December 5th 2018 | Garden Lobby, The Scottish Parliament


23 Jul
' Nominations Open '
21 Sep
' Nominations Close '
22 Oct
' Shortlist Announced '
5 Dec
' Awards Ceremony '


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.

Martin Sime

Chief Executive, SCVO

Martin leads the staff team at SCVO. He reports directly to the Board, who are elected from our membership organisations.

Martin is a well-known commentator on public affairs in Scotland.  He was an Expert Advisor to the Christie Commission on public service reform and works closely with the Scottish Government at all levels to advance the interests of the third sector.

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.

Sarah Davidson

Director-General Organisational Development and Operations

Sarah Davidson was appointed Director General Communities in 2014. Sarah has been a civil servant since 1995 and has had a wide range of experience in that time, in both policy and service delivery.

Her recent roles have included Scottish Government Director of Communications; Director for Local Government and Communities and acting Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development. Previous experience includes Head of Cabinet Secretariat, Ministerial private secretary and a four- year secondment to the Scottish Parliament where she established the Public Audit and Finance Committees and was Director of the Holyrood Building Project Team.

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.

Paul Dowie

Director, Shared Services and Customer First, Improvement Service

Paul Dowie is the Director of Shared Services and Customer First working across local government in Scotland. He has worked on a range of shared capacity initiatives that have helped councils deliver significant cash savings and service improvements and has developed a portfolio of digital services that includes the single sign-in for Scottish Public Services – myaccount, the national entitlement card and the better use of spatial data. He is responsible for supporting transformation and 'smart' public services, enabling integrated working across the wider public sector and support for shared capacity development.

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