March 30, 2023


Andrew Chapman

Every year, we welcome 60 volunteer judges to assess nominations for the Diana Award. These judges are experts in their fields, comprised of a range of business and education professionals, social activists, and young people, some of which are Diana Award recipients themselves. What they all have in common is the belief that young people deserve to be recognized, valued and their accomplishments celebrated. We want to say a huge thank you to all of our dedicated judges for your commitment and passion – meet them all below.

Every year, we welcome 60 volunteer judges to assess nominations for the Diana Award. These judges are experts in their fields, comprised of a range of business and education professionals, social activists, and young people, some of which are Diana Award recipients themselves. What they all have in common is the belief that young people deserve to be recognized, valued and their accomplishments celebrated. We want to say a huge thank you to all of our dedicated judges for your commitment and passion – meet them all below.


Samantha Alcock headshot

Samantha Alcock 

Sammy has worked for both Durham University and the London School of Economics in their volunteer departments, working to support and empower students to volunteer whilst at university and make the world a better place. She is originally from the Peak District and attended Durham University, becoming a Master of Chemistry and now lives and works in London. It was whilst she was at university that she found her passion for fundraising and volunteering. 

Sammy has loved spending her time working with students who have an appetite and motivation to make the world a better place and to make a difference. After being a judge last year and hearing all of the phenomenal stories of young people across the world, she was inspired once again to be a judge and support the incredible work of The Diana Award.

David Levien

David has been an innovative outstanding teacher for over 33 years in Lancashire and Salford. David has successfully nominated 60 plus young people for the Diana Award, tracking back to our early beginnings. David represented the City of Salford and the schools he served at The Diana Award’s 15th Anniversary Reception at Downing Street in 2014. David also attended The Diana Award’s events in Lowry, Salford 2015, Leeds College of Music, 2018, and The Diana Award’s 20th Anniversary Celebration at the House of Lords in 2019. 

David retired in 2015, but remains active in education. David is Chair of Salford City Chairs and Vice Chairs Forum. David does voluntary work with the Anne Frank Trust connecting to their Student Ambassadors Scheme. David attended and supported an ‘Anne Frank Student Ambassadors’ team co-hosting a reception in Parliament marking the 90th Anniversary of Anne Frank’s birthday. 

David is a passionate advocate of student voice, wellbeing, and mentoring. Today, David promotes many of these issues through his work across the Greater Manchester Region.

Brenda Okorogba headshot

Brenda Okorogba 

Brenda Okorogba is a multi-award-winning learning experience designer, grants specialist, and a training consultant. She is a dedicated advocate for equitable education, economic dignity, gender equity, social inclusion, community wellness, and collective prosperity. Brenda is the founder of ‘Momentswithbren Consulting’, a Canadian boutique professional training and coaching firm that focuses on promoting holistic development, educational equity, economic dignity and an emotionally agile community. Brenda has provided college and career readiness coaching to diverse students across the world who have successfully secured $80.4 million in scholarships. 

Brenda also contributes her time to social impact organisations in Canada through board governance and she’s currently serving as Board Director of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa, the Canadian Council for youth Prosperity, and the Students Commission of Canada.


Sophiet (Nung) Sirisot headshot

Sophiet (Nung) Sirisot

Sophiet (Nung) Sirisot is a student at the University of York, studying BSc Psychology in Education with the goal of becoming an Educational Psychologist. She aspires to make a difference in the world by spreading kindness and raising awareness of mental health, bullying, and the impact of bereavement. Sophiet aims to do this by being resilient, dynamic, thoughtful, influential, emotionally committed, committed and compassionate. She is extremely excited to be given the opportunity to help shape our future and inspire the future of tomorrow, our future leaders, our future teachers, our doctors. Sophiet is a proud recipient of the Diana Award 2021 and a former member of The Diana Award National Youth Board. She is an all rounded, diverse individual with invaluable experience and fluency in English and Thai. 

Stephen Skeet headshot

Stephen Skeet

Stephen Skeet has worked in Youth Justice, youth homelessness and with care experienced young people for twenty years. He is currently serving as the director of Volunteering Matters. Stephen has seen youth social action and activism not only change communities and sectors, but be a catalyst for young people to heal and to find their voice, changing their own lives too. He believes that he is privileged to see this everyday in his role as part of the team that coordinates the #iWill Movement across the UK on behalf of our #iWill Ambassadors and Champions.  

Keely Cat-Wells 

Keely is a Disability Rights Activist and the Founder of C Talent. Keely founded her first company at a young age during her time in hospital, which developed into C Talent, an award-winning talent management and consulting company that represents Disabled talent. C Talent’s goal is to change the way that the world views and defines disability. C Talent was acquired by creator commerce company, Whalar. This acquisition marks one of the largest investments ever made in Disabled talent within the creator industry. Keely has been appointed as an Advisory Board Member to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, is a Forbes 30 under 30 honouree and Diana Award recipient. Keely has participated as a subject matter expert in discussions with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.  


