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: Arturo Alarcon Rodriguez (Brazil)

University of Strathclyde

Arturo is a Senior Energy Specialist, where he has helped to generate more than $3 billion in investment in energy projects in Latin America. In Bolivia, he led a rural electrification programme to enable access to electricity to 15,000 people, and supervised the construction of a hydro-electric powerplant. He credits his UK education with introducing him to innovative energy solutions that are still considered ‘new’ today, positioning him at the forefront of his field.

EAST ASIA: Dr Helena Hurairah (Brunei)

King’s College London

Helena is the Founder of the Brunei Ophthalmology Society and has screened more than 200 at-risk patients since relocating to Brunei. Helena led the design and creation of sustainable, face masks to support frontline healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The design has been shared around the world, and was recognised with a Commonwealth Points of Light award by the UK government in 2020. Helena attributes her UK education and the values instilled in her while working for the NHS. 

EUROPE: Christel Adamou (France)

Durham University

Christel is the first Director of the Ethics Office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Her work is building transparency and accountability in the workplace, helping to foster a professional organisational culture for ADB. Christel has applied the business and leadership skills she developed at Durham University to confront health crises such as Ebola and Zika, build partnerships with governments, and improve organisational effectiveness.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: Daniel Bassey (Yemen)

Swansea University and University of South Wales

Since completing his MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion, Daniel has focused his work on areas of conflict and humanitarian emergencies. He acted as a Health Project Manager during the 2014–16 Ebola outbreak, and later partnered with a local NGO to provide customised 3D limbs to neglected casualties of the Yemen War. Now Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which in 2017 won the Nobel Peace Prize for its campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons.

SOUTH ASIA: Dev Aditya (India)

Brunel University London

Dev is the Managing Director of Otermans Institute, which delivers professional skills training to disadvantaged and rural students in South Asia. As Deputy President of Brunel University’s student union, Dev raised more than £185,000 to launch a green transport system in the local community. In 2021 Dev was recognised by the UK government with a Points of Light award for his book Together: An anthology from the COVID-19 pandemic, which benefits NHS Charities and frontline services in India.

SOUTH ASIA: Yama Yari (Afghanistan)

Imperial College London and University of Brighton

Yama is the former Minister of Transport and Minister of Public Works in Afghanistan. He set up the country’s first national procurement authority, introducing a series of anti-corruption reforms that saved close to $500 million in public funds. His work improved transparency and accountability in the Afghan government, and significantly reduced mismanagement of government spending. In 2016 Yama was awarded a State Medal of Honour by the President. He is now Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Germany.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Sanusi Ohiare (Nigeria)

De Montfort University and University of Dundee

Sanusi is the youngest Executive Director of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Fund, a position he was appointed to by the President. His work has helped to increase private sector participation and involvement in renewable energy, and secured more than four billion naira in government funding. In 2020 Sanusi was named Young Leader of the Year at the African Power. He attributes much of his success to the quality of research and high academic standards he experienced in the UK. 

WIDER EUROPE: Afgan Bakhishov (Azerbaijan)

University of Manchester

Afgan is a former Director of the legal department at the Financial Markets Supervisory Authority of Azerbaijan, and also served on its executive board. Afgan led a team to draft amendments to Azerbaijan’s financial regulations, ensuring financial stability and harmonisation with EU regulation. In 2019 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to be part of a working group to prepare Azerbaijan for membership of the World Trade Organisation. Afgan is a Chevening scholar.