Profiles of the leading IT and technology professionals in UK Government
Public sector IT leaders will play a central role in delivering the services for citizens and systems for the
government that will help the UK thrive through budget cuts and Brexit.
CIO UK profiles some of the key players in Whitehall.
Read next: London's first Chief Digital Officer Theo Blackwell discusses importance of data in building a Smart London
July 10, 2018
1. Will Smart - NHS
NHS CIO Will Smart is responsible for providing strategic leadership on digital technolgy across the NHS and for using technology to join up health and social care. He also serves as the commisioning lead for the major programmes delivered by NHS Digital. Smart was appointed to the role in August 2016, after a six-year stint as Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust CIO where he was responsible for all areas of technology strategy at the trust.
2. Mark Gray - Crown Prosecution Service
Mark Gray was appointed Director of Digital Transformation at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in July 2016. The Oxford PPE graduate is responsible for defining and delivering the agency's "digital by default" strategy, leading its major transformation programmes, and increasing the flexibility and stability of its technical architecture.
Gray joined CPS after spending six years at Barclays, which ended with a stint directing the programme building the digital capability of the bank's mortgage business.
3. Charles Forte - MoD
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the appointment of Charles Forte as the new Defence CIO on 9 January 2018. Foster will be responsible for developing MoD strategy and policy on the operation and protection of all its IT and communications technology.
Forte's previous roles include those CIO at British Petroleum and as interim CIO at Thames Water. He also had a spell as CEO for group IT services at Prudential. His appointment is the culmination of a lengthy competition that was open to both internal military and civilian applicants and to candidates from outside the MoD.
Forte takes over from former CIO Mike Stone, who left the MoD in in March 2017 after three-years in the role. Lieutenant General Ivan Hooper was named his successor on an interim basis piror to the appointment of Forte. Stone's achievements at the MoD include leading the "Defence-as-a-Platform" strategy to adopt more common IT and better exploit cutting-edge technology. He also pushed through an overhaul of the department's outdated core IT platform, the Defence Information Infrastructure.
4. Jacky Wright - HMRC
Jacky Wright has been announced as the new Chief Digital and Information Officer at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). She will take up her new post on 16 October 2017 and the responsibility for the department's sweeping digital transformation agenda.
Wright joins HMRC after spending six years at Microsoft, most recently as Corporate Vice President of Core Platform Engineering and before that as VP of IT Strategic Services.
Wright takes over from the departing Mike Potter, who is taking on a new role as Director for Future Borders.
5. Harriet Green and Myra Hunt - Defra
Harriet Green and Myra Hunt took over as joint Chief Digital Officers at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in July 2017. The two of them are responsible for the digital transformation programme at Defra.
Over the last year, they've helped develop water licensing and waste permits services, rolled out a new field service management tool for staff, established a digital working team of experts and delivered new digital services for fishing and reporting landfill data. They now plan to write a detailed strategy for Defra's digital activity over the next few years. Prior to joining Defra, the duo paired up as Directors of Digital and E-Commerce at the British Council, where they led the global e-commerce programme to create end-to-end solutions for omnichannel retailing.
6. Sarah Wilkinson - NHS Digital
Sarah Wilkinson became NHS Digital CEO in August 2017 and leads on delivering the long-standing ambition of a paperless NHS. In her previous role as UK Home Office Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer (CIO) she was responsible for a range of projects including the successor to the e-Borders programme. Before she entered the public sector, she spent more than 20 years working on IT in the finance industry.
Wilkinson has received a number of accolades for her role leading the digital transformation of the Home Office, which expanded in 2016 following
a merger of digital and tech units. She reached number 26 in the CIO 100 2016, and has also featured as a guest contributor for . CIO UK
7. Mayank Prakash - DWP
Mayank Prakash joined the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in November 2014 after three years in an IT executive role at Morgan Stanley.
The DWP Chief Digital and Information Officer and occasional CIO UK contributor leads an ambitious technology plan at the UK's biggest government department. The most high-profile aspect of this is the Universal Credit digital service.
In 2016 he was named CIO of the year at the UK IT Industry Awards, shortly after he had become the lone head of digital reforms at DWP. Prakash has also had stints as International CIO of Avaya, Group CIO of iSoft and CIO of Sage Group in the UK.
8. Emma Stace - Department for Education
Emma Stace was appointed Director of Transformation at the Department for Education in April 2017, where she provides strategic leadership on transformational change
She previously spent two years at Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at
the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Her responsibilities there included leading the strategic programme of digital, technology and data transformation and providing high-quality digital services. Stace two years prior to that as Deputy Director at Government Digital Service (GDS), where she worked on developing Government-as-a-Platform (GaaP).