Leigh-Taylor Arundale

Leigh-Taylor Arundale 

Leigh-Taylor Arundale is a 14-year-old student and a Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassador, which she is extremely passionate about. Her goal in life is to raise as much money for as many charities as she possibly can, and hopefully make a difference in the world. She has already worked with McMillan Cancer Support, Dementia UK, and various children’s charities. Leigh-Taylor has supported the RBL (Poppy Appeal) since she was 5 years old and now helps every year with the parade and acts as a traffic marshal. 

When Leigh-Taylor was 9 years old, she received the Diana Award for raising money and producing personalised poppy keyrings for every student in her school. At the ages of 11 and 14, she was nominated for the Yorkshire Choice and the Leeds Compassionate Awards (also knows as the Unsung Hero Award). Last year, Leigh-Taylor contact all her local schools to rally around the Help the Ukraine appeal and managed the transport of all donations along with a local business.

Elizabeth Yiangou headshot

Elizabeth Yiangou

Having worked for Barclays for over 20 years, Elizabeth has operated in a number of different roles but currently operates as a Business Development Manager in the Intermediary Mortgage Market. Elizabeth is also a Trustee for Home-Start UK Epsom Ewell and  Banstead. Last year Elizabeth was part of the 12 week mentoring programme supporting a group of students aged 15-16 years old all with SEMH (Special Emotional Mental Health difficulties). This opportunity was extremely inspiring and rewarding. 

Although the last few years have been challenging, Elizabeth believes it has also been the most rewarding in terms of personal development. She has become far more adaptable and resilient. She feels like a much stronger, more-rounded and better person and is ready to step outside of her comfort zone and do something different and support an amazing charity! She feels honoured to have been selected as part of the 2023 Diana Award judging panel and looks forward to making a difference.

Alex Bell FRSA headshot

Alex Bell FRSA

Alex is director of several consultancies, designing and leading award-winning coaching-based leadership programmes for young people and leaders in the business, charity and education sector globally. His clients include The Eden Project, the Ministry of Defence, the government of Barbados, the Museum of London, the City of London and school leaders across four continents. His NGO was named top 100 education innovation globally in 2020 and 2021. Alex is never happier than when helping young people share their wisdom on a global platform and is delighted to be returning as a judge here again in 2023. 

Alex is currently Director of and The Power of Us Agency.


Mishal Faraz 

Mishal Faraz is a 16 year old high school student at The Winchester School, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mishal is passionate about spreading awareness about climate change and raising funds for the education of children in underprivileged nations. She firmly believes that everyone has the responsibility to give back to the planet and to the community; young people hold the power to transform the world, and that one small effort is all it takes to create the ripple effect. Mishal received the Diana Award in 2020, and in 2021, she was chosen as the winner of the U-16 category of the Canon Young Champion of the Year Award.

Rachel Beattie headshot

Rachel Beattie 

Rachel is an extremely proud Diana Award 2021 recipient. Rachel is passionate about creating impactful and long-lasting change to create a completely inclusive world. From being the co-founder of luxury clothing brand Careaux with her sister Laura through to creating and delivering workshops on how we can all ‘Create and Change the World with Maths’, to volunteering, fundraising and mentoring - collaboration, supporting others and positive impact are at the heart of what drives Rachel. Being a recipient, Rachel has seen how incredible the community is and the amazing changemakers who are changing the world every day.  

Barrington Chungulo headshot

Barrington Chungulo 

Barrington Chungulo founded The Dream Factory in 2017 when he realised that it was the lack of opportunities, exposure, and vision, which prevented young people from achieving their dreams. He had great hopes that through The Dream Factory, a Zambian leveraged non-profit social enterprise, this problem would be solved. 

Since establishing The Dream Factory in 2017, Barrington has gained huge notoriety. He is a multi-award-winning Zambian Social Entrepreneur and Global Changemaker, listed among the 2022 ‘100 Zambian Men Taking the Lead’, the 2021 ‘100 Most Influential Young Africans’, and ‘eYs Magazine Top 5 Humanitarians 2020’. Barrington is also a 2021 Diana Award Recipient, as well as a 2021 ‘You Make A Difference – Humanitarian Award Recipient’ and a 2020 ‘African Youth of the Year’ Male Award Winner.


Nojus Saad headshot

Nojus Saad 

Nojus Saad is the President of Youth For Women Foundation, making him the youngest Iraqi CEO of a French multinational organisation. Nojus brings 7+ years of community research, capacity-building, and advocacy expertise in mental healthcare, gender and digital inclusion. He has directly served 5000+ youth and women in 52 rural and marginalized societies in Iraq, India and France. 

