BEIS official wins leadership award

Mumdood Passa wins emerging leader award from The Whitehall and Industry Group for his work helping a small charity supporting pregnant women in Kenya


By Suzannah Brecknell

19 May 2020

Mumdood Passa BEIS policy adviser

A policy advisor at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has been named joint winner of an award that recognises emerging leaders across both the public and private sectors.

Mumdood Passa was given the The Whitehall & Industry Group Emerging Leader Impact Award for his work through the Charity Next secondment scheme, which is run by WIG and forms part of the civil service Fast Stream. He spent six months on secondment to leading a campaign to raise money to support expectant mothers in rural Kenya through pregnancy support groups.

The campaign was run in partnership with the Department for International Development, as part of their UK Aid Match programme. Passa said the experience gave him “an important perspective on how organisations work with government” and was one of the most rewarding roles he has had.


“The secondment increased my confidence and developed my leadership skills, teaching me how to really forge a partnership, not for one event, but for the longer term. I was able to see what charities really need from government, and what government needs to listen to and learn from them,” he said.

Passa shared the award with David Bowman a regulatory analyst for the National Grid. The Emerging Leader award is one of two given out by WIG each year to raise awareness of the benefit of developing leadership skills in a cross-sector environment and celebrate leaders who were able to demonstrate impact in their work.

The second gong – the Leadership Impact Award – was this year awarded to Jennifer Holmes, chief commercial officer at the not-for-profit organisation, the London Internet Exchange. Holmes took part in WIG’s Step up Step Across leadership programme and became the first female leader within a male-orientated tech environment for 12 years.

All nominees for both awards have been part of a cross-sector leadership programme or had been on a secondment into another sector, brokered by WIG, in order to share experience and skills between the civil service and wider public sector, and industry.

WIG chief executive Simon Ancona said: “It is always heart-warming to see meaningful and lasting change generated by participation in a WIG leadership programme. Having had this experience at the early stages of their careers, this learning will fundamentally shape and contribute to their future development and achievements”

 The Awards’ judging panel is made up of leaders from all sectors, including Debbie Alder, director general, people & capability Group, at the Department for Work and Pensions. Commenting on this year’s awards, Alder said: “As a WIG trustee, it is always one of my happiest duties to serve on the Leadership Impact Awards judges panel and see the rich results of the programmes WIG offers. Understanding and working across the sectors, and incorporating different perspectives into your thinking and work can be dismissed as non-essential but this is wrong.

 “We all need to work constructively across the sectors, learn from and benefit from the different ways of approaching the challenges that face us all.  I am delighted to see this year’s entries and I offer my congratulations to the deserving winners. Whilst the awards celebration must be virtual this year, it should in no way diminish their achievement.”

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