Trainer biographies

Rob Bateman

Robert Bateman is a respected voice in data and compliance who built his reputation writing guidance for organisations and leading conversations with industry leaders in data protection and other risk governance areas.

He works as an associate trainer on various data-related topics, and acts as a Subject Matter Expert specialising in AI governance and privacy law for data protection consultancy HewardMills.

Seminars Rob delivers for Global Government Forum include:

Tony Cash

Tony Cash is an expert on policy, strategy and regulatory best practice. He is a former civil servant and his roles included Head of Strategy and Communications for the Joint Trade Policy Unit and Deputy Director of the Department for Business internal training team.

In his role as a training consultant, he has trained people in policy-making best practice and better regulation across the UK and overseas (including Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dubai, Guernsey, Ireland, Kenya, Malta and South Africa).

He has worked with many government organisations on impact assessment. He also provides training on many related subjects including change management, governance, leadership, parliamentary affairs, project management, public service reform, risk management and strategic management.

He delivers training in a wide range of formats including online. Tony is also an organisation development expert (MSc OD) and holds qualifications in coaching (Certificate in Executive Coaching), training (CIPD Certificate in Training Practice), project management (PRINCE 2 Foundation and Practitioner) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Seminars Tony delivers for Global Government Forum include:

Zoë Collier

Zoë Collier has worked for over 30 years in and with the UK civil service and many international administrations. She started her career as a fast stream policy advisor to ministers in the Treasury (Finance Ministry), then moved across to the UK diplomatic service, where she served in the British embassy in Athens, and after that she headed up the Strategy Unit at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. She was Private Secretary to a Cabinet Minister, managing his policy portfolio and working long hours alongside him in Parliament, the department and meetings with stakeholders. She went on secondment to the UK’s National School of Government as a senior lecturer in policy and government. That was when she discovered her passion for training.

She now designs and delivers training courses and coaching internationally in policy and strategy development and all the issues associated with it, including policy communication and briefing, stakeholder management, negotiation skills and political thinking. Since 2012, she has run a suite of workshops for the Council of the EU on Political Thinking and Writing Political Briefings.

Zoë has run a wide range of training and consultancy programmes in many countries across the globe, from Africa, to Asia, to the US. Since the start of the pandemic she has adjusted her training techniques to embrace the virtual world and is proficient in delivering quality, engaging training on MS Teams and Zoom.

She has also worked in the private sector, as director of a major public relations company, and in the voluntary sector, as Trustee of a community charity, and independent member of her local government council.

Seminars that Zoë runs for Global Government Forum include:

Gavin Freeguard

Gavin Freeguard is a freelance consultant working on research, policy and advocacy around data, digital government and data visualization. He is an associate at the Institute for Government, where he was previously programme director responsible for data and digital government (including the Whitehall Monitor project) and continues to run the Data Bites event series.

He is also a policy associate at Connected by Data, special adviser at the Open Data Institute, a member of the Public Digital network and has worked as a consultant for many organisations including mySociety, the Ada Lovelace Institute and Full Fact. Before joining IfG, he was political adviser on culture, media and sport to Rt Hon Harriet Harman KC, and before that, senior editor at the Media Standards Trust and deputy director of the Orwell Prize. 

Seminars that Gavin runs for Global Government Forum include:

Richard Gunson

Richard’s background in the armed forces, education, therapeutic practice, and importantly, service development, bring a broad range of expertise and skills in both the public and private sectors with specialisation in developing and delivering the strategies and environment for sustainable change.

Working with organisations of all sizes including global pharmaceutical, to national police forces, to the creative arts, Richard is able to help navigate the complex environments influencing decision making and develop appropriate interventions and support that will create agility with a focus on value for the user.

Aligning leadership right through to executable task with training and embedding, on the ground, the use of iterative agile methods and tried and tested communications he enables trust and delegated decision making across organisations.

