Diversity and Inclusion Champion biographies

The Government Analysis Function (AF) Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is supported by our D&I Champions. There are three Champion groups:

  • Attract Champions
  • Build Champions
  • Create Champions

Attract Champions

Patrick Rickles

Patrick Rickles, Head of Digital Skills and Innovation (North Sea Transition Authority)

“My role at the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) focuses on establishing a digital academy for upskilling colleagues on spatial and non-spatial technologies. I also experiment with cloud technologies and scripting languages to innovate with geospatial artificial intelligence and machine learning.

I am Deputy Head of Diversity and Inclusion for the Government Geography Profession, and I also handle much of our design, communications and tech work. Coming from academia, I can see many crossover opportunities for students in Civil Service.

I have regular engagement with universities and external organisations as part of the Government Geography Profession, encouraging students from all backgrounds to join.

I am excited by the opportunity to extend this to even more disciplines that are part of the other professions of Government and act as a champion of Diversity and Inclusion for them”.

Laura Armstrong

Laura Armstrong, Head of Private Office for Director for Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence (KAI) (His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs)

“I’m a tax professional by background but have been working alongside analysts in KAI for about five years.  I have a keen interest in people issues and have taken an active part in many initiatives including the National Mentoring Consortium and delivering disability masterclasses to managers across His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

I’m always keen to see how we can make our recruitment process as inclusive as possible to ensure we have a diverse range of future leaders in the Civil Service.  I look forward to working with the Analysis Function to deliver its Diversity and Inclusion strategy”.

Build Champions

Rob Green

Rob Green, Lead Analyst for People, Capability and Change (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

“I’ve been a Government Statistician since 2002, working in HM Revenue & Customs, the Department for International Development and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

My current role involves analysing Diversity and Inclusion for staff in my department. I wanted to work on D&I across different organisational levels, learning as much as possible and contributing where I can. So I volunteered for the AF D&I group and am also part of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) D&I group.

I’ve always felt strongly about fairness and believe that all people should be treated as individuals and with respect. I hope for a world where opportunity is given to people fairly, based on their aptitude and potential.

The civil service can lead the way in fair treatment of current and future employees. This will lead to a more diverse, talented, and effective organisation, delivering better outcomes for people in the UK.

All staff should be given the support they need and the opportunity to develop satisfying and rewarding careers. I’m excited to be part of the Build programme which advances those aims in the Analysis Function.”

Ben Cowey, Senior Manager, Resource Allocation and Modelling (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

“If anyone was in doubt about underlying tensions in our society and the need for greater diversity and inclusion, then the last year has certainly highlighted these.

As the UK Civil Service, it is vitally important we represent the population we serve otherwise we will struggle to deliver for all areas of society. In addition to being the right thing to do, diversity in our workplace is essential to designing policies that represent all UK citizens. This is why diversity and inclusion matter to me. Since joining my current team I have worked to make it more diverse and inclusive. I am very excited to work across the Analysis Function to do the same”!

Create Champions

Jo Lee

Jo Lee, Data Scientist (10 Downing Street)

“I joined the Civil Service five years ago as a data scientist, after completing a PhD in Computational Biochemistry.

The most successful teams I’ve been part of are inclusive and promote diversity of thought. Diversity of thought challenges preconceptions and provides space to explore better solutions that we might otherwise have missed.

Despite the strategic importance, implementing this is challenging but can be done by creating a safe environment to allow change. In doing this, we can create a culture of empowerment where analysts can and do speak up, are heard, and experiment with new ideas. Then we all benefit”.

Paul Vickers

Paul Vickers, Deputy Director Insights Division, Analysis and Data Directorate, (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC))

“Over the course of my career in the Civil Service I have worked in a number of departments, including the Home Office, His Majesty’s Treasury and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). I lead a multidisciplinary analytical team in DLUHC. I have been involved in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) for many years, having previously been a Diversity Champion in the ONS and sponsored the implementation of the Carers Passport which led to other types of passport which are now widely used across the Civil Service.

I am passionate about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their personal characteristics or background, can be the best version of themselves, can bring their authentic self to work and can be given the opportunity to develop and grow. I currently oversee the development of D&I statistics in DLUHC and am leading a group looking at diversity, inclusion and policymaking across the department.

I look forward to working with others across the Analysis Function to embed an inclusive culture where everyone is given a chance to succeed and take on high priority or challenging roles, and where the value that diverse perspectives add to our analytical outputs is widely recognised and valued”.

More about the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

You can find more about the D&I strategy on our webpage.