30 LGBT+ Public Sector Executives 2018

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Antonio Zappulla

Chief Operating Officer
Thomson Reuters Foundation

In 2018, Antonio created Openly, the world’s first global platform dedicated to coverage of under-reported LGBT+ news. Openly is powered by the journalism of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the distribution of the global Reuters network, delivering news to one billion readers daily. Openly launched on September 27th during UNGA week, at an event co-hosted by the United Nations LGBTI Core Group and UN Free and Equal. Antonio is a One Young World Ambassador, President of the Board of All Out, and sits on the Board of Out in Business. He continues to serve as Co-Chair of Thomson Reuters Pride at Work and is part of the European Young Leaders programme in Brussels.

Kevin Jennings

Tenement Museum

Kevin Jennings has been a leader in the global LGBT movement for three decades. In 1988 he created the first school-based Gay-Straight Alliance club, leading him to found and lead the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for 18 years. He then served as an Assistant Secretary of Education for President Obama, after which he ran the Arcus Foundation, the world’s largest funder of LGBT rights organizations, for 5 years. In Kevin’s first year as President, he has launched the Tenement Museum’s first Diversity & Inclusion Initiative which addresses a multiplicity of issues including sexual orientation and gender identity, race, ability, and other issues. He has also initiated the first-ever LGBT programming at the Museum, including a first-ever Pride Month event focused on the experience of LGBT refugees in June 2018.

Dinesh Bhugra CBE

British Medical Association

As President of the World Psychiatric Association, Dinesh’s Action Plan focussed on social discrimination against people with mental illness, and all who are underserved. He set up Presidential Task Forces on developing undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing education curricula and policy documents. Whilst doing this, he specifically called out the need for inclusion and highlighted 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. He also sits on many panels in medical bodies advocating for both LGBT+ rights. Dinesh has contributed to the UK LGBT Archive.

Martin Shanahan

IDA Ireland

Martin has brought the issue of diversity in all its forms to the forefront within IDA Ireland , including through the establishment of an LGBT+ network. Martin has been an outspoken visible champion for gay rights over many years, notably demonstrated by his high profile support in the national media for the Irish Same Sex Marriage Referendum in 2015. In his role as CEO of Ireland’s Investment Promotion Agency, Martin operates at the intersection of Government and Business and as such is a role model for those in the public and private sector.

Lee Marshall

Chief of Staff
Church of England Pensions Board

Lee was co-founder of Stonewall and their first Treasurer. He is Chair of the Board of an anti-bullying charity,, targeting homophobic bullying and homophobia in sport, and until earlier this year was Chair of a second anti-bullying charity.  His current work in the anti-bullying space, through The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, benefits many individuals, families, communities and organisations – all of whom have been negatively affected by bullying in one way or another. On top of this, he routinely speaks on LGBT, bullying and mental health issues at events in Parliament and at fundraising events. Throughout his career, Lee has mentored and developed LGBT staff, both within his organisation and outside it.

Ian Adams

Director of Membership and Stakeholder Engagement
NHS Resolution

Ian Adams is the director of Membership and Stakeholder Engagement at NHS Resolution. Last year he served as the first openly gay Lord Mayor of Westminster, attracting high levels of public scrutiny. He led the Pride in London parade and used his civic platform to publicly promote LGBT+ issues through engagement with stakeholders and the media. He shares his experiences of diversity and leadership widely through public speaking. As Lord Mayor, he supported befriending services for older LGBT+ people through charity fundraising. Today he serves as Westminster Council’s LGBT+ Lead Member and is spearheading a strategy to combat hate crime in the heart of London, working across the community. He is also sponsoring a new LGBT+ Champions Network inside Westminster Council. At NHS Resolution he has used his experience as a civic leader to demonstrate the impact of supporting diversity and inclusion.

Carole Anderson

Head of Strategy & Performance
Golden Jubilee Foundation

At the Golden Jubilee Foundation, Carole has led on work to provide training to Executive and Senior Manager colleagues on becoming an LGBT+ Ally. As one of the LGBT+ leads for her NHS Board, she has led on the policy and service developments to improve the workplace for LGBT+ staff and also service users. Most recently she secured agreement for the re-designation of toilets as gender neutral facilities and for future planned expansion to incorporate gender neutral toilets and appropriate changing room spaces to be added to design plans. Carole was also a keynote and workshop speaker at Stonewall Conferences in 2017, where she spoke on the subjects of role models, diversity in procurement and senior leadership. Finally, Carole organised the largest ever group of NHS staff marching in the Pride Glasgow 2018 parade to commemorate 70 years of the NHS. She was also asked to be one of only two community representatives to speak alongside elected politicians from all of Scotland’s parties at the start of Pride Glasgow.