Seminars Richard runs for Global Government Forum include:

Leading Agile Delivery – The Application of Agile Ways of Working Safely and Sustainably
Leadership in a Complex Environment – Leveraging Changing Technologies, Environments, and Social Structures

James Humphreys

James is a director of the research and engagement consultancy Woodnewton. He specialises in strategic communications and behaviour change, particularly in health and the environment, though his clients range from John Lewis to GCHQ.

Before co-founding Woodnewton, he was Head of Corporate Communications in the Prime Minister’s Office, responsible for a wide range of policy and communications including digital enablement and employee engagement. His achievements included launching the first cross-government brand and the first mobile app for government.

Prior to that he was a career civil servant in the Department for the Environment, working on regional development, housing and environmental protection. He also spent two years based in Brussels as environment attaché at the UK Representation to the European Union. He wrote a book based on his experience in this role: Negotiating in the European Union: How to Make the Brussels Machine Work for You.

He was a Visiting Professor of Government at the City University London from 2005 to 2009 and launched a Masters in Political Communication, Advocacy and Campaigning at Kingston University. He has also served as chair of the IVCA (now EVCOM), the trade association for the visual communications industry, and as a trustee of the Woodland Trust.

Having worked in such very senior and varied roles, he understands the priorities and constraints facing government and public bodies, and his experience means that he can engage effectively with senior decision-makers from all over the world. James speaks at events on a wide range of subjects and he works as a professional trainer on topics such as policy, strategic planning, strategic communications, behaviour, engagement, strategic implementation, impact assessment and evaluation.

Seminars that James presents for Global Government Forum include:

Meena Karawadhra

Meena Karawadhra has over 25 years of experience in Learning and Development and is a qualified coach.

Meena works across sector, industry, and seniority, collaborating with stakeholders in the design and delivery of Leadership and Management, Diversity and Inclusion as well as personal development programmes.

Meena worked as a Lead Consultant at the Corporate Centre of a large Government Department leading and managing teams on national initiatives and projects before founding MTraining Solutions Limited. She has over the years designed and delivered learning solutions to meet the needs of global organisations.

Feedback about her training, whether it is Leadership or Diversity and Inclusion, from junior staff to Board Level, and from diverse backgrounds and nationalities has always been extremely positive. She regularly receives recommendations because of her ability to engage audiences through her interactive and participative methods.

Meena is also a qualified coach and works with clients to achieve business goals as well as using a client centric and holistic approach when helping clients move towards personal change, dealing with issues such as limiting beliefs and confidence, motivation, values elicitation, and behavioural change.

Her areas of expertise include change and innovation, NLP, communications, presentation skills, EQ, coaching, time management, customer service skills, motivation, management skills and interviewing. She has delivered ILM and CMI leadership and coaching programmes.

Seminars that Meena runs for Global Government Forum include:

Snéha Khilay

Snéha Khilay is the Managing Director of Blue Tulip Consultancy.

Over the past 20 years, she has developed expertise on diversity, inclusion, and management & leadership development. Her focus is to change and improve interactions between people within the business world.  

Working in international training contexts, Snéha has advised and worked with Board Members, CEOs, Executive Directors and Senior Managers on how to develop a strategic and operational approach to the changing stance on equality, diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias. Snéha helps identify and implement effective solutions to their organisation-related “diversity dilemmas”.

She also conducts high profile independent impartial investigations into allegations of bullying and harassment. Her strong personal commitment to the various cases investigated has meant that organisations have valued her professional input and complaints are resolved effectively.

Snéha is the chair of Group 1 Ella Forum, a leadership development programme, designed to develop leaders of charities and social enterprises through sharing of best practice and coaching. She is also a facilitator on the Windsor Leadership Programme and provides business coaching for Regional Directors at United Nations and Save The Children. Snéha is an Advisory Board Member for University of Hertfordshire Business School, a Chair of the Thought and Action Group on Diversity and Inclusion, Engage for Success and has recently been appointed as an Advisory Member of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

She has had articles published in numerous magazines on leadership and diversity and in 2017, Snéha presented the BBC 1 Inside Out and BBC 2 Victoria Derbyshire programmes on unconscious biases related to the recruitment processes. She is often invited by LBC and BBC radio to share her expertise on diversity related affairs.

