WIG Leadership Impact Awards


Developing leaders with insight and experience across the sectors is at the heart of WIG’s purpose. We believe that enabling collaboration between business, government and the not-for-profit sector empowers innovation. With that in mind, our cross-sector development programmes are designed to build flexibility and resilience to successfully lead during uncertain times. 

The WIG Leadership Awards recognise the tangible impact of learning in a cross-sector environment. We invite submissions from alumni of WIG leadership programmes as well as those who have benefited from a WIG talent offer such as a secondment (including the Charity Next secondment scheme). We have designed two separate categories, the WIG Leadership Impact Award, and the WIG Emerging Leader Impact Award.

We begin the process by asking for nominations from a colleague, mentor, coach, manager or fellow alumnus/a. Applicants must then demonstrate how learning in a WIG context has had a significant positive impact on their own leadership practice and their ability to lead teams. Applicants will be judged on how they have demonstrated that they have made a real difference within and beyond their organisations.

Our 2020 award finalists


WIG Leadership Impact Award:

Jennifer Holmes, Chief Commercial Officer, London Internet Exchange

Jennifer is an alumna of the Step Up, Step Across (SUSA) leadership programme.

WIG Emerging Leader Award:

David Bowman, Regulatory Analyst, National Grid Electricity System Operator

David is an alumnus of our Future Leaders Programme. 


Mumdood Passa, Policy Advisor, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Mumdood has completed a secondment through our Charity Next scheme, being placed for 6 months into a not-for-profit to work on a specific project. 

Read more about the winners here.

Runners up

WIG Leadership Impact Award:

Karen Aubrey, Learning and Development Manager, Competition and Markets Authority

Martin Hutton, Construction Health & Safety Manager, University of Leeds

WIG Emerging Leader Award:

Mara Waters, Policy Advisor, Department for International Trade

Christoph Grafe, Senior Manager, Ofgem


The 2020 Awards Panel

  • Phil Thomson

    President, Global Affairs, GSK & Chair of WIG

    Phil is President of Global Affairs at GSK and a member of the Group’s Corporate Executive Team. He serves as an advisor and representative of the CEO on corporate and business-related matters, with specific responsibilities for the Group’s strategic approach to Reputation, Corporate Responsibility and Global Health. He is also responsible for the Group’s engagement and relationships with investors, media, government and employees; management of the corporate brand; and key global community partnerships. Phil joined Glaxo Wellcome as a commercial trainee in 1996, and has worked in a number of external-facing roles on matters related to corporate strategy, business performance and reputation. He earned his degree in English, History and Russian Studies from Durham University. Phil is a Co-Opted Member of the China-Britain Business Council and is Chairman of The Whitehall & Industry Group.

  • Rachel Sandby-Thomas CB

    Registrar, University of Warwick

  • Keith Mendez

    Senior Director, HR Northern Europe, Mondelez

    Keith Mendez is Head of Human Resources – Northern Europe for Mondel─ôz International leading the people strategy for the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. This market is home to iconic brands such as Cadbury, Green & Blacks, Trebor, Marabou, Halls, Belvita and Oreo. The role encompasses end to end HR partnership for Sales, Marketing, supply chain and is responsible for delivering the growth, execution and culture strategies in line with Mondelez' Purpose of Snacking Made Right. Keith has extensive HR experiences in both developed and emerging markets having lived and worked in the UK, Chicago, Dubai & Singapore and has managed large scale change management, functional transformations and organization merger & acquisitions. Keith is passionate about learning and development and leveraging well-being to define organisational culture.

  • Debbie Alder

    Director General of Human Resources, Department for Work and Pensions

    Debbie started her career in the Private Sector, achieving a place on Marks & Spencer retail graduate scheme on leaving University. She worked in retail and the Private Sector for 21 years in a variety of HR roles both in the UK and abroad before joining the Civil Service in 2009. Leading HR across Government, Debbie spent a year with DWP as HR Director in Policy before joining DEFRA for two years as their HR Director. In 2013 she joined the Ministry of Justice for a year as Group HR Director before returning to DWP to take up post as HR Director General in January 2014. In her capacity as HR Director General at DWP, Debbie sets the HR strategy - aligning this to both the business strategy and Civil Service Reform to ensure Business delivery and the creation of an extraordinary department. As Disability, Wellbeing and Worklife Balance champion Debbie is passionate about enabling colleagues to reach their own potential whilst inspiring others to do the same.

Eligibility and Judging Criteria

WIG Leadership Impact Award

  1. Participation on a WIG leadership programme or secondment 
  2. Evidence of the benefits of learning in a cross-sector environment and how that learning has been implemented to meaningful impact.
  3. Examples of evidence of impact on:
    • Their own leadership
    • Their team
    • Their organisation as a whole
    • The wider system/outside of their home organisation
    • Customer/service user benefits
  4. Compelling endorsement of impact by key stakeholder via nomination.

WIG Emerging Leader Award

  1. Participation on a WIG leadership programme or secondment (e.g. Charity Next).
  2. Evidence of the benefits of learning in a cross-sector environment early in your career and how that learning has been implemented to meaningful impact.
  3. Examples of evidence of impact on:
    • Their own leadership
    • Their team
    • Their organisation or wider system or customer/service user
  4. Plan for how they are going to continue using cross-sector learning in their developing leadership practice.
  5. Compelling endorsement of impact by key stakeholder via nomination.

Terms and Conditions

  • Nominations can only be accepted for WIG leadership programme and secondment alumni.
  • Finalists will be interviewed and recorded. The content of this application and any video interview will remain the property of WIG and can be used in WIG-related marketing.
  • The decision of the Awards Panel will be final.
  • If shortlisted, we would like you to attend the Award Ceremony as part of the WIG Annual Reception on the 31 March 2020.
  • By submitting an application, you agree to participate in any publicity including, but not limited to photos, videos, press interviews etc. after the event.

To find out more about the award, email us or call us on 020 7222 1166 and speak to Catherine Taylor or Lucy Stewart.


Take a look back at highlights from our first ever Awards


Nominations for 2020 are now closed. If you have missed out on applying this year, please do consider applying for next year's awards. If you are part of the WIG alumni community and meet the criteria above, we would love to receive your applications for 2021 (nominations will open in autumn 2020).