Mark Simms, Public Sector Lead, Equinix UK
Mark has 15 years’ experience in telecommunications and has worked in the datacentre world for the last 8 years, first with TelecityGroup and, following acquisition, for Equinix.
With an extensive history in understanding and supporting how Cloud and IT Service Providers interconnect to build their businesses, Mark now leads up Equinix UK’s Public Sector practice, engaging across local and central government, higher education, public health and social care, and national critical infrastructure.
Sian Thomas, Chief Data Officer, Department for International Trade
Sian is the Chief Data Officer at DIT. During her time in the department, she has led teams that have:
- established the departments data infrastructure;
- developed a departmental data platform that provides access to data and tools for analysis;
- delivered data components of the work to establish the UK tariff at the end of transition period; and
- improved the departments Customer Relationship Management platform improving functionality and data quality.
Before joining DIT in February 2019 Sian worked at the Food Standards Agency in various roles including Social Research, Governance and Ethics and leading the Data, Information Governance and Security team. She led on projects such as predicting norovirus from Twitter data and piloting a blockchain tool to make better use of data about cows at slaughter. Sian started her career in industry following a PhD and Post Doc in Biochemistry.
Cherene Whitfield, Programme Manager, Stepping Up Diversity Leadership Programme
Cherene is an MSc International Business graduate and Equality and Inclusion specialist. She has worked in Local and National Government for several years delivering Equality and Inclusion Programmes projects and legislative change initiatives.
She has worked for the Home Office driving forward changes to Police Force and Constabularies in the UK to help reduce domestic violence and alcohol related violent crime and contributed to good practice guides distributed around the country.
She currently works for Bristol City Council and now Programme manages Stepping Up, a South West region Diversity Leadership programme. The programme is multi award winning, having won the prestigious Chartered Institute of Personnel Development’s Best Diversity and Inclusion and Overall winner late last year. The Programme aims to change the Leadership landscape in Bristol and the region and works cross-sector to reduce disparity, using data driven statistics to demonstrate impact and make a case for change.
Cherene uses a plethora of statistics to engage policy makers and senior leaders to make change to service delivery that will in turn improve services for diverse communities in Bristol.
Cherene was board member of the Golden Key Partnership in Bristol in 2019.
Cherene is a working mother with two primary school aged children.
Dr Budgie Dhanda, Co-Chair at UK Cyber Security Council Formation Project
Budgie’s principal areas of interest are Cyber Security, Education and National Security. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Information Security and is the Co-Chair of the UK Cyber Security Council Formation Project, an initiative sponsored and supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Cyber Security Centre. The Council will be the voice of the cyber security profession and will set the standards for chartered status, ethics, qualifications and career pathways for the profession as well as developing initiatives for growing the UK cyber work force and improving diversity.
Prior to this, Budgie was the CEO of Qufaro, where he led the efforts to develop a new cyber security apprenticeship standard. He now holds various advisory roles supporting business understanding of the cyber security landscape.
In addition, Budgie holds a number of other voluntary and advisory roles including:
- Industry Advisory Board to the Institute of Coding;
- Advisory Panel for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway University London;
- Adviser to the government funded Cyber Security Academic Start-up Accelerator Programme (CyberASAP)
STEM Ambassador, promoting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in
Philip Loveland, Senior Account Manager, Public Sector, Cintra
Phil is a senior sales professional with over 20 years’ experience in both the Public & Private Sectors, spanning High Technology, Cloud, SaaS and Professional Services. Most recently he’s worked in partnership with Oracle to deliver one of its largest European government cloud programs; aimed at delivering class-leading transformation across the public sector and supporting the UK government cloud first strategy.
Sam Wyatt, Programme Manager Defence & Cyber, techUK
Sam is the Programme Manager for Defence and Cyber at techUK, the trade association for digital technologies in the UK which paves the way for innovation. Working across techUK’s Cyber and Defence Programmes, Sam focuses primarily on the impact of cyber security on emerging technologies, the move towards the fourth industrial revolution, and Industry’s role in protecting critical national infrastructure. Alongside this, he is developing a series of reports on Cyber People, mapping out the roles of different professionals in Cyber Security and is also leading techUK's Zero Trust work.
Prior to working at techUK, Sam worked as a lobbyist in Westminster and holds a BA (Hons) from the Department of War Studies at King's College London and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. Outside of work Sam likes to cook, hike, and when COVID allows, play Rugby.
Kerry Harrison, Lead, Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership
Kerry is the Lead for the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership, a trailblazer created in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The Partnership is part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Skills and Employment Hub.
Prior to this role, she has worked within education for over 20 years, starting as a PE teacher in a Lancashire high school before moving to be an Assistant Headteacher in St Helens. She has also spent time as part of St Helen's Council School Improvement Team focused on curriculum development and innovation.