Nojus is the Partnership for Maternal, New born and Child Health (PMNCH) Vice Chair at the World Health Organisation, which he represents at the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women, WHO’s Global Conference on Health Promotion, and the International Aids Conference. He is an advisor on locally-led development at Bond UK, a Kofi Annan ChangeMaker, and a One Young World Ambassador. Nojus is also a Clinton Foundation student at Vanderbilt University and a certified MD.

Nicola Harteveld headshot

Nicola Harteveld 

Nicola’s work with young people started 6 years ago, after her 14-year-old daughter Megan took her own life. After this tragic event, Nicola was motivated by a need to ensure that other parents did not suffer the same devastating loss due to bullying. She appeared on This Morning with Phil and Holly to raise awareness of teen suicide and bullying. Following her appearance, ITV launched their Be Kind Campaign. 

Since 2017, Nicola has completed a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree and founded the Megan’s Starr Foundation, an Anti-Bullying charity that champions youth mental health. Through her work, Nicola has been empowered and inspired by the way that young people have the ability to change the trajectory of their own future, by believing in themselves. Because of this, one of the most often used phrases heard in Megan’s Starr Foundation is ‘Always believe in yourself’.

Randa Zalman headshot

Randa Zalman, DBA 

After 20 successful years as a marketing professional, agency principal and entrepreneur, Randa transitioned to higher education. She currently serves as an assistant professor of marketing and MBA programs. Randa is a recognized thought leader on the power and appropriate use of new media, including social media and digital placement. Randa has been a featured speaker at seminars and conferences across the glove and has served on multiple boards of directors for industry organisations. She is a volunteer mentor and hosted a popular monthly webinar series, Social Media Saturdays. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Nebraska in Communication Studies. She recently graduated with a doctorate in business administration from Saint Leo Studios.  


Viha Thumar headshot

Viha Thumar 

Viha Thumar is an entrepreneur, a social activist, an environmentalist, a volunteer, a leader, and a people person. In 2021, she received the Diana Award for founding a non-profit social organisation – ‘Scrapwings’ that has a twofold aim of giving an assured livelihood to the impoverished women from rural areas of her state and reducing the negative environmental effects of textile waste in her city which is known as a textile hub. Viha is honoured to highlight all of the incredible changemakers who are making this world a better place.  

Bethan Stimpson headshot

Bethan Stimpson

Head of Legacy for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Bethan was recognised in the 2023 King’s New Years Honours List for services to young people. Bethan co-designed the first Commonwealth Games mini-volunteering programme for young people that felt locked out of the other Games’ opportunities. She established Gen22 for 16-24 year olds in 2023 which has successfully empowered more than 1000 young people to lead social action in their communities. A Chartered Accountant, in the last four years Bethan has successfully won £3m+ in new funding for the West Midlands and has used her financial background to maximise the impact of grant funding regionally and nationally.  

Muhammad Hussein Bin Abdullah headshot

Muhammad Hussein Bin Abdullah 

Muhammad Hussein has 7 years of experience working with fintech start-ups, training, event management, and consultancy companies. He has dedicated himself to recruitment, training, learning and development, talent management, and employee engagement activities. Currently, he is working with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), is a national trade promotion agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. 

He can speak up to 5 languages including Malay, English, Tamil, Basic Mandarin, and Basic Cantonese. He also has good communication skills and presentation skills as a trainer. In 2020, he has co-founded DeRiA, an award-winning environmental education non-profit in Malaysia. DeRiA was envisioned with the overarching mission of empowering students and teachers to build a more just and sustainable world through environmental advocacy, outreach, training and advisory programmes.


Esther Oluwaseun Gbadebo headshot

Esther Oluwaseun Gbadebo 

Esther is currently an NHS Youth Forum Member and is passionate about ensuring the voices of young people are heard. She stands as an advocate for change, both in her community and globally. From a young age, Esher has been following The Diana Award and has been inspired by Diana Award recipients such as Vee Kativhu. Esther is studying Medical Microbiology at the University of Leicester. She is honoured to be selected to be on the judging panel for the 2023 Diana Award.  

Ian Harvey headshot

Ian Harvey FRSA SFIPM 

Ian is currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Place Management, a Fellow of the RSA and the Secretary to a Parliamentary Group. He is a founding director of a community shop and a joint-founder of the charity Civic Voice. He is also a judge for the Visa Best Towns Award and a member of the UK Government’s High Street Task force Executive Group and Historic England’s Places Panel. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of place leadership, Ian has demonstrated his ability to drive change and make a positive impact in the communities he serves.  

