The judging panel for the Alumni Awards brings together a wealth of international expertise in education, entrepreneurship and national policy. Find out more about them and their work below.

Zamila Bunglawala

Director, International Education Directorate, UK Department for Education

Zamila brings extensive national and international strategic experience in senior roles – in the British Government including No.10 Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, the United Nations, and think tanks - Open Society Foundation, Young Foundation and the Brookings Institution. Zamila was the founding member of the pioneering Race Disparity Audit’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures.  development. Zamila is listed in the Top 100 Women in Westminster.

James Cronin

British Council Trustee

James Cronin is Chief Information Officer of the leading e-commerce software as a service company, Venda, which he co-founded. 

He was previously VP and Global Director of Operations and Technology for; worked as Technical Architect for BBC News Interactive and BBC New Media/BBCi; on the Policy Advisory Board of Nominet UK and a founding member of the Advisory Board of the global .ORG registry operator, PIR. 

Stevie Spring CBE

British Council Chairman

Stevie has Chaired the British Council since 2019. She is also Chairman of Mind, the mental health charity, and Chairman of reward and remuneration for the Coop Group; an investor advisor to two tech scale ups and on the Pladis Global EDI Board. She was named by The Telegraph as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people and by GQ as one of the UK’s 100 most connected women.

Claire Dove AA global judge

Claire Dove OBE

Crown Representative for the Voluntary and Social Enterprise Sector

Claire chaired Social Enterprise UK for over ten years and worked with government and leaders from the sector to create the first strategy for the Social Enterprise movement. She was recently appointed Crown Representative for the Voluntary and Social Enterprise Sector. Claire also leads the Blackburne House Group, which operates a number of social enterprises alongside its educational offer to women and award-winning School for Social Entrepreneurship.

AA global judge Joanna Newman

Dr Joanna Newman MBE

Chief Executive and Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Joanna Newman joined the ACU in April 2017. It is the world's oldest international university network, with more than 500 members in over 50 countries. Joanna’s previous positions include Vice-Principal (International) at King’s College London, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit (now Universities UK International) and Head of Higher Education at the British Library. In 2014, she was awarded an MBE in recognition of her work promoting British higher education internationally.

AA global judge Vivienne Stern

Vivienne Stern

Director, Universities UK International (UUKi)

Prior to her role in UUKi, which represents UK universities internationally, Vivienne was Head of Political Affairs at Universities UK. She previously worked in Parliament for the Chair of the Education and Skills Select Committee, and as a higher education policy specialist.

She is a Director of UUK; a member of the Board of the UK India Research and Innovation Initiative and the Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education Fund and a member of the British Council’s Education Advisory Group.

AA Global Judge Cathy Walsh 2

Cathy Walsh OBE

CEO, ACE*E Leadership Services

Cathy Walsh is the CEO of ACE*E leadership services, and has led transformational change within several challenging London FE colleges. Cathy’s work has won several national awards, particularly for the engagement of students in entrepreneurial activities. 

Invested for her services to further education in 2015 and recognised by the Times FE Educational newspaper with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, she was the Mayor of London’s first appointed FE CEO to the London Enterprise Panel. 

Claire Pimm

Director, GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign , Department for International Trade (DIT)

Claire Pimm is a senior civil servant and member of the Government Communications Service. She is an experienced senior manager with professional expertise in all areas of campaigning, communications, marketing and public affairs, and has held a number of roles in Government. Her most recent roles were the interim Director for the GREAT Britain campaign and Deputy Director for campaigns, research and insight for No. 10, the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office communications. 

Maddalaine Ansell

Director Education, British Council

Maddalaine was previously CEO at University Alliance. Prior to this she was at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills where she worked closely with Lord David Willetts, then Minister for Science and Universities. 

She completed an undergraduate degree in Classics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, trained and practiced as a lawyer in large international legal practices and after six years joined the civil service fast stream. 

The Alumni Awards recognise the achievements of international alumni of UK universities in three different categories: Entrepreneurial, Professional Achievement and Social Impact. The three global winners are chosen from the 21 global finalists by our judging panel members above.