Dominic Shellard

Vice Chancellor
DeMontfort University

Professor Shellard is proponent of LGBT inclusion at De Montfort University nationally and internationally. He established the LGBT staff group when he joined as Vice-Chancellor in 2011 and set up DMUpride, a month-long celebration of academic, social, cultural and sporting activities for DMU staff, students and the general public. This complemented DMU’s strong partnership with Leicester Pride. DMU worked with Stonewall to bring a group of young Russian LGBT students to the UK in 2017 and is inviting an LGBT human rights activist from Indonesia to DMUpride 2019 to talk about her work with students. Finally, he established the Centre for LGBTQ Research at DMU, the only such centre in the UK. DMU has also established scholarships to give life-changing opportunities for scholars in LGBT research from countries where they face injustice or persecution.

Pav Akhtar

Director of Professionals & Managers
UNI Global Union

In addition to being a prominent and out LGBT+ role model for colleagues at UNI Global Union, and affiliated organisations, Pav has created LGBT+ staff networks and safe spaces. In outward looking work, he has negotiated LGBT+ protection clauses into collective agreements with global companies, and secured the inclusion of LGBT+ rights as part of a new UN standard at the International Labour Organisation on protection of women and men against violence in the workplace. Outside of work, Pav is Director of Strategy for UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest support organisation for African, Arab, Asian, and Caribbean LGBT+ people. UK Black Pride recently worked with Proximity London to launch a national social media and film campaign entitled #KeepTheNoiseUp to promote the intersection of Black and LGBT+ rights. Pav is also Governor of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in north west England where he champions an LGBT+ inclusive public health service. The strategy has delivered the Trust’s first diversity and inclusion conference for staff, and it’s first participation in an LGBT+ Pride event in the community.

Tammy Smith

Major General
US Military

In 2012, Tammy became the first General Officer in the United States military to come out as LGBT. Tammy participates in Army ceremonies as a married couple with her wife, and lives on an Army installation with other military families, role modelling what a LGBT military family looks like. Externally, Tammy frequently accepts speaking invitations in both corporate and government space to speak about LGBT inclusion and the strength of a diverse workforce. In 2018 she spoke at both the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She has served on the Deloitte External Inclusion Advisory Council, the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Board of Directors, and the US Army Diversity Council.

Dr Tony Lloyd

ADHD Foundation

Tony ensures that all his staff are trained in cultural diversity and the Equalities Act. 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 a gay man, he is passionate about workplace equality and actively promotes their service as LGBT+ friendly and participates in LGBT+ community activities. Externally, Tony is regularly 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 has actively supported Sahir House – the Liverpool based HIV charity – for over 20 years. In September 2018, ADHD Foundation was honoured for its work in leading the diversity agenda, winning the Community Organisation Award for Disability at the National Diversity Awards and being nominated as Charity of the Year at the European Diversity Awards. 

Edward Lord OBE JP

Chair, Establishment Committee
City of London Corporation

Edward Lord has been a prominent diversity champion since they were first elected as a City of London councillor almost 18 years ago, aged 29. Now chair of the senior Establishment Committee, leading on workforce and inclusion policy, Edward is making a real difference. Edward’s persistence helped to see staff diversity networks established four years ago. In supporting the LGBT+ network, Edward ensured the rainbow flag flew over Guildhall for the first-time during Pride last year and will do each year in the future. They also funded the Corporation’s LGBT+ network to enter the Pride in London Parade for the first time this year. Edward is currently overseeing the Corporation’s development of a gender identity and trans inclusion policy for its wide range of services, including the Hampstead Heath bathing ponds and Barbican Centre.  Stonewall’s first bi role model, Edward was a member, deputy chair, and acting chair of Pride in London’s Community Advisory Board from 2015 to 2018 and was the Local Government Association’s national lead on equality and social inclusion from 2004 to 2013.