Seminars Snéha presents for Global Government Forum include:

Dani Littlejohn

Dani Littlejohn is an NLP Practitioner and the founder of Best Foot Forward Training Ltd.

She has over 15 years’ experience in people-facing training and personal development. Prior to moving into working as a professional trainer, Dani’s background was in HR.

Dani has always been interested in helping people to develop and adapt their interaction with internal and external clientele to maximise on rapport and results. By fine tuning communication and behavioural skills she enables clients to see huge improvements in their personal and commercial impact, not to mention confidence, enjoyment and investment for the individual.

After nearly four years at Reed Learning as a permanent professional development trainer, Dani branched out to found Best Foot Forward Training Ltd, allowing herself and other trainers to work more closely with clients and individuals.

Dani specialises in personal professional development, personal impact and effectiveness, motivation, people management, building high-performing teams, getting the best from colleagues and staff, communications, training, coaching, and the art of negotiation, as well as Maximising performance in remote and hybrid working contexts.

Seminars Dani runs for Global Government Forum include:

Mel Ross

Mel is a published thought leader in Digital Change & Digital Leadership.  Mel led Disney Channel’s Marketing for Emerging Markets and was a representative on the Digital Strategy Team before taking on the role of CMO at a learning company to create a strategic marketing function and drive their digital change efforts. She also became involved with the New Zealand Innovation Awards, working together with Bearingpoint and the New Zealand State Services Commission to successfully uncover and recognise technology and innovation throughout the country. 

Mel then co-started the first experiential agency in New Zealand.  That was where omni-channel really kicked in – field marketing and experiential marketing leveraging the new digital age – that’s how she first got into digital.  Working for many of the top 50 New Zealand corporations including Telecom New Zealand (launching 3G to the corporate world as well as the very first smartphone), Meridien Energy, Microsoft, The Rugby Union, TUI (Allied Domeq) to name just a few clients.

Mel was also on the management team for the Wellington Fashion Festival which was a partnership with the local authority and worked to engage all local retailers associated with fashion and beauty – organising a two-month long festival segmented by city quarter and working with fashion colleges and new talent to international labels and NZ fashion icons.

Mel worked with Telecom New Zealand and Wellington City Council and the Tourism office for Wellington to create a digital and experiential experience for the Diwali festival, which in New Zealand is a key date in the calendar.

Mel relocated to the UK in July 2007.  Working as the Marketing Director and Sales Director for RPM Limited (The UK’s no. 1 Experiential Marketing Agency), Mel worked with TFL on an initiative to bring the idea of a healthy lifestyle into the recreational lives of citizens through digital and experience. 
Currently, Mel is a founding partner at Adapt2Digital where her mission is to share experiences and help both individuals and clients benefit from the power of digital focus. She provides digital advisory to Executive Teams and Boards as well as a commitment to one2one mentoring to help build the digital leaders of the future.

Seminars Mel runs for Global Government Forum include:

Understanding Leadership in a Digitally Enabled and Data Driven World
Applied Leadership in the Digital World

Sonny (Sanjesh) Sharma

Sonny is the founder of New Ways to Learn, which provides both digital and educational training across the public and private sectors. He also works very closely with the education sector.

Sonny’s passions include all things digital, and education. He has a degree in Computing from Manchester University, and a Master’s degree from UMIST in Technology Management. He is also a qualified teacher.

He is Assistant Head at the multi-award winning Djanogly City Academy. At the Academy, Sonny and his team have won several awards for the use of technology in the classroom, including the Excellence Awards for Leadership & Management and Best Whole School ICT.

He is a Subject Expert in Computing for OfQual, a Google Education Trainer, a Microsoft in Education Global Training Partner, a STEM Ambassador, and a VR evangelist. 

