Recognising UK alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond.

Global finalists

AMERICAS: Rodrigo Frias (Chile)

University of Sussex

Rodrigo is Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship Division at the Chilean Economic Development Agency (Corfo), helping start-ups to access public funding. This work has generated more than 1,000 new jobs and annual sales of £40,000,000. Rodrigo also leads initiatives to support the development of evidence-based innovation and entrepreneurship policies. He believes that his UK education helped to differentiate him in his chosen field, and opened doors to new career opportunities.   


EAST ASIA: Winston Liew (Malaysia)

University of Leeds

Winston is a curator and placemaker. Over the years, he has designed numerous citywide campaigns to promote arts, culture and sustainability, and works with leading companies to breathe new life into underperforming spaces, improve community engagement and boost economic growth. Through his ideas-sharing platforms TEDxPenangRoad, TEDxBangsar and Ideas Agent Meetup, he curates and coaches speakers to develop powerful narratives and brings multiple stakeholders together to inspire lasting change.

EUROPE: Lilia Petrosyan (Switzerland)

University of Essex

Lilia is a Consultant for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her responsibilities include support to organise the annual UN Forum on Minority Issues. In 2018 and 2019, she contributed to the elaboration of the thematic areas of the Forum, and supported the UN Special Rapporteur in developing guidance on eliminating statelessness. Studying in the UK inspired Lilia to make a positive difference in the world, and gave her access to a network of renowned human rights experts.

MENA: Emad Khalil (Egypt)

University of Southampton

Emad is the founder and Executive Director of the Alexandria University Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage (CMAUCH), a world-renowned academic and research institution. CMAUCH is the first facility in Egypt to offer degrees in maritime archaeology and the only to carry out underwater archaeological research. Emad was encouraged to set up the centre by his mentors in the UK, and is committed to supporting Egyptian students to pursue a UK education.    

SOUTH ASIA: Muhammad Ishfaq (Pakistan)

Nottingham University; Chevening scholar

Muhammad is an Assistant Professor at Islamia College Peshawar. He set up Pakistan’s first tissue banking facility and lymphoma research programme, which are providing new insights into the onset of cancer. Muhammad is now working with UK and US scientists to improve understanding of the development of cancer in the Pakistani population. He believes the hands-on work experience and life-long academic connections he made in the UK have prepared him for a successful scientific career. 


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Westone Khisa (Kenya)

University of Manchester

Dr. Khisa is a gynaecologist and fistula surgeon of repute with over 4,000 successful surgeries across Africa, the majority of them in disadvantaged rural areas. He is committed to eliminating and destigmatising fistula, a debilitating condition that isolates women from their community. Ninety-four per cent of his patients have successfully recovered. Westone is now leading work to develop Kenya’s first Female Genital Fistula Strategic Plan.

WIDER EUROPE: Tural Gulu (Azerbaijan)

University of Sheffield

Tural is Head of the International Cooperation Division at the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance. He is responsible for cooperation with health-related international organisations such as World Health Organisation and UNICEF. He is working on various projects to strengthen health care system in Azerbaijan. Tural describes his time in the UK as life changing. He had the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge, and professional network to drive forward his career in public health.