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HR leaders featured in 2024 new year honours list

The New Year Honours List for 2024 recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK

A number of HR leaders have been recognised in the New Year Honours List for 2024, which aims to recognise exceptional achievements from people across the country.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak described the new recipients as “the pride of this country and an inspiration to us all”.   

Here’s a round up of some of the HR-connected leaders who have been honoured. 


Louise Alexander

Louise Alexander, HR director for HM Courts and Tribunals Service 

Alexander received an OBE for public and voluntary service. She has been a trustee for Rowland Hill Fund, a charity that exists to financially support postal workers, for more than six years, having taken up the role in March 2017. 

She joined HM Courts and Tribunals Service from the Insolvency Service where she served as people and capability director. Prior to that, Alexander was deputy director of HR at the Department of Health, and head of HR for Royal Mail Operations. 


Gloria Wyse

Gloria Wyse, head of research and content at Business in the Community

Wyse received an MBE for services to diversity and inclusion. As head of research and content for responsible business network Business in the Community, she has written and compiled over 30 publications on race and diversity issues over the last ten years.

She told HR magazine: “I’m truly honoured to have been listed in the 2024 New Year Honours. I’m so passionate about diversity, inclusion and equity and while I’m so proud of what has been achieved, there is still so much to do.

"The work I have done throughout my career and the progress made on the agenda so far would not have been possible without all the incredible campaigners and employers that I’ve worked with over the years.”


Ruth Busby

Ruth Busby, people and transformational director for Great Western Railway  

Busby, who joined GWR in 2018, received an OBE for her work to improve diversity in the rail industry 

She joined GWR in 2018.  

She told the Oxford Mail: “The work that I and my brilliant teams have been doing has aimed to create greater equity and workforce diversity, so that we’re more representative of the communities we serve and have an environment where everyone can flourish.” 

“I’ve had the privilege of working with organisations and charities beyond the day job to help bring about some exciting and positive change. 

“I’m particularly proud of the work we’ve done to promote and support positive mental health and wellbeing, which is so important.” 



Huw Davies

Huw Davies, former chief executive of the British Association for Supported Employment 

Davies received an OBE for his achievements in helping disabled people to find work.  

“I am thrilled,” he said, commenting on LinkedIn. “It has been an absolute honour, privilege and pleasure to work in the supported employment sector for 30 years. 

“Supported employment is going from strength to strength, and will continue to do so. Keep up the good fight folks.” 



Ruth Devine

Ruth Devine, route panel member for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. 

Devine received an MBE for services to further education and apprenticeships.

She is credited with having helped to develop an employer-designed government apprenticeship for the electrotechnical sector in 2015, and having contributed to improving around 90 other apprenticeships, three T Levels and 20 Higher Technical qualifications.



Andrew Lothian

Andrew Lothian, founder and director of Insights Learning and Development 

Lothian was awarded an MBE for services to personal and professional development.

He founded Insights Learning and Development in 1993, after running a talent agency and music promotion business.

According to Lothian, Insights’ Discovery solution had a significant and sustained impact on staff engagement and retention and measurable reductions in stress levels and staff absences.  

Insights currently employs around 700 people in 19 countries. 


Melissa Richardson

Melissa Richardson, senior emerging talent manager for British Airways

Richardson was awarded an MBE for services to early careers in aviation.

Richardson led British Airways' partnership with The Prince’s Trust earlier this year to deliver its flagship “Get into Aviation with British Airways” programme.

The initiative supports young people from across London who are looking to secure a career in the industry through work experience opportunities or on one of British Airways apprenticeship programmes.



Karen Shepperson

Karen Shepperson, former director of people and operations for Ofsted 

Shepperson received an MBE for services to education.

She sat on the Ofsted executive board before her retirement last year and was chief advisor to the chief inspector on all people-related issues.

She has led large-scale people transformation in Ofsted including transfer in of contracted workforces, the move to a regional structure for the inspectorate, and new and innovative approaches to pay and recruitment as part of a wider approach to workforce strategy.

Shepperson has supported the organisation to become a top-performing civil service department for employee engagement and introduced an award-winning apprenticeship scheme focusing on improving social mobility. 

She wrote on LinkedIn: "I’m still coming back down to earth from the amazing honour of receiving an MBE. The award is very much shared with my incredible teams and colleagues from Ofsted whose achievements I’m so proud to have been part of."