Top UK Government CIOs, CTOs, CDOs and other IT leaders

Government IT leaders play a key role in delivering digital services for citizens and systems that will help the country thrive through budget cuts and Brexit chaos.

CIO UKprofiles some of the key technology players in Whitehall.

Read next: Why are so many CIOs leaving the NHS?

Martyn Wallace - Scottish Local Government
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Martyn Wallace - Scottish Local Government

Martyn Wallaceis Chief Digital Officer for the Digital Office of the Scottish Local Government, which gives him oversight of digital initiatives at all 32 Scottish councils.

His priorities include standardising approaches across local government, focusing on first iterations rather than pilot schemes, and fostering collaboration across service lines.

"Digital for us means user by design, technology by default, not the other way around," Wallace told the CIO UK podcast. "The challenge we see in a lot of business - private and public - is that a new technology becomes available and they try to create a business out of the technology, rather than looking at the problem they want to solve first."

Read next: Scottish Local Government Chief Digital Officer Martyn Wallace's 2019 plans for digital and AI

Simon McKinnon - DWP
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Simon McKinnon - DWP

Simon McKinnon was appointed interim Chief Digital and Information Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in January 2019, replacing Mayank Prakash, who moved on to a new role at Centrica.

McKinnon spent almost five years at DWP before taking on his current position, first as Director of IT Services and then as Technology Director for Children, Health and Pensions Services. In a blogpost announcing his new role, McKinnon said he was particularly excited about working on the DWP's trust and digital identity assurance projects.

Read next: Departing DWP CDIO Mayank Prakash reflects on four years in the role

Andy McClintock - Scottish Government
IDG

Andy McClintock - Scottish Government

Andy McClintockwas appointed Chief Digitial Officer for Social Security at the Scottish Government in February 2017, taking leadership of the design, build and delivery of digital services in the department.

The CIO 100 member has enjoyed an extensive career in the Scottish Government that has included stints at Chief Security Officer, CTO and Deputy CIO. His recent achievements include created a benefits platform, case management system, payments system, document management and telephony.

Tracey Jessup - Parliamentary Digital Service

Tracey Jessup - Parliamentary Digital Service

Parliamentary Digital Service CIO and MD Tracey Jessup leads a bicameral department that supports both business as usual and change projects, including the internally and externally facing digital platforms.

Her central objective is to help create a modern Parliament by maintaining and improving the delivery of digital services, projects and programmes. Key responsibilities include the delivery of Parliament's current digital strategy and preparing its successor.

Jessup has 18 years of experience working in Parliament, most recently as Interim Director of the PDS, which she has helped transform from an IT supplier to an organisation helping Parliament to make the best use of technology while enabling citizen engagement.

Read next: Parliamentary Digital Service appoints Tracey Jessup as CIO and MD

Dave Perry - DVLA

Dave Perry - DVLA

Dave Perryjoined the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as Chief Technology Officer in 2016, after a 25-year IT career in organisations including B&Q, New Look, Coral, Intel, Game, and the Metropolitan Police.

Perry is responsible for the DVLA's internal IT systems, external customer-facing services, new technology projects and programmes, and the long-term IT strategy for new technology adoption and innovation at the agency.

Mark Gray - Crown Prosecution Service

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.

Charles Forte - MoD
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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.

Jacky Wright - HMRC
Image: GOV.UK

Jacky Wright - HMRC

Jacky Wrightwas appointed Chief Digital and Information Officer at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in October 2017, taking responsibility for the department's sweeping digital transformation agenda.

Wright joined 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 took over at HMRC from Mike Potter, who moved to a new role as Director for Future Borders.

Read next: HMRC Chief Digital and Information Officer Jacky Wright interview - Developing a new operating model and culture for the digital era

Harriet Green and Myra Hunt - Defra
Image: GOV.UK

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.

Sarah Wilkinson - NHS Digital
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Sarah Wilkinson - NHS Digital

Sarah Wilkinsonbecame 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.

Emma Stace - Department for Education
Image: GOV.UK

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).

Mike Potter - Future Borders
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Mike Potter - Future Borders

Mike Potteris 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.

Julie Pierce - Food Standards Agency

Julie Pierce - Food Standards Agency

Julie Piercejoined 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.

Ben Denison - Serious Fraud Office

Ben Denison - Serious Fraud Office

Ben Denisonbecame 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.

Read next: Serious Fraud Office CTO Ben Denison reveals how AI is transforming legal work

John Seglias - Defra

John Seglias - Defra

Yiannis "John" Segliashas 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.

Read next: Defra CIO John Seglias launches government's sustainable technology plan

John Quinn - MHRA

John Quinn - MHRA

John Quinnbecame 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.

Conall Bullock - Cabinet Office
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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 director and owner at XcIT, interim IT director at Mencap and head of IT and data protection at Scope.

Adrian Blundell - Department for International Development
Image: Flickr/DfID

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 responsible 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.

Tom Read - Ministry of Justice
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Tom Read - Ministry of Justice

Tom Readwas 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.

James Munson - DVSA

James Munson - DVSA

James Munsonhas 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.

Read next: DVSA Director of Services and Technology James Munson driving the journey to agility

Steve Dunthorne - Crown Prosecution Service
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Steve Dunthorne - Crown Prosecution Service

Steve Dunthornehas 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 green IT, mobile, flexible working and IT security.

Crispin O\'Connell - Welsh Government
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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.

Simon Sandford-Taylor - ONS

Simon Sandford-Taylor - ONS

Simon Sandford-Taylor was appointed Director of Digital Services and Technology at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in August 2018, after three years as the organisation's CTO. 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.

Caron Alexander - NI Executive
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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.

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