9. Mike Potter - Future Borders
Mike Potter is leaving his role of Interim Chief Digital and Information Officer at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) after just over a year in the job to take up a new position as Director for Future Borders. Jacky Wright has been appointed to replace him as CDIO.
Potter replaced Mark Dearnley at HMRC in August 2016. He previously spent almost two years as Director of Digital Transformation at the department. Before that, he served as director of business transformation at NHS Blood and Transplant and director of programmes and projects at the Environment Agency. He
regularly blogged about digital developments at HMRC.
Potter led the final leg of the exit from the much-criticised £10 billion Aspire IT contract and the implementation of a new "dynamic coding" tax system that updates pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax codes as soon as income changes.
10. Aaron Powell - NHS Blood and Transplant
Aaron Powell has been Chief Digital Officer at NHS Blood and Transplant ( NHSBT) since September 2009. In 2016, he launched DonorPath, an iPad app to help specialist nurses collate information about organ donors at the bedside. He also deployed NHSBT's first major business-critical application hosted in the cloud, which uses IBM tools to manage workflow and safely allocate hearts or transplant.
His current role is his sixth at NHSBT, following stints as interim ICT director, assistant director of transplantation support services, and three managerial roles.
11. Julie Pierce - Food Standards Agency
Julie Pierce joined the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in September 2015. She is responsible for the delivery of technology, digital, data and communications services to support our safe and sustainable food. Her CV also includes stints as Chief Information Officer for Defra and Director of Corporate Services for the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. In these roles, she drove new digital solutions to business problems, restructured and developed the organisations digitally, and launched a new open data initiative.
12. Ben Denison - Serious Fraud Office
Ben Denison became Chief Technology Officer of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in August 2014. In 2016, he introduced an AI robot that helps review legal information, including the 30 million documents that made up the investigation into Rolls-Royce, which resulted in a £671 million settlement.
Denison previously spent
four years as CIO at the Bar Council. His CV also includes stints as head of IT at both Rockpools and at VereExecutivetive Reasoning, and as an IT manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
13. John Seglias - Defra
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Pauline Eccles
Yiannis "John" Seglias has been Group Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) since March 2016. He is responsible for managing the digital, data and technology services of a department consisting of 20,000 members of staff.
Seglias is currently focusing on reforming the department's delivery of services, by adopting new digital solutions for Defra for today and in its future outside of the Europen Union. In 2004 he received an MBA from Imperial College Business School to add to his other qualifications including an MSc in IT from Imperial and a BSc in Computing Science.
14. Colin Martin-Reynolds - Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Image: Flickr/Loz Pycock
Colin Martin-Reynolds became the Foreign and Commonwealth Office FCO’s Chief Information Officer in June 2013, taking over from David Meyer, who became transition director of the FCO.
Martin-Reynolds previous spent two-and-a-half years
as Deputy Ambassador at the British Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil. This followed two years as Programme Director of the FCO Corporate Services Programme, and four as Director of Change Management at the British Embassy in Washington. Before moving to Washington he spent seven years in four different roles at FCO HQ.
15. John Quinn - MHRA
John Quinn became Chief Information Officer at the medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in February 2014. Since then, he's created an operational transformation programme covering regulatory optimisation, customer experience, business reform, and the delivery of cloud-based platforms, infrastructure and service improvement. Quinn spent four years at the Department for Education (DfE) prior to joining the MHRA. His positions at the DfE included Chief Knowledge Officer, head of portfolio and resource management, and head of business solutions unit.
16. Kelly Olsen - NHS Property Services
Kelly Olsen has been Chief Information Officer and Head of Corporate Programmes at NHS Property Services since November 2015. During her time at the organisation, she has implemented an asset management solution for all property data, rolled out a Capital Projects solution to manage and audit NHS capital spend and renationalised legacy apps.
Olsen's previous roles include stints as International CIO and Global Head of Programmes at real estate company Cushman and Wakefield and as both a director and COO at IT services giant Capgemini.
17. Conall Bullock - Cabinet Office
Conall Bullock was appointed Chief Digital and Technology Officer for the UK Cabinet Office in April 2015. His role combines three previously separate positions: Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer, and covers the department's technology team and new digital programmes.