Most recently, she was a Curriculum Manager across a range of A Level, FE and HE provision, as well as a Learning Technologist and staff development trainer, at a successful Lancashire FE College. In her spare time, she is Assistant County Commissioner – Explorer Scouts in West Lancashire Scout County and likes to keep active and tap dance.
Dr Jacqui Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, FlyingBinary
Jacqui is one of the 100 most powerful UK entrepreneurs, awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her international web science work. One of the 250 Founders of Tech City in December 2016 she pivoted her company FlyingBinary to meet the challenge of Brexit and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with spectacular results. She was recognised as one of the 100 Global Leaders in 2019, Top Ten Global IoT innovators, and is an independent industry analyst for IoT. One of 4 IoT leaders advising the European Commission on their Citizen strategy for smart cities. One of the UK’s most influential Women in Tech, most influential web science researcher in 2019, 34 IoT Influencers on Twitter, 20 global entrepreneurs to watch, a UK Smart City leader.
Shortlisted for a Cyber Security industry award based she was invited to speak in Davos on the future of the Cyber Security Industry. Globally recognised as a Smart City Tzar, and a strategic Advisor to the UK Government, Cities lead on Digital Built, Principal UK Expert lead for BSI international team for Smart Cities and AI.
She created CyberSafe to share the secrets of her Brexit success plan with entrepreneurs via a unique membership offering. CyberSafe launches in 2020 now the UK has exited from the European Union and will give entrepreneurs resources to meet the challenges of Transition and the IIoT based on a proven Brexit success plan.
Jacqui Leggetter, Head of Integration, DWP
Jacqui has worked on digital projects and major transformation for over 20 years in a variety of senior roles. As Head of Integration, she is focussed on helping drive DWP’s next phase of transformation to deliver holistic citizen and agent facing services through an api/event driven architecture, supporting real-time self-service process automation.
Jacqui's vision is to enable frictionless, self-service, integration products that enable fast, efficient re-use of data and common services that are critical to our next phase of transformation, breaking down traditional functional based silo’s to support mutli-channel, holistic citizen and agent journeys.
LinkedIn: Jacqui Leggetter
Thomas Gleadhill, Business Development Manager, Granicus
Tom is a public sector technology specialist, having spent his entire career within the space across Local, Central and Housing sector organisations. His current role specialises in partnering with Central Government on their technology needs and emphasising the value of Granicus' digital offerings as Digital First becomes the mentality within Central Government; in order to be able to engage and provide world class services both externally with citizens but also to internal stakeholders
Alex Jaimes, Chief Scientist & SVP of AI, Dataminr
Alex Jaimes is the Chief Scientist & Senior Vice President of AI at Dataminr. Alex leads all AI and data science efforts at Dataminr. He is a scientist, keynote speaker, and engineering executive with over 15 years of intelligence experience in research and product impact at scale in the United States, Japan, Chile, Switzerland, Spain, and South Korea.
Alex has published over 100 technical papers in top-tier conferences and journals on diverse AI topics. Alex has been featured widely in press associations, such as MIT Technology Review, CNBC, Vice, TechCrunch, and Yahoo! Finance. Alex has delivered over 80 invited talks all over the world, including: The AI for Good Global Summit, The Future of Technology Summit; O’Reilly Strata Data Conference; O’Reilly Velocity Conference; The Deep Learning Summit; Tech Open Air; and the universities of Stanford, Cornell, and Columbia.
Simon Manby, Senior Product Manager, Ministry of Justice Digital
Simon has worked at the OPG and MoJ for 11 years now in various operational, technology and digital roles, always looking for ways to improve the LPA journey and its associated safeguards. Simon was the first Product Manager on the existing Online LPA Tool as part of the GDS Exemplar work in 2012, and applied the knowledge gained there of people-centered, iterative design to build back office applications in the organisation, with colleagues and customers at their heart. Simon commenced Discovery on the Modernising LPA work in July 2019 and has worked with empowered, cross-functional specialist teams to understand need in the problem space since. Simon loves illeism.
Karl Hoods, Chief Digital & Information Officer, BEIS
Karl is an experienced Chief Information Officer (CIO) and has worked in the private, public and third sectors. He is currently Chief Digital and Information Officer at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) where he is responsible for the delivery of core services, digital transformation, innovation, knowledge management and shared services. In addition, he is SRO for the cross government technology interoperability agenda. Prior to joining BEIS Karl was CIO for Save the Children where he was responsible for the delivery of technology and digital services to support humanitarian, policy, advocacy and fundraising activities. He has also held business technology leadership roles with web and sports media start-ups and led major change programmes for publishing leaders TSO. His career in start-ups fostered his interest in how emerging technology can be applied to business problems. Outside of work Karl is interested in education and sits on the board of the Harris Federation and Bournemouth University. He is also a keen runner and has completed a number of marathons.
Denise Dourado, Cloud Programme Director, HMRC
Denise joined HMRC in April 2017 and is responsible for leading the core engineering function in HMRC’s IT and security department, as well as the cloud, data platform and messaging teams. Denise and her team are