Lauren Galley Martinez headshot

Lauren Galley Martinez

Lauren is an award winning mentor, a Diana Award recipient, author and founder of Girls Above Society, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering young girls to be confident, kind and cyber-smart. At age 12, Lauren was among the first to ever be cyber-bullied. One of Lauren’s proudest goals in 2022 is her partnership with global women who administer her signature GIRL TALK Curriculum in remote regions of Africa. Lauren believes when we give girls the mentorship and tools needed to combat challenges with high self-esteem, they have the power to change the world.  


Archie Parekh headshot

Archie Parekh 

Archie Parekh is a medical student who has held several leadership and education roles in international, national, and regional organizations. She is currently working on a project furthering AI in healthcare. As a recipient of several awards including the Diana Award, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Award for Excellence, HH Sheikh Hamdan Excellence Certificate, and GSYUN Silver Award, she recognises the need to give young change-makers a bigger platform to spread the message of their work.  

Dr. Laura Bradley McCauley headshot

Dr. Laura Bradley McCauley

Dr Laura Bradley McCauley is a senior lecturer in marketing. Her research focuses on SMEs and entrepreneurship. She leads on a number of EU projects and is part of the Atlantic Futures. She regularly undertakes SME consultancy. She is a board member of a number of third sector organisations and an external examiner at a number of UK Universities. She is also a Director of ASET Ltd. Laura has presented at a number of conferences and published widely. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and leads the Help to Grow programme for Ulster University Business School. 

Saad Uakkas 

Saad Uakkas is a youth climate and engagement activist, TEDx speaker and Diana Award recipient, One Young World Ambassador, UNESCO young researcher, WHO infodemic manager, Gates Foundation Goalkeeper, Clinton global initiative fellow, and Chevening scholar. He had leadership positions representing youth in 60 global meetings, organised 35 campaigns and events, and occupied leadership positions for years in global youth organisations and coordinated medical students’ global COVID-19 response. He is now the North Africa Coordinator of the African Youth Coordinator of the African Youth Initiative for Climate, the RCRC Climate Centre youth advisory board and led the organisation for the first-ever COP27 children and youth pavilion.  


Nathamon (Hilight) Silprachawong headshot

Nathamon (Hilight) Silprachawong 

Nathamon (Hilight) Silprachawong is a freshman from International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. Nathamon is passionate about inspiring, advocating on social issues – particularly the SDGs – and empowering young people through the Source of Success (SOS) interscholastic, youth-led platform. As the founder of SOS, Nathamon also enjoys utilizing technology for digital activism and journalism advocacy, in which I’ve written articles that have shed light on various topics based on barrier-breaking interviews with role models – the regional UN Women Ambassador, leaders, representatives, and many more. Nathamon believes that age is not a barrier to success, but rather a limitation that you put on your mind.  

Jon Salmon headshot

Jon Salmon 

Jon Salmon is an award-winning video producer, mental health advocate and proud father of two wonderful children. As Co-CEO of Speakers Collective, Jon helps to challenge stigma and facilitate important conversations with lived experience speakers. Jon is also a trustee for Let’s Talk About Loss, a young person’s bereavement charity and speaks openly about his own mental health in the hope that it will help others and save lives.  

Danny Lamb headshot

Danny Lamb 

Danny Lamb is a Canadian Singer/Songwriter, Music Philanthropist, Speaker, Teacher, and Founder, of Danny Lamb School Of Music, as well as the Creator of a Global Music initiative called ‘A Song, A City’, to raise awareness for two conditions he lives with known as Hydrocephalus & Spina Bifida.

Danny strongly believes in the power of music to bring out the best in people, community, and the world, is passionate about empowering the voices, stories, and abilities of young people through music.


Ajay Gokul S headshot

Ajay Gokul S 

Ajay is the founder and president of Global Madras, India’s first student-led think tank from the state of Tamil Nadu which analyses International Relations from subnational perspectives. With an Engineering major and a minor in International Relations, he won the ‘Young Diplomat 2021’ Scholarship to attend a summer school based in The Hague, Netherlands. In his various capacities, including as a social impact facilitator and advisor to his local Member of Parliament, Ajay has effectively leveraged technology to address global challenges that transcend borders. His ultimate goal is to embed foreign policies at grassroots levels of governance to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.  

Lucy Kebell headshot

Lucy Kebell 

Lucy received the Diana Award in 2005 for volunteering in her local community in Wales and is thrilled to be on the judging panel having gained so much from volunteering herself. Lucy is passionate about recognising young people going above and beyond to make a difference. 

As Programme Officer for Youth Volunteering at Speakers for Schools, Lucy works with charities to engage young people in volunteering across the UK. Before that she co-ordinated volunteering at the University of Derby. During her own time at University, Lucy was on the youth advisory board for vInspired and completed their leadership programme.