Altin Hazizaj

Executive Director
Child Rights Center Albania

Altin has over 20 years advocating, helping, counselling, LGBT+ people in Albania. He is at the forefront of those fighting for LGBT+ rights in Albania, where LGBT+ rights are still scarce. This climate means that his organising of training and information to staff and colleagues on LGBTI concepts and rights is incredibly poignant. Altin supported organisation of the very first LGBTI PRIDE in Albania and encouraged other executives from other institutions and organisations to support and participate . Altin also publically introduced of two new services by the organisation in cooperation with other partner organisations such as Free Legal Aid and National Helpline for LGBTI adolescents. In 2018, Altin lead CRCA joining the call for the Albanian Parliament to introduce new laws for gender recognition and equality in marriage, jointly with several other organisations.

Alan Gemmell OBE

Director India
British Council

Alan is responsible for the British Council in India improving opportunities for tens of millions of young Indians through programmes in education and culture.  Alan led the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture, which saw an unprecedented level of cultural exchange between the two countries, and has shifted the British Council’s focus to support the educational ambitions of State Governments leading to new business and increased reach and relevance for the organisation’s work. Alan has championed equality and diversity within his 600-strong team at the British Council, India.  He introduced an operating model that significantly increased leadership opportunities for Indian colleagues.  Today 54% of senior leadership positions are held by female colleagues and 80% of the British Council’s senior leaders are Indian. Alan is the founder of fiveFilms4freedom, now the world’s biggest online LGBT film festival. This year, he grew the festival exponentially through a partnership with Jio, India’s largest mobile provider. Thanks to the collaboration nearly 3 million of their customers viewed an Indian made LGBT movie just as the Section 377 case was being referred to the Supreme Court.   

Craig Beaumont

Director, External Affairs and Advocacy

Craig has worked with the FSB’s HR team on their approach to diversity and inclusion, including their internal staff benefits provided to same sex staff partners and in monitoring. He set up an LGBT+ staff project group, so that FSB scales-up its efforts as a team – each ‘function’ in the FSB’s London office he leads takes part, extending out to the rest of the UK network. This summer, he secured the first LGBT+ editorial in FSB’s magazine to ¼ million small businesses, spotlighting an LGBT+ start-up entrepreneur’s journey and challenges – while FSB’s elected Board and National Chairman, demonstrate leadership backing for #FSBPride. Local FSBs across the UK nations and regions have run localised social media campaigns to support (and sometimes sponsor) their Pride festivals, using a toolkit. LGBT+ FSB staff and members met Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Amy Lame, Night Czar, as part of this campaign. In September, Craig was awarded the prestigious Francesa Kemp Award for Small Business, in part to recognise his work for LGBT+ small business owners.

Ken Batty

Non-Executive Director
East London NHS Foundation Trust

Ken is a Non-Executive Director at East London NHS Foundation Trust, which was again rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, in their June 2018 report. He is also a lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and a Trustee of Regent’s University, London. Ken prides himself on being a completely out board member, who speaks up on LGBT+ issues. He actively supports the LGBT+ employee group and, whilst at IBM in 2000 he set up their first UK LGBT+ group. 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. Ken also volunteers at FFLAG (the groups for parents of LGBT+ children) where he helps organise events and is currently arranging their 25th anniversary conference.

Stephen Hails

Chief Inspector
Northumbria Police

In January 2017, Stephen was elected to the Northumbria Police LGBT+ Association as a committee member with specific responsibility for Senior Leadership Liaison within the Force. He had a huge impact in this role, he establishing a Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Allies network. Since coming together, Northumbria Police LGBT+ Association members have reverse mentored Chief Officer Team members on LGBT+ issues, and co-hosted a shared learning event focusing on Domestic Violence within same sex relationships together with Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association (LAGLA) with speakers & research from Sunderland University. Finally, the Northumbria Police LGBT+ Association has been shortlisted in the 2018 Pink News Awards – Public Sector Equality category and secured 69th position within the Stonewall Workforce Equality Index 2018.

Dr Neil Bentley

WorldSkills UK

As the CEO of Worldskills UK, Neil speaks regularly to audiences about the importance of LGBT+ leadership at work when talking at public fora and when writing blogs and articles for media. By doing this, he encourages more employers to think about the role of leadership in supporting  LGBT+ young people at work . He is currently working to bring together Stonewall, employers, government and leaders in further education to discuss the benefits of LGBT+ leadership and the impact on students and apprentices. 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.

