External Honours Panel


The RSS convenes an External Honours Panel to consider nominations for Civil Honours from the UK Government, and other awards.  

Our nominations aim to strengthen the statistics profession and advance the Society’s strategic goals, by seeking recognition for exceptional work. The panel considers nominations of statisticians, data scientists and also communicators of statistics, such as leading data journalists.  

The panel welcomes suggestions of individuals who the RSS could nominate for awards. Please note that:  

  • The panel particularly welcomes nominations which reflect the full diversity of the Society in relation to ethnicity, gender and sectors of work.  
  • Alongside suggestions of eminent colleagues, the panel is keen to receive nominations for exceptional mid-career statisticians who may be considered for MBEs.  
  • It is crucial that all nominations are kept entirely confidential, particularly from the nominee. 

To contact the panel, email our Governance & Committees Officer, Jo Fishwell. If you are proposing a Civil Honours nomination, please briefly explain how your candidate meets the criteria set out by the UK Government, which states:  

‘We are looking for people with exemplary service, who:  

  • have changed things, with an emphasis on practical achievement;  
  • have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship;  
  • are examples of the best sustained and selfless voluntary service; 
  • have delivered in a way that has brought distinction to UK life.’ 

Please note that the RSS External Honours Panel consists of a small team of volunteers. If you suggest a nominee and the panel decides to pursue this nomination, they are likely to need your assistance with writing a case. Once a case is drafted, the RSS President will make the final decision about whether it is put forward.  

The panel’s membership is:  

  • Chair: Denise Lievesley (former Director of Statistics, UNESCO)  
  • Deborah Ashby (Director of the School of Public Health, Imperial College)  
  • Andrew Dilnot (former Chair, UK Statistics Authority) 
  • David Hand (Emeritus Professor, Imperial College)  
  • Valerie Isham (Emeritus Professor, University College London) 
  • Michael Marmot (Director, University College London Institute of Health Equity)  
  • John Pullinger (former UK National Statistician)  
  • Howell Tong (former Chair of Statistics, London School of Economics)  

Panel members are appointed by the RSS President. If you are an RSS fellow and have a suggestion of a member who might join the panel, please email our Chief Executive, Stian Westlake.