Karina Bhasin headshot

Karina Bhasin

An action-driven advocate for Equality and justice envisioning building an ecosystem for the social-economic inclusion of marginalized women in India and other parts of South Asia. Her primary work has been creating solutions around accessibility, affordability, sustainability, and scalability of an inclusive and equally-just economy for women and the underserved.  Enabling women to build their agency to make decisions through informed choices, has been fundamental to her approach. She has been instrumental in pioneering and establishing business models and first-of-its-kind of initiatives and campaigns in the field of Mobility, Skilling, Inclusive Public Spaces, Livelihoods, and Entrepreneurship by mainstreaming Gender-lens.  


Zehn Kashyap headshot

Zehn Kashyap

Zehn Kashyap is a student of Grade 10 at Vasant Valley School, New Delhi, India. 

She represents the growing population of students worldwide who have special needs and has frequently used her voice to speak up for those less privileged than her. Zehn is, today, an internationally published writer, award winning speaker and an advocate for de-stigmatizing disability. She has advocated for and driven numerous programs for causes around different-ness, mental health, and diversity in international and national forums. 

Zehn’s audiobook ‘L’(Extra)ordinaire’ launched at the 2023 Hyderabad Literary Festival, is an ode to the power of different-ness and a tribute to the value of kindness and empathy.

Lauren Hart headshot

Lauren Hart 

Lauren is a Drama Therapist and Theatre Maker with 15 years of extensive experience working with children, young people and adults in a variety of educational, community and professional organisations in the UK, Germany, and South Africa. This includes schools, charities, children’s social care settings and residential. She offers consultancy for a variety of children’s services relating to Dramatherapy and Psychotherapy practice, safeguarding, trauma-informed practice, attachment and developmental trauma. 

Her specialist areas of work include psychotherapy, therapeutic theatre, complex mental health, care experienced children, autism, behavioural difficulties, attachment disorder, grief, developmental trauma, domestic abuse and youth at risk of exclusion.

Dr. Atsu Dede Latey headshot

Dr. Atsu Dede Latey

Dr Atsu Latey is a Ghanian, a medical doctor by profession, and a health financing and policy specialist in training, who is currently pursuing a joint Masters programme in Health Policy Planning and Financing at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He identifies as a social justice advocate, having founded MindITGH, a toll-free mental health service which facilitates the provision of accessible and affordable mental healthcare to Ghanaians. His works in social entrepreneurship have received some recognition from The BBC, The World Bank Group, UNDP and FAIMER.


Neelika Chakrabarti headshot

Neelika Chakrabarti

Neelika Chakrabarti is a Computer Science Engineer and Social Entrepreneur. She is currently working as a Functional Analyst Manager at HDFC Bank Ltd. She is also the Co-Founder of a mental health non-profit named Citta India. Neelika received the 2021 Diana Award for her work at Citta. She identifies as a polymath and has a wide array of interests in subjects ranging from technology to policy. She enjoys running, reading, and public speaking. She is also a trained classical dancer and singer. Neelika is passionate about creating impact-driven solutions and hopes to empower under-resourced communities through her endeavours.  

Shona Barker headshot

Shona Barker

Shona is an award-winning Chartered Accountant who has spent over 20 years giving back to local communities. She works for Cooper Parry as a Senior Tax Manager and volunteers for many charities such as parkrun UK, Young Enterprise and Crisis. As a trained Mental Health First Aider, Shona is passionate about tackling the stigma around mental ill health and rebalancing social inequalities.  

Frederick Featham headshot

Frederick Featham 

Frederick is a British/Greek Anti-Bullying campaigner, educationist, director of studies and owner of 2 schools in Greece. In 2014, he launched his multi-award-winning campaign, recognised internationally by organisations including The British Council, The British Embassy in Greece, and The Diana Award. He is a Board Member of the OLS national school network for which he has organised many award-winning projects including Volunteering Years, annual Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and Upskill training, the Greek National Youth Board, online Anti-Bullying Festivals and literary events. Frederick has been a guest speaker at events including UK Innovation Week 2017 in Athens and KindFest UK 2022. His campaign was showcased at The British Ambassador’s Residence in Greece as part of the 2017 birthday celebrations of HM Queen Elizabeth. He has served as a judge on Diana Award judging panels since 2018.  


Omid Gholamzadeh Nasrabadi headshot

Omid Gholamzadeh Nasrabadi

Omid Gholamzadeh is an award-winning social entrepreneur and mentor launching preventative healthcare, education, and entertainment organisations since 2017. He is a member and working-group lead at the UNESCO Education Global Cooperation Mechanism. Omid is an Unleash 2022 global talent, and Fulbright Scholar on economic development and entrepreneurship. In 2020, he became a Diana Award recipient for his dedication to fight heart diseases. Currently, he is mentoring different startups, and became a Schwarzman Scholar, willing to explore the intersection of public policy and social innovation to solve the education crisis. Omid is based in Italy. 