Rob Salter-Church

Director, Retail Systems Transformation

Rob is the youngest partner at Ofgem and the most senior LGBT+ person in the regulator. Since joining Ofgem in 2013 Rob has set up an LGBT+ network, the first diversity network in the organisation. The network has a visible presence in Ofgem’s induction processes and intranet pages so employees are aware of what Ofgem offer to LGBT+ people and allies. Rob is also the diversity champion for Ofgem – and has recently agreed a board-level focus on the issue. In the past, Rob has been a volunteer for The Food Chain, providing important nutritional services to those with HIV and AIDS related illnesses.

Colin Riordan

Vice Chancellor
University of Cardiff

Colin has been supportive of LGBT+ activities throughout his 6 years as Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University. He has engaged proactively with the LGBT+ staff network since joining, featuring in promotional videos, speaking at events organised for LGBT History Month, working with the network to support LGBT flags to be raised above our main University building and supporting the nomination of a more diverse group of honorary fellows including Ruth Hunt, Nigel Owens, La-Chun Lindsay and Captain Hannah Graf. Colin came out as bisexual in a staff email, hoping it would help stop bisexual people feeling ‘invisible’. In previous years , Colin has spoken at the Stonewall Cymru Workplace conference about the importance of workplace inclusion. Cardiff university is an active sponsor of community initiatives such as Pride Cymru, Glitter Cymru, a local BAME LGBT community group, and the Iris Prize international film festival.

Wanda Goldwag

Office for Legal Complaints

Wanda has passionately advocated for equality throughout her career, and demonstrates great vision and strong leadership in her current position as Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints. She has appeared twice in the Pride Power List of the top 100 most influential LGBT+ public figures, and has demonstrated her commitment to furthering the rights of the LGBT+ community over her lifetime. This included being a volunteer on London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard for over a decade. Her work in the Office for Legal Complaints has included developing new Equality Priority Objectives for the Legal Ombudsman, and through these she strives to ensure that all talented staff members realise their full potential.

Gemma Bull

Funding Strategy Director
The Big Lottery Fund

Gemma Bull leads on the funds England work, it is a wide remit that has included redeveloping all of our products and restructuring all of their England staff. Throughout this process Gemma has championed equalities worked. She has begun to speak much more opening about being an LGBT leader using both her position and background to ensure the fund is continuously improving our offer to our grant holders, applicants, stakeholders and staff. She chairs the Corporate Equalities Group looking to highlight and resolve issues as they arise but also works to identify ways in which we could challenge ourselves more from increasing our funding into the LGBT sector, testing new approaches to delivering our funding. For me she is a huge role model and mentor, it is incredible to see someone from the LGBT community being open, honest and authentic to herself whilst creating meaningful change for those around her.

Bev & Sarah Milner Simonds


Bev & Sarah work in the food and drink sector in the southwest. Their series not-for-profit food and drink festivals offer unparalleled trading opportunities and exposure to micro and small businesses and generate in excess of £7m of regional economic impact per annum. Bev and Sarah are members of Stonewall, and Bev has spoken at their workplace conference and sponsored the Workplace Top 100 awards. Their inclusive ways of working: bringing the communities they work with them, engaging with representative groups and local authorities means that their festivals are of the place where they work. They are multi-award winning for their community, environmental and sector boosting free to attend festivals. They specialise in place making for their host towns. They are gay role models in a rural and traditional sector: doing great work, building fantastic relationships, working together for the benefit of the broader community.

Eric Shaw

Washington DC Office of Planning

Eric has worked hard to create an inclusive environment for LGBT+ employees and interns. He actively encourages all LGBT members of senior management to increase visibility of LGBT issues and to mentor. Eric served on the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, representing the interest of more that 500,000 alumni. As a board member he is co-chair of the Diversity Committee. He actively supporting programs and policies that advance the recruitment, retention and support of LGBT+ students on campus, and increase the visibility of LGBT+ alumni in LA and around the world. Eric ecently served as the alumni rep on the search committee for the director of the LGBT resource center, and serves on Harvard Design School Alumni Council where I work to increase support and mentorship to LGBT students.