​Sonny has provided training for more than 20,000 teachers, as well as covering a broad variety of tech-focused subjects for professionals from a wide range of public service and private sector organisations, with topics ranging from digital communications, organisational use of social media, through to digital implementation strategies.

Seminars Sonny runs for Global Government Forum include:

Introduction to Providing Customer-Centric Digital Services in Government

Stuart Wilson

Stuart has over twenty-five years of experience in managing a wide variety of projects and programmes. These have included major IT projects, business and organisational change projects and construction projects.

He has provided consultancy support to a number of projects with the UK, Europe and West Africa.

Stuart has worked with staff at all levels in the public and private sectors, including ministers and senior executives, to help them to develop their project management skills. He has designed and delivered numerous training programmes for UK and overseas delegates. He blends the theoretical elements of project and change management with his practical experience.

Stuart was a Director of Studies at the international training provider RIPA International for eight years, providing the design and delivery of project and programme management training programmes and modules for a range of international delegates. He was also the Head of Project and Programme Management Development at the National School of Government for six years, designing and delivering a wide range of project and programme management events including training and coaching. He also provided PPM consultancy for senior executives, including government ministers.

Among other areas of expertise covering every conceivable aspect of PPM, Stuart specialises in practical project management, the essentials of risk management, programme management, strategic planning, managing change, and project assurance.

Seminars that Stuart presents for Global Government Forum include:

Introduction to Agile Project Management

Andy Smith

Andy has spent his career working either in, or with, government organisations in the UK, Europe and Globally.

Andy has extensive experience of operating successfully in both the public and private sector. He worked for 18 years as a civil servant in UK central government – mainly in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), with spells on secondment to the European Commission and the Cabinet Office. He held a range of senior policy, operational and IT management roles, including welfare reform implementation; Benefits Agency computerisation; corporate services; and as a Deputy Commercial Director.

Having left the Civil Service, Andy has worked internationally for Global IT companies – Oracle and SAS – dealing extensively with Government Organisations, including the European Commission and Governments across Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Andy has also worked as an Interim Director for Hitachi Consulting’s UK Government Business; and as a Consultant with the OECD, assessing the state of readiness of EU pre-accession countries in the Balkans.

Recently, Andy has trained UK Civil Servants on a range of issues including advising and briefing ministers, policy development, negotiations and the workings of the EU, and he has also trained senior Caribbean civil servants as part of a major capacity building programme.

Seminars that Andy presents for Global Government Forum include:

Monitoring and Evaluation – Half-Day Course
Effective Policy Communications – Half-Day Course

Rick Stock

Rick has a wealth of experience in digital leadership and consultancy in the UK and Europe over more than 20 years. Holding senior leadership positions in blue-chip companies like O2, Microsoft and Ericsson and a series of successful private equity backed start-ups he has a deep understanding of how successful digital organisations need to operate.

Most recently Rick has been directly involved in some of the biggest digital programmes in the UK public sector, including leading the Digital Transformation programmes at both DEFRA and UK Research and Innovation, and acting as a consultant for HM Land Registry, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the Centre for Digital Public Services in Wales. This broad background at the highest levels gives him a unique perspective to share.

Rick also has extensive experience of designing and delivering digital training courses, notably as the leader and designer for the first DWP Digital Academy, which went on to become the template for digital training for GDS and the wider UK Government.

Seminars that Rick presents for Global Government Forum include:

Digital Skills in Government

Professor Colin Talbot

Colin Talbot is Professor of Government (Emeritus) at the University of Manchester. Colin has worked on and with public organizations and governments for almost 4 decades as an employee, consultant, adviser, trainer, educator, and researcher.

Colin has worked with all kinds of organisations, from intelligence services to social services, parliaments and police forces. He has advised a dozen or so governments from Japan to Canada, and the USA to Australia.

Seminars that Colin presents for Global Government Forum include:
Crafting Policy: The Tools of Government