Bullock is responsible for replacing outsourced services driven by legacy services with next generation digital public services built on a modern technological foundation to drive business transformation. His previous roles include those of d
irector and owner at XcIT, i nterim IT director at Mencap and head of IT and data protection at Scope.
18. Adrian Blundell - Department for International Development
Adrian Blundell has been Chief Information Officer at Department for International Development (DfID) since August 2016. The role is his eighth at DfID, where he has worked since 1990.
Blundell's previous job in the department was head of group operations, where he was r
esponsible for leading operations including information rights, finance, HR, security and staff well-being. He's also had stints as head of HR, estates and security operations, as DfID Zambia's deputy head and as the head of the department's business transformation unit.
19. Tom Read - Ministry of Justice
Tom Read was appointed Chief Digital and Information Officer at the Ministry of Justice in September 2016, bringing to an end a seven-month stint as Chief Technology Officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Read's role overseeing digital transformation is not a new one for the CDIO. He previously led public sector programmes as Chief Technology Officer at the Cabinet Office, and in the private sector as principal at digital consultancy North Highland. He puts his success down to a focus on the user, involving others in decision-making and keeping things simple whenever possible.
20. Jonathan Neffgen - Department for Transport
Jonathan Neffgen was appointed Deputy Director of Information, Security and Technology at the Department for Transport (DfT) in March 2016. Neffgen has substantial IT experience in both the public and private sectors, and academic qualifications including an MSc in Information Security from the Royal Holloway, University of London.
His previous positions include stints as both programme and relationships manager at the Houses of Parliament, and as an IT infrastructure manager and engineer at Zodiac Maritime.
21. Anne Moises - Scottish Government
Anne Moises has been CIO of the Scottish Government for more than 10 years. She preceded that with another two years as its Chief Technology Officer and stints as its Director of IT Head of Corporate Strategy Group. Moises' responsibilities include delivering and shaping the future digital services for the Scottish Government and customers of its shared services and improving the central government sector's capacity for ICT delivery.
22. James Munson - DVSA
James Munson has been Director of Digital Services and Technology at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) since February 2014. His department is responsible for modernising services and technology for British vehicles and road users.
His work at the DSA including moving the organisation towards a product business architecture and upgrading and replacing its ageing technology estate. Before joining the DVSA, Munson was director of IT at the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) and at Unite Group.
23. Steve Dunthorne - Crown Prosecution Service
Steve Dunthorne has only been Head of ICT Strategy at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) since January 2017, but had extensive experience in the agency prior to being appointed to his new role.
Dunthorne was Chief Technology Officer at CPS for more than five years, and spent another five years as the authority's infrastructure architecture Manage. His specialties include g
reen IT, m obile, flexible working and IT security.
24. Jonathan Lawrence - UK Government
Image: Flickr/Defence Images
Jonathan Lawrence was appointed Technical Director at UK Government in September 2003. He graduated from the University of York with a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Field Of Study Computer Systems and Software Engineering that same year.
oversees the information security arm of intelligence agency GCHQ. He works with both industry partners and public sector organisations to provide assurance that the security solution can be relied on.
25. Crispin O'Connell - Welsh Government
Crispin O'Connell has been Deputy Director of ICT at the Welsh Government since July 2007, where he
is responsible for corporate ICT strategy and the delivery of corporate ICT services.
He previously spent nine years working for Cardiff County Council as Chief ICT Officer, overseeing ICT delivery and the Connect 2 Cardiff contact centre services, while completing an MBA at the University of Wales (UWIC) at the same time.
26. Simon Sandford-Taylor - ONS
Image: Office for National Statistics
Simon Sandford-Taylor was appointed Chief Technology Officer at The Office for National Statistics (ONS)
in February 2015. Sandford-Taylor's extensive experience of public sector technology includes three roles at the Intellectual Property Office, as Head of IT Development, Deputy Director of IT and Chief Technology Officer successively. He has also held roles in the private sector, as Group Applications Manager at Heath Lambert Group and Senior Developer at Barclays Insurance. His academic qualifications include an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a BSc in Chemistry from Loughborough University.
27. Caron Alexander - NI Executive
Caron Alexander was named Director of Digital Services at
Enterprise Shared Services, Department of Finance & Personnel NI in January 2014. Her responsibilities include leading the NI Digital Transformation Programme and the NI Open Data Agenda and delivering world-class digital services for citizens. Alexander's previous roles include stints as Director of Technology & Innovation at the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland, as ePlanning Programme Manager at DOE Planning Service and as Head of Technology & Expert Services at the Department of Finance and Personnel.