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PublicAffairsAsia unveils 2017 Gold Standard Awards judging panel

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Ahead of the opening of nominations on August 1, PublicAffairsAsia has unveiled the panel of judges who will decide this year’s Gold Standard Awards.

Among the communications and public affairs professionals joining the panel are Shweta Shukla, Director Sustainable Business, Communications & External Affairs at Unilever South East Asia and Australasia and Jonathan Kushner, Vice President of the communications division of McDonald’s Japan.

This year’s awards – which are now in their ninth year – will be chaired by Shakilla Shahjihan, Regional Director for Government Affairs Abbott Laboratories Asia Pacific. Shahjihan takes the chair from Penny Burtt, Vice President, Government Affairs, Asia Pacific at Visa, who led the 2016 awards.

Commenting on the new judging panel, Shahjihan said: “As Chairman I am proud to lead a 90-strong panel of cross-sectoral industry leaders from all corners of the Asia Pacific region. The Gold Standard Awards are truly the ‘awards to win’ in this region today. I strongly encourage your organisation to participate.”

Among the 20 new judges are Iain Twine, the Vice Chairman of Edelman for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Mei-Ing Cheok Partnership Development Manager at Save The Children’s Corporate Engagement Centre in Singapore and Anna Tehan, Senior Vice President and Director Corporate Communications at Li & Fung. Other top-level new judges include Richard Barton,Managing Partner of Newgate Greater China and Dan Brindle, GlaxoSmithKline’s Vice President of Government Affairs for Asia-Pacific.

Nominations open on August 1 and PublicAffairsAsia is set to unveil new categories recognising ‘gold standard’ achievements in Australasia, Greater China, Japan and Korea, South East Asia, India and the Middle East. It will also expand engagement in digital, reflecting major shifts in the way corporations, governments and non-profits use social and digital channels.

The judging panel will continue to comprise top-level comms, corporate affairs and CSR industry practitioners from both the in-house and agency sectors, reflecting the programme’s broad reach among companies, agencies and the not for profit and government sectors.

With an enhanced profile for digital and the tech sector this year, the judges include Peter Allen, who leads Agoda Outside, the external affairs department of, and Mike Orgill, Director of Public Policy APAC at Airbnb. They join other tech sector judges including Kuek Yu-Chuang, Netflix’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Claudia Chan, the Country Lead, Public Policy and Government Affairs in ASEAN at Google.

Yiannis Korkovelos, Public Affairs Manager, Philip Morris Singapore joins the 80-strong group, which includes Anjali Patil, Head of Brand & Communications at BNP Paribas India and Liu Ran, Vice President, Public Policy for MasterCard Greater China region. Karen Khaw, who has led corporate communications for Asia Pacific at BNY Mellon since 2011, also rejoins the panel for another year.

Reflecting a new focus on the UAE and Middle East region, Majdi Al-Ayed Managing Director of TRACCS UAE, Archie Berens, Managing Director Bell Pottinger Middle East and Sunil John, Founder and CEO, ASDA´A Burson-Marsteller join the panel. New APAC agency representatives include Aleksandra Barnes, an Associate Director at salt Singapore and Kiri Sinclair, founder of Sinclair Communications, based in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Among the panel are a number of high profile industry figures who will judge the Gold Standard Awards for their ninth consecutive year – including Scott Kronick, the President and CEO of Asia Pacific Ogilvy Public Relations, Lynne Anne Davis, Regional President and Senior Partner of FleishmanHillard, Steve R. Okun, Director of Asia Pacific Public Affairs at KKR and Stephen Forshaw, Temasek’s Managing Director of Corporate Affairs.

Visit The Gold Standard Awards Website

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