December 4th 2019 | Garden Lobby, The Scottish Parliament


22 Jul
' Nominations Open '
4 Oct
' Nominations Close '
30 Oct
' Shortlist Announced '


Mandy Rhodes

Managing Director, Holyrood Communications Ltd

Mandy is Managing Director of Holyrood Communications Ltd,she is also editor of the flagship title Holyrood magazine and responsible for the editorial content of all other associated titles and products.

Mandy graduated from Stirling University in the early 1980s with a joint Honours degree in Scottish History and Sociology. She trained on a local newspaper in Wester Hailes and completed her journalism training at Napier University.

She has worked for nearly 30 years in journalism in Scotland in newsprint, television and radio broadcasting and was part of the launch team of Scotland on Sunday. Mandy has won numerous awards over the years including PPA Magazine Editor of the Year, Feature Writer of the Year and Columnist of the year. She was social affairs correspondent at Scotland on Sunday where she broke a number of major child abuse stories and regularly lectured at Liverpool and Aberdeen universities on child protection issues and has also taken part in a number of documentaries on the subject.

Sir Paul Grice

Clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament

Leads the Scottish Parliamentary Service which is responsible for delivering all services to the Parliament and its Members. The Parliament employs around 450 staff and has an annual budget of around £75m.

Previous career history: Graduated in 1984 from Stirling University. Joined the Civil Service through the “Fast Stream” in 1985. Worked for the Department of Transport and, subsequently, the Department of the Environment on Bus De-regulation, Railways Policy and Local Government Finance. Subsequently Private Secretary to Virginia Bottomley MP.

Joined the Scottish Office in 1992 working on Housing and Urban Regeneration Policy, then headed up the Management of Change Unit. Joined the Constitution Group in May 1997 with responsibility for the Referendum on establishing the Scottish Parliament: subsequently managed the Scotland Act which laid the new constitutional framework. Appointed Director of Implementation for the Scottish Parliament in 1999 – set up parliamentary organisation and associated support systems. Appointed Clerk and Chief Executive of the Parliament in summer 1999.

Caroline Gardner

Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland

Caroline Gardner started her term as Auditor General in July 2012. She is responsible for the audit of most public bodies, except local authorities, and her role is to help ensure that public money is spent properly, efficiently and effectively. She is independent and reports in public and to Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee.

Gillian McGregor

Director, Scotland Office, UK Government

Gillian took up post as Director for the Office for the Secretary of State for Scotland on 12 October 2017. Previous to that Gillian has spent the majority of her career in immigration and counter-terrorism roles in the Home Office.

In May 2013, she was appointed Director for Immigration Enforcement in Scotland and Northern Ireland based in Glasgow. She also recently completed a six month secondment as temporary Chief of Staff to Patsy Wilkinson, Second Permanent Secretary in the Home Office.      

Gillian was brought up in the north-east of Scotland and was educated at Montrose Academy and Aberdeen University. She was awarded the CBE in the 2016 New Years Honours List.

Paul Johnston

Director General Education, Communities & Justice

Paul is Director General for Education, Communities and Justice in the Scottish Government.  He was previously Director General Learning and Justice (from June 2015) before a restructure (in July 2017) expanded his portfolio to cover responsibility for housing, local government, the education and advanced learning of the people of Scotland as well as the safety and justice system of the country's communities.

Paul is part of the SG’s senior leadership team –known as the Executive team – and since June 2016 has been the ET ally for the Race Equality Network In this role, he seeks to provide support and advice to the Race Equality Network and its members.  He also seeks to ensure that there is alignment between the overall priorities of the SG in terms of diversity and the priorities that are set by the Race Equality Network.

Paul is a qualified lawyer and joined the Scottish Government Legal Directorate in May 2000.

He was appointed to the Senior Civil Service in October 2007, carrying out a number of roles before being appointed to Director level as Head of the Advocate General's Office in April 2011. He was Director for Safer Communities from January 2013 to June 2015, with responsibility for Police, Fire, Resilience, Defence, Security, Drugs Policy and Community Safety.

Dr John Kemp

Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council

John Kemp is currently Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council. His previous post was Director of Access Skills and Outcome Agreements at the Council, responsible for outcome agreements for universities and colleges, leadership of its work on access, skills and quality as well as supporting mergers and collaborations. He has been with the Council in a variety of roles since 2000. Before working for the Funding Council he worked in publishing and local government. He has also taught and served on governing bodies in both the college and university sectors.

Neil MacLean

Partner, EY

Neil MacLean is a Partner for EY, leading our Government and Public Sector Team in Scotland and Advisory Team. He has worked with many public and private sector organisations in the UK and internationally for over 30 years. In the public sector Neil has supported many organisations to plan and deliver a wide range of initiatives including complex transformation, financial adviser, coach leadership teams, policy & strategy development and quality assurance.

Neil is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants, member of CIPFA and has a MBA

Anna Fowlie

Chief Executive, SCVO

Anna joined SCVO this year after being Chief Executive at Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) for nine years. During that time she led significant organisational change which saw the organisation become more responsive and engaging, driving high standards of care and public assurance. 

She has been a champion for care experienced children and young people, driving forward a new approach to corporate parenting in collaboration with partners in local government and the third sector.