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Cross-sector collaboration: Insights from a leaders' Playbook
Paul Morrison

Paul Morrison

Chief Executive, Planning Inspectorate

Paul Morrison started as Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate in December 2022. He comes to this role from the Ukraine Humanitarian Task Force where he helped create and lead the UK’s operation to allow Ukrainians displaced by the current conflict to find safety in this country.

He started his career by joining the Home Office in 1996 as an Administrative Officer. He has since spent time in a range of operational and policy roles across several Government departments including the Department for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Northern Ireland Office.

Roles have included:

• The Director of Planning Transformation in DLUHC - leading the Government’s programme to digitalise the planning system, overhaul legislation, and introduce new style local plans and citizen engagement.
• Director, Resettlement, Asylum Support and Integration - creating a multi-Departmental (across Home Office, MHCLG/DfID (as was)) new Directorate encompassing operations and policy. Successes included resettling 23,000 refugees in the UK by 2020.
• Leading In-country Migration Casework, UK Visas and Immigration, Home Office - leading a c3,500 strong operation, serving around 600k customers. Responsible for processing applications for student, work and family visa extensions, permanent settlement and awarding British Citizenship for naturalised citizens.
• Head of Counter Terrorism, Foreign and Commonwealth Office - leading the largest thematic policy Department in the FCO.
• Director, Prevent, Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), Home Office - acting as first SCS lead for Prevent across Government. Formulating the first genuine cross-Government strategy to stop people becoming terrorists or violent extremists (the Prevent Strategy) and developing a delivery infrastructure across the United Kingdom and internationally.

Mike Adamson

Mike Adamson

Chief Executive, British Red Cross

Mike became chief executive of the British Red Cross in October 2014. He heads the executive leadership team, working closely with the board of trustees in fulfilling their charitable mission. He is responsible for an annual income of £439 million.

Mike leads and collaborates with our over 4,000 staff, more than 12,000 volunteers, ensuring that as an organisation the British Red Cross are delivering maximum impact for people in crisis. He ensures that the services and programmes they provide in the UK and internationally are high quality, that they respond to the greatest need and that they are accountable to those they serve.

He serves on the Foreign Secretary's human rights advisory panel and the 5 Year Forward view Prevention Board for the NHS. He is also on the board of the Disasters Emergency Committee. In addition, he co-chairs, along with Maddy Desforges from NAVCA, the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership. Bringing together over 230 organisations, the Partnership's goal is to build greater national resilience to improve the experience of people affected by emergencies.

He began his career as an economist in commercial management consultancy. Before becoming chief executive, Mike performed a number of roles during his time at the British Red Cross. These included managing director of operations, head of international programme development, director for the London and south east region and director of strategy and planning and information systems.

He also held a number of executive appointments at other organisations. These included three years as director of commissioning and primary care at an NHS Primary Care Trust in Gloucestershire. He spent five years as managing director for services at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.

Anna Keeling

Anna Keeling

Senior Global Executive & Board Director, Aviation, Aerospace, Defence & Space

Anna has held CEO and global executive leadership roles for over two decades across the Aviation, Aerospace, Defence, and Automotive sectors. Highly motivated, curious, and creative, she is a recognised organisational change agent with extensive international experience gained from working across 30 countries and living in Australia, Switzerland, Poland, France, and the UK.

Beginning her career in the Automotive industry in Australia and Asia, Anna held senior engineering, commercial and programme management roles within global organisations including Hexcel Corporation, Cytec and GKN Aerospace, successfully building and leading high-performing global teams within complex technical and multi-cultural businesses. In her most recent role as Vice President and Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK where she led 2,600 staff, Anna was responsible for the growth, alignment, and business development of Boeing’s significant in-country defence programmes.

A Fellow of The Royal Aeronautical Society and holding degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration, with an MBA from the University of Melbourne, Anna is passionate about the importance of STEM as well as advancing diversity, inclusion, and gender equality. Anna actively supports female talent development within the global corporate environment and was named one of the 100 Women to Watch in The Female FTSE Board Report.


Nigel Ball

Director, Social Purpose Lab, University of the Arts London

Nigel Ball is director of UAL’s new Social Purpose Lab - part of a wider transformation agenda at UAL. The Lab will spearhead the university’s journey towards maximising the positive impact it has in the world. It will take responsibility for defining a clear, measurable social purpose framework to guide the university’s decision-making, and implementing change in partnership with our operational and academic leadership.

Nigel is an entrepreneurial leader with a track record in social change spanning government, social enterprise, and academia. His career has seen him take successive new ideas and work to make them real, establishing the reputation of newly formed organisations or projects which have zero or minimal prior track record.

As Executive Director of the Government Outcomes Lab at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government, Nigel developed a team which uncovered cutting-edge research insights and has worked painstakingly alongside practitioners to change the way cross-sector partnerships work. Prior to that, he was part of the founding team of West London Zone for Children and Young People, the Head of Innovation at Teach First, the leading education charity, and supported social entrepreneurship in East Africa. He is a passionate advocate of innovative approaches to generating social impact, and better aligning social and financial value. He is also a qualified teacher, having learnt his craft in a secondary school in Eccles, Manchester. He holds a first class BA in English and Linguistics from the University of York.


Ian Taylor

Researcher and Policy Associate, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Ian's work at the University of Oxford has included several research projects on cross-sector collaboration, place-based approaches to economic regeneration, and responsible business. In 2021-2022, Ian led the research and authored the report for the Place Taskforce, a high-level group representing cross-sector organisations working on Place-based regeneration. Ian also sits the steering group for Place Maters, a partnership committed to accelerating the impact of place-based change through learning.

Prior to joining the GO Lab, Ian worked for a decade in a variety of management roles in international engineering companies, supervising commercial and research activities. Ian was awarded the 2008 Cameron Prize at the University of Glasgow and is an author for various academic, technical and periodical publications.

Cathy Butler

Cathy Butler

Head of Leadership, The Whitehall & Industry Group

Cathy is Head of Leadership, working with the team to design and deliver all of WIG’s Leadership Development interventions to our members and beyond. These include our flagship cross-sector leadership development programmes, organisational raids and Learning Exchange Groups between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, our personal development masterclasses and many bespoke leadership programmes for our members.

Cathy spent over 16 years working in different global leadership roles at the University of Cambridge, including Head of MBA Careers at the Business School, Client Director at the Business School’s Executive Education section and Head of Executive Education at the Møller Institute, Churchill College. Before that she worked in a variety of roles in organisations spanning the private, not-for-profit and public sectors.

Cathy is a linguist by background and considers herself a global citizen; she has travelled widely as well as lived in Italy and Taiwan earlier in her career. She is an experienced and trained facilitator, educator and coach in leadership development.