Aster Guardians

Grand Jury


Mr. Howard Catton


Mr. Howard Catton has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Geneva since February 2019.

He is a passionate advocate for nurses and the transformative power of the nursing profession and a respected and recognised global health leader. Through the ICN network of more than 130 National Nursing Associations he works to support nurses as the backbone of our health systems and delivering health improvement.

He has worked and written extensively on issues relating to the nursing and healthcare workforce, promoted the well-being of nurses and co-chaired the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing Report.

Mr. Catton qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1988, held various nursing posts in England and the United States and worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. He studied Social Policy at Cardiff University (BSc. Economics Hons) and Industrial Relations at Warwick University (MA) and then worked as a Personnel and Organisational Change Manager in the National Health Service in the UK.

In December 2019, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland appointed Mr. Catton as a Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery.

In July 2021, Mr. Catton was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club International organisation in recognition of his extraordinary service to the nursing community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. James Buchan

Professor James Buchan


Dr. James Buchan, PhD, DPM, MA (Hons), is currently an Adjunct Professor at the WHO Collaborating Centre, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia and a Senior Fellow at the Health Foundation in London. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh. With an international and national perspective, he invigorates innovation across the health domain through his policy analysis, development, and implementation endeavours.

With over three decades of experience, Dr. Buchan has collaborated with renowned bodies such as the International Council of Nurses, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. His imprint lies in catalyzing transformative shifts in health systems, confronting pressing issues like international nurse migration, expanding nursing’s professional horizons and shaping the trajectory of nursing practice. Dr. Buchan champions pivotal conversations in solving global health system and nursing profession challenges.

“Nurses are integral to health system success, but have been considerably devalued in many sectors. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated fundamental underlying problems such as burnout. Initiatives like these are much required to assist in raising the profile of the profession, and better recognising its critical contribution.”

Dr. Niti Pall


Dr. Niti Pall is a senior professional in global digital and health systems. She is the managing director of Health4all advisory, serving clients in more than ten countries. She is also a Senior Digital Health Advisor at AXA EC Emerging Markets in Paris. In this role, she focuses on finding digital, tech-enabled solutions for the mass market bundled with inclusive insurance solutions. She is also the Board Chair of Harbr in the UK. She advises the company on its accelerator program and provides clinical expertise to incubate and invest in new ideas.

Dr. Pall has served as the Global Medical Director and Head of Universal Healthcare for KPMG, providing strategic and operational advice on universal healthcare. She has been involved with diabetes advocacy for nearly 30 years and has served on the board of Diabetes UK. For over 12 years, she was also on the board of the International Diabetes Foundation Europe and has served as its President.

Dr. Pall has also served on the Boards of Telenor Health, NHS Alliance, and The King’s Fund, among other organizations. In 2012, the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) awarded Dr. Pall the Outstanding Excellence in Primary Care Award. Her path-breaking work in Bangladesh, India, and the National Health Service in the UK has led to the establishment of new markets and disruptive healthcare and insurance solutions.


“Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is a fantastic initiative to recognize the immense contribution nurses make to healthcare and patients across the globe. I am delighted to be able to contribute as a member of the Grand Jury.”

Dr. Peter Carter


Dr. Peter Carter has been the CEO of the Royal College of Nursing from 2007 to 2015 and the CEO of the Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust for 12 years before that.
In 2011 he was awarded the inaugural Presidents’ Medal of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and in 2006 he was awarded the OBE by Her Majesty The Queen for his service to the NHS. He was a member of the ‘Crown Commission’ that devised the policy and protocols that led to the implementation of Non-Medical prescribing.

He is now an Independent Healthcare Consultant. Since leaving the RCN he has worked across the UK and internationally. He has on three occasions been asked by the NHS in England to be the interim Chairman of NHS Trusts. Dr. Carter has been the expert witness in over 200 cases of litigation in the health and social care systems. Whilst CEO of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr. Carter was regularly cited in the Health Service Journal as one of the NHS’s most influential people. He was also a visiting Professor at Kings’ College, Canterbury Christchurch, Chester and Anglia Ruskin Universities. He has written articles for journals, newspapers and chapters in books, appeared in TV documentaries and has been interviewed many times on TV and radio. He has twice been the subject of the BBC TV programme HARDtalk. He has also published a book called My Asylum Days.


“Nurses provide services which extend far beyond patient care, offering patient education, driving progress for public health, and advocating for the needs of those in their care. I am thrilled to be a part of the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2023 as a Grand Jury. I strongly believe that encouraging and supporting nurses is more important than ever and this initiative by Aster DM Healthcare is surely inspiring many nurses.”

Prof. Sheila Tlou

Professor Sheila Tlou


Prof. Sheila Tlou is the Co-Chairperson of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition, Ambassador of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and has played a key role in the development of national nursing and medical education programs throughout her career. Previously, she was the Minister of Health of Botswana, UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa,the professor of Nursing at the University of Botswana and the former Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development in Primary Health Care for Anglophone Africa.

She was appointed by the president of Botswana to serve as the titular Head of the Botswana Open University. She also served as Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers of Health, and the African Union Ministers of Health. She has made outstanding achievements in the development of the nursing profession both in her own country and abroad. She published numerous articles and books on international health and development issues.

Prof. Tlou has received several international awards, including the 2003 Florence Nightingale Medal by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the 2008 Presidential Award for Outstanding Contribution to Global Health by the American Academy of Nursing. In 2016, she won the President’s Award for US National League for Nursing and in 2020 she was listed among the 100 Most Reputable Africans, by Reputation Poll International.


“My varied experience covering the health and governance sectors has exposed me to the meaningful impact of nursing across the globe. Nurses continue to go above and beyond their roles and responsibilities and as a Grand Jury member of the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2022, I have discovered how deep this impact runs. I look forward to being associated with this platform for the upcoming edition.”