Who is trailblazing in public finance?

April 2nd, 2015

For the first time, Public Finance magazine has launched a Top 50 Trailblazers publication, profiling 50 outstanding individuals who are changing the face of public finance for the better.

The public sector has faced enormous pressures in the last few years; this list has sought out those who have responded to the challenge by raising their sights. The 50 Trailblazers selected, after a hard fought nomination and judging process, are all extraordinary pioneers, possessed of the determination, diligence and creativity to do things differently.

To create the list, Public Finance asked readers to name individuals who had inspired them or provided an example from which others could learn. The response was immense and it was down to a panel of expert judges to narrow down the nominations to a group of 50 which was announced at the CIPFA Annual Dinner on 19 March.

The Top 50 was not conceived to highlight the most influential or most powerful in the sector – though there are many widely respected figures included – but rather to celebrate and publicise the important skill of trailblazing by drawing attention to those who are leading the way.

Public Finance Top 50 Trailblazers was distributed to several hundred guests at the CIPFA Annual dinner in March and published as part of the April edition of Public Finance magazine shortly afterwards. The reaction to the publication was immediate; several of the Top 50, including Northern Ireland’s finance minister, Simon Hamilton, took to Twitter to share their news.

Caroline Clarke, Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, said of her position in the Top 50:

“It is an honour to be named in this list. Our work under Future-Focused Finance is aimed at ensuring we focus on the value to patients. We need to change the perceptions of finance staff, building trust and working in partnership with our clinical colleagues who make many of the day-to-day decisions.”

Unfortunately a limit had to be drawn somewhere, and a list twice as long could have been published due to the number of nominations and level of impressive work. For those who ultimately did not make this year’s list, the message of the publication is clear: continue trailblazing; the drive to make a difference is often a long term calling.

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed.

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