The new National Leadership Centre (NLC) welcomes its first cohort of public sector managers tomorrow (12/09/2019), developing their leadership skills to help them transform public services. Invited participants, including Chief Constables, Fire Chiefs and CEOs of Hospital Trusts, will begin a coaching and collaboration programme with support from world leading institutions such as the University of Oxford and MIT.



Joining the board for the programme is Steve McGuirk, former CEO at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, from Cheshire, alongside others such as Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor at University of Liverpool & President at Universities UK and Sir Ken Olisa, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London.

Each year, the innovative programme will develop the skills of over 100 senior public service leaders. Participants will be coached in different areas including future technologies, like AI and robotics, to understand how they can embrace new tools to transform public service.

A new global evaluation hub will support data-driven research on leadership and innovation, further enhancing the UK’s position as a thought leader on public services.

Dame Sara Thornton, Chair of the NLC, said:

“The National Leadership Centre provides a unique opportunity to support cross sector leadership in public service, through its leadership programme, networking and research. It is a privilege to have been appointed as Chair to help shape the Centre’s strategic direction.

“I look forward to working with leaders across a variety of sectors in order to ensure our public service continues to thrive and serves the public in the best way possible.”

Chief Executive of the Civil Service, John Manzoni said:

“I am incredibly excited to see the National Leadership Centre launch. Those involved will learn from the very best and develop a fantastic network offering knowledge sharing and peer support.”

“The development of our senior leaders will help them drive improvement in the UK’s crucial services the public use everyday.”

The NLC’s Board and Chair were also announced today. Chaired by Dame Sara Thornton DBE, QPM, the new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, they include:

  • Steve McGuirk, Former CEO, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
  • Deb McKenzie, Chief People Officer, NHS England
  • General Sir Gordon Messenger, Former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (2016-19)
  • Mike Cunningham, CEO, College of Policing
  • Pat Ritchie, CEO, Newcastle City Council
  • Professor Dame Janet Beer, VC, University of Liverpool & President, Universities UK
  • Sir Jon Thompson, Former Permanent Secretary, HMRC and Ministry of Defence
  • Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair, KMPG UK
  • Sir Ken Olisa, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London
  • Peter Wanless, CEO, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
  • Paul Martin, Former Director of Security for Parliament