Deniz Reno headshot

Deniz Reno 

Deniz Reno is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter, award winning visual artist, writer, and DJ. In 2020, she founded TheFearlessNomad, an online blog platform through which she supports the international creative community by publishing interviews, hosting events and fundraisers to benefit young artists who use the visual medium, poetry or music as a means of self-expression.

Melissa Sassi headshot

Melissa Sassi

Dr. Sassi is alumni of Microsoft, IBM, BlackRock & Goldman Sachs. She’s now a tech startup founder, digital inclusion thought leader & youth advocate. As the Co-Founder & CEO of Skills Hustle, she solves the skills gap & turning learners into earners & lifetime learners. Her nonprofit, MentorNations, inspired tens of thousands of young changemakers to code in twelve countries, resulting in three UN award nominations. Dr. Sassi led startup programs funded by big tech with 225+ startups in her portfolio across 75 countries with investment capital exceeding $100M. Her doctoral thesis examined digital inclusion & its tie to solving the most pressing issues of our time which led to forming IEEE’s Digital Skills Working Group. She’s known for creating the world’s first Digital Skills & Readiness Standard endorsed by IEEE, the largest technical community for humanity globally. She’s led 400+ talks in the last four years with brands like United Nations, UNESCO, IEEE, World Bank, and more.  


Aditi Gandhi headshot

Aditi Gandhi 

Aditi is a Year 10 student studying at the Winchester School in Dubai. In 2016, she initiated the Go-Getters community group addressing Sustainability, Humanitarian, Healthcare and Social concerns with a vision to attain the UN SDGs. An integral part of the School Leadership Council, Aditi has progressively inspired and empowered her peers to become changemakers through fundraising initiatives, recycling drives and volunteering projects. As an internationally published author, radio show presenter, local news reporter and ardent debater, she embraces every opportunity to campaign for pertinent issues. Aditi is also the recipient of multiple national and international awards for her exemplary environmental and philanthropic work.

Grace Howourth headshot

Grace Howourth 

Grace has spent the last 10 years working in the youth sector and is passionate about the power of youth voice. Her current role is Head of Youth Engagement at the Woodland Trust, and previous roles have included Girl Voice Lead at Girlguiding UK, Community Engagement Manager at the British Science Association. Grace has also worked as a youth worker at Peabody Trust and IntoUniversity. She has recently completed a Masters in Education, Power and Social Change, and is passionate about supporting young people to make positive change in their world. 

Sidney Opiyo headshot

Sidney Opiyo 

Sidney Opiyo is an Environmental Scientist and conservation photographer. He is a conversation leader from Kenya who is passionate about working with young people to address disproportionate environmental challenges and enhance youth inclusion in policy spheres. He is an Impact Projects Lead and Environmental Educator at Tony Wild. He has a deep interest in working with youth at the grassroots level, youth-inclusive governance and policies, environmental storytelling, and climate action. He works to champion meaningful youth engagement for climate action with a background in Environmental Studies and Community Development. He is keen on the link between climate change and biodiversity conservation.  


Gabbi Westhead headshot

Gabbi Westhead

After judging on the Diana Awards 2022, Gabbi is extremely grateful to do it all again. Last year, Gabbi was inspired by the incredible stories of young people all over the world. Gabbi currently works as an Events Coordinator at RHS Garden Bridgewater and is a Mental Health Trainer for the Ambassadors of Hope Programme for Chasing the Stigma. Gabbi’s background involves play and youth work and family support work. She holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Child and Adolescent Health & Wellbeing.  

Wesley Erpen headshot

Wesley Erpen

Wes Erpen, Regional Manager for National Mentoring charity, 1MM (One Million Mentors) & trustee and Chairman of the UK Wide movement, Fixers UK, has spent the last 18 years working in the youth social action space, working predominantly with local and national youth organisations, to ensuring that they empower young people to use their voice and raise awareness of the issues important to them. 

Wes believes passionately in the power of social change and youth social action and wants to enable as many young people to have a voice, and reach their full potential as possible. Wes is thrilled to be a part of the 2023 Judging committee for the Diana Award and is looking forward to the challenge.

Lilian Efobi headshot

Lilian Efobi

Lilian Elochukwu Efobi serves as the Director of Programmes at Teens Can Code, an EdTech Coding Institute in Nigeria, and as an Intern at the Nigerian Institute of International. She is a master's graduate of International Relations with a professional certificate on Evidence in Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. Lilian has facilitated several governance and development programmes that promotes SDG 4, 5 and 16. She hopes to use her expertise to advocate for policies and programs that serve as foresights to innovations for economic growth, and development, through intelligence and evidenced based data. 

Lilian is also a 2021 Commonwealth Scholar, An African Union Innovator 2020, a Young Innovation Leader Fellow, and a 2021 Goldin Global Fellow.


