to educate them about diversity, racism and LGBT+ rights. He also worked as a consultant for Merseyside Police on recruitment of LGBT+ police officers, and actively supports Sahir House – the Liverpool based HIV Charity – and has been associated with them for over 20 years.

Eric Shaw

Washington DC Office of Planning

Being an out and proud member of the LGBT+ community, Eric has helped set the tone for employees and agency partners that his office is an inclusive environment. He has directed staff to ensure that lgbt+ issues are included in the office’s community planning program.  He also secured resources to incorporate lgbt+ narratives into the urban design and historic preservation strategies for the District. In line with expressing his goal of supporting and mentoring of LGBT+ students, their office has seen a noticeable increase in the number of LGBT+ identified interns. Externally, Eric serves on the UCLA Alumni Association Board and Harvard Design School Alumni Council where he advocates for the support and mentorship of LGBT+ students, and for increased LGBT+ representation in the fields of planning and architecture. He has participated in UCLA Student Affairs LGBT+ Round Table bringing together staff, students, faculty and alumni to identify strategies to create a more inclusive environment for the LGBT+ at the university.

Carolyn Regan

Chief Executive
West London Mental Health Trust

Covering both mental and physical healthcare in hospital and community settings, for adults and children, the Trust also has a strong research commitment. Carolyn is equally committed to eradicating stigma, and saw the Trust launch its first ‘LGBT+ Champion’ initiative in February 2017 in acknowledgment of LGBT+ History month. LGBT+ Champions are committed to working towards ensuring patient wellbeing and they identify themselves via special rainbow ribbon lanyards for ID badges. She has also ensured that the Trust joined the London Gay Pride event for the last 2 years. Externally, Carolyn is currently Chair of the London Mental Health Payment and Outcomes Transformation Board which reports to the London Mental Health Transformation Board. She is a highly experienced chief executive, both within the healthcare sector and the justice system. She has been an exemplar for LGBT+ success in the health service for at least 2 decades. Carolyn is currently the Chair of Trustees of Just for Kids Law and is a board member of the Press Recognition Panel.

Neil Buckley

Chief Executive
Legal Services Board

Respecting and promoting equality and diversity is a key function for Neil’s organisation. As demonstrated by the recent research report:  Sexuality at the Bar – An Empirical Exploration into the Experiences of LGBT+ Barristers in England and Wales – the legal profession has much still to do to tackle homophobia as well as a range of other issues relating to diversity in the profession. The legal regulators all have action plans as to what they will be doing in this area. His role is to ensure that pro-active steps are taken by them in relation to diversity and that they monitor the impact of what they are doing. He also talks a lot to the regulated community about diversity – about why it matters and why taking action makes business sense. Externally, Neil is openly out in every aspect of his life, and as such is a regular supporter of various LGBT+ organisations.