Ian Green

Chief Executive
Terrence Higgins Trust

Ian Green is Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity. While at THT, Green has overseen numerous national campaigns and services, from its self-testing programme, joint report with Sophia Forum exploring the experiences of women living with HIV, and the Can’t Pass It On campaign, which has since been translated and used internationally by other HIV organisations across the globe.
To mark World AIDS Day in 2017, Green welcomed HRH Prince Harry and then-fiancée Meghan Markle to a fair hosted by THT in Nottingham. It was the couple’s first public visit after announcing their engagement. Ian has previously held high-profile leadership roles in the voluntary, health, local government, housing and social care sectors, in both executive and non-executive roles. As the firstly openly gay senior leader within the YMCA, he worked to ensure the organisation was welcoming to LGBT young people and staff members, and was acutely aware of his responsibilities as a role model. While at World YMCA, Green helped establish a “safe space” for discussing LGBT inclusion, which resulted in the adopting of a powerful inclusion resolution at the last YMCA World Council.

Gurchaten Sandhu

Project Director
International Labour Organisation

Gurchaten Sandhu is a Project Director at the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO). Tirelessly working for the eradication of child labour, Gurchaten also finds the time to volunteer for UN GLOBE, the staff group representing LGBTI+ staff in the UN and its peacekeeping operations. As its Vice-President, he works to ensure the voice and rights of LGBTI+ staff are represented in UN policies and procedures. He has raised the group’s visibility, has trained colleagues at the highest level of the UN agencies, organised and built a community of UN LGBTI+ staff, as well as a network with local and national LGBTI+ organisations in Switzerland. Gurchaten has also helped to reform the staff regulations on personal status in the ILO and more recently helped to introduce gender inclusive/neutral toilets on every floor of the ILO building, making it the first UN agency in Geneva to do so. He has been told that, through his advocacy and training sessions, he is making UN Officials better LGBTI+ allies!

Polly Shute

Executive Fundraising Director
Together for Short Lives

Away from her day job at Together for Short Lives, Polly is part of the Board of Pride in London, and leads on working with all their strategic partners. As part of this role, her team’s provides advice to brands on how to support the LGBTQ community at work and how to activate their involvement authentically. Polly launched and now runs, with the help of her team, Pride in the City, a series of talks run by companies on a wide range of LGBTQ related themes year- round. Polly is a pro bono consultant to the Institute of Fundraising, helping with policy and speaking at key events. Last year this included being part of an expert panel called Pride in Fundraising that spoke at the IoF conference, which is the biggest Fundraising conference in Europe.

Neil Buckley

Chief Executive
Legal Services Board

Respecting and promoting equality and diversity is a key function for Neil’s organisation. As demonstrated by recent research, 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 which are reviewed and assessed by the LSB. His role is to ensure that pro-active steps are taken by the legal regulators 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.

Jeep Bryant

Director of Marketing & Business Development
The Broadway League

Jeep joined two other executives in organizing and leading the first LGBT employee resource group at The Bank of New York prior to its merger with Mellon Financial, and then continued in a top leadership role in the newly-combined company, BNY Mellon. He led the Corporate Communications team in creating the global launch event for the employee group, which included powerful stories from the company’s CEO and other leaders discussing the impact of LGBT people in their lives and in the community. He served on the Board of Directors of Good Shepherd Services in New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged youth. The organization provides transitional housing and employment support to LGBT young people and others facing discrimination or financial hardship.

Tom Ketteley

Assistant Director, Litigation Operations
UK Visas & Immigration, Home Office

Within UK Visas & Immigration, Tom is a visible LGBT+ senior leader. He is an exemplary role model and inspires staff within his team and wider command. He is known for always having time for staff. He is committed to ensuring the civil service reflects the public it serves – this year he has been instrumental in supporting the progression of the female talent pipeline. The civil service is lucky to have Tom leading the way. As an active committee member on the Law Society’s LGBT+ Division, Tom is also a leader outside of work. Since joining the committee, he has led on raising the visibility of the legal profession at pride events and spearheaded participation in regional pride marches. This year he has been the driving force behind the creation of an LGBT+ themed webinar series for the legal profession by formulating the series, finding speakers and chairing the webinars