Dawodu Oluwananumi headshot

Dawodu Oluwananumi 

Dawodu Oluwananumi is the Co-founder of DigiHealth Africa & Health Drive Nigeria an initiative focused on reducing the prevalence of the Hepatitis B virus in Nigeria through screening, vaccination, research and advocacy. He has worked on various projects ranging from software development, security and operations. He possesses an extensive experience in cybersecurity and handling varying security threats, and leading various security task forces.

Dawodu is a recipient of the 2021 Young Global Changemaker award in the Rising Impact Category by YEF Global London. He is also a 2021 recipient of the Diana Award, the most prestigious award/accolade for a young person in humanitarian service.

Shomy Hasan Chowdhury headshot

Shomy Hasan Chowdhury 

Shomy Hasan Chowdhury is an award-winning WASH activist from Bangladesh, and the Co-Founder of global non-profit Awareness 360. She is a development professional with 10+ years of experience in community development. Her notable recognitions include Forbes 30 under 30, President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold) by President Barack Obama, Putra Icon Award, and The Diana Award Legacy Award. She is also a Schwarzman Scholar, 2021 Diana Legacy Award Judge, Global Citizen Advocate, Asia Pacific’s first Samsung Global-UNDP Generation17 Ambassador, Specialist for the CEE initiative of the US State Department, International Election Observer and sits on leadership and advisory positions of multiple international organisations.  

Ida Na-Tei headshot

Ida Na-Tei

Ida is simply a young lady who is passionate about transforming Africa with innovation and technology through education. Most of her decisions are geared towards achieving this goal and as a result, she pursued a degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and is currently the CEO and co-founder of CTN Technologies. Her company CTN Technologies in partnership with Wentors Global mentored 85 young girls in technology from Ghana, West Africa. She is an SDG 4 youth advocate with UNICEF Ghana which allows her to drive for STEM education amongst girls. Ida has recieved several awards and recognitions including the Diana Award in 2018.  


Madeline Castrey headshot

Madeline Castrey 

Madeline is a 25 year old musician and past Diana Award recipient. With a varied career in performance on both stage and screen, Madeline also now runs a successful charity using music to change lives. She is just about to complete her PhD studies and works as one of the youngest Senior Lecturers in the UK. Recently she has appeared on several national television outlets talking about her new musical initiatives and is passionate about championing youth voices and empowering future generations.

Megan Abernathy Hope

Megan Abernathy-Hope is a 26-year old entrepreneur from Bristol, UK. After the loss of her younger brother, Megan turned her grief into regenerated energy to help others. Launching ‘BillyChip’ in 2018, a token scheme to help rough sleepers gain access to a takeaway drinks which was now been recognised nationally. After her diagnosis of ITP at the age of 17, Megan also started the campaign centre of excellence for IPT. Megan's experience living with the incurable immune disease, undergoing incapacitating treatments and experiencing a devastating personal loss propelled her into dedicating time for those in need.  

Ming Hong Choi headshot

Ming Hong Choi 

Ming Hong Choi is a Senior Analyst, Asia-Pacific Capital Markets at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), where he executes both sell-side and buy-side advisory on cross-border transactions to institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, globally.Before this, Ming worked at BlackRock as a Private Credit Analyst, where he analysed, structured, executed and monitored investment opportunities with a core emphasis on the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impact metrics across the Asia-Pacific region.

Outside of work, Ming actively contributes back to the community as a Deputy Chief Curator of the Young ChangeMakers Grants at the National Youth Council Singapore and as a Co-founder of DeRiA, an award-winning environmental education non-profit initiative based in Malaysia.For his professional and social work, Ming has been recognised as a World Cities Summit Young Leader, a Pacific Forum Young Leader, a Milken Institute Young Leader, and an EU-ASEAN Young Leader.


Riya Sharma headshot

Riya Sharma 

Riya is a gap year student from Dubai who aims to have the greatest possible impact. Her passion for driving social change led her to start her non-profit, work with UN policy advisors for an idea to bridge the gender gap in financing MSMEs for the 2922 UN APFSD Event, serve as an IRENA Youth Delegate at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, community-build for EA UAE, and receive the Diana Award, Best Pupil award, king Constantine Medal, Dubai Cares Young Philanthropists Silver Award, and Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar by the Indian Ministry of Forestry.  

Pamela Matta headshot

Pamela Matta

Pamela Valdivieso Matta is a social policy specialist with over a decade of experience advocating towards improving young people’s life chances in Latin America and the UK. As the first woman in her family to attain higher education, she is persistently motivated to work towards youth empowerment, by improving their access to higher education, especially for the most vulnerable. 

Pamela has worked as a senior aid and advisor to governmental ministries, international organisations, charities, and philanthropic bodies. Presently, she is a senior research and impact manager at Future Frontiers in London. Pamela has two master’s degrees from the University of Oxford, and the London School of Economic, with a focus on education policy and social research, respectively.

Rijve Arefin headshot

Rijve Arefin

Rijve Arefin, Co-Founder of Awareness 360, is a highly skilled and experienced professional in the field of community development and youth activism. Having established multiple award-winning social enterprises, he has received numerous accolades for his work, notably, Forbes 30 Under 30, UN Women 30 for 2030, Global Leader Award by UAE Royal Family, Putra Icon Award, and more. He also received The Diana Award and served as a Judge for the same. With a background as an Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact's Target Gender Equality Programme, Rijve is an exemplary advocate of gender equality.


Tahiris Castillo headshot

Tahiris Castillo 

Tahiris is a passionate Human Rights and democracy advocate and a 2019 Diana Award recipient. Born in Nicaragua, and currently based in Washington, D.C. Tahiris has an extensive experience in Human Services and fundraising for underserved communities in Latin America. Tahiris has been an activist for women’s education access and political prisoners in Nicaragua. She protested a communist dictatorship and was sent to jail several times, leading her to flea the country. Tahiris became an asylee in the United States. Her commitment at CASA allows her to continue serving the diverse immigrant communities to achieve full human rights and fair opportunities free from discrimination and fear. Tahiris believes young people’s influence can change societies and achieve a massive global impact in terms of positive change. She trusts that recognizing and celebrating the youth community service guide them to break more boundaries. Tahiris wishes to remind them that their intentions have meaning and that what they do as young people will last a lifetime.  

Cheryl Perera headshot

Cheryl Perera

Appointed to the Order of Ontario, distinguished as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100, Cheryl Perera is an international children's rights advocate.  She is the Founder and President of OneChild, the first organization in the world empowering children and youth to combat the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) through prevention education, advocacy, survivor care, and survivor empowerment, benefiting over 106,000 in 16 countries.

Cheryl is a sought-after speaker, sharing the stage with Royalty, Heads of State, UN Secretary-Generals, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Al Jazeera, Financial Times of London etc.

Ciro Galeno Jr.

Ciro Galeno Jr.

Ciro Galeno, Jr. is a non-profit professional from New York City.  He is the Executive Director of the Noble Maritime Collection, an art and history museum in Staten Island, New York.  He believes in kindness in leadership, and is passionate about the museum’s mission to serve the public, which includes providing arts education to up to 4,000 schoolchildren each year.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Arts, with a focus on graphic design, from St. John's University, and a Certificate in Art Collections Management and Display from New York University School of Professional Studies


Deryn Allen-Dyer headshot

Deryn Allen-Dyer 

Deryn Allen-Dyer is a 17-year-old college student from South Wales. Deryn is extremely excited to be chosen as a judge for the 2023 Diana Awards. As a recipient of the Award herself in 2017, she really understands what it means to be afforded this most prestigious Award. She is all too aware of the long journey that nominees have to take to get to this point and is looking forward to recognising the impact that they all have had and continue to have on their communities and our planet. As this is her second time acting as a Diana Award judge, Deryn is grateful to be given another chance to learn more about the inspiring young people who are enacting change all around the world. She truly subscribes to Princess Diana’s belief that ‘Young people have the power to change the world.’  

Gwen Madiba headshot

Gwen Madiba 

Gwen is an award winning international human rights' advocate, public speaker, entrepreneur and TV Host who has dedicated her life to empowering and supporting vulnerable women, youth and children globally. She is passionate about social causes and has travelled across North America, Africa, Europe and Latin America to provide important resources to vulnerable populations and create programs to best support their needs. 

She is the recipient of several awards including the Order of Ottawa, the United Way of Eastern Ontario community builder / Covid-19 Hero award, the Crime Prevention Ottawa Outstanding Achievement Award, the L'Oreal Paris Woman of Worth award to name a few.

Clegg Bamber MBE headshot

Clegg Bamber MBE 

In 2017, Clegg co-founded the Red Box Project whose mission was to ensure that no young person missed out on their education due to having their period. Following the growth of and demand for the Red Box Project, Clegg along with others launched a legal challenge against the Government relating to the Equality Act. The challenge successfully resulted in period products becoming freely available, for all learners in schools and colleges. In 2021, Clegg was honoured with an MBE for services to education following his work at the Red Box Project.

Related News

Press Release
The Award


Twenty outstanding young people honoured with Legacy Award for The Diana Award's 25th Anniversary year.



25 years ago The Diana Award was founded on the belief that young people have the power to change the world.

The Award


The Diana Award are privileged to be invited to the ‘My Life My Say’ Next Gen conference on the 25th November. We will join around 500 young people and a series of renowned speakers from the world of activism for an exciting day that will explore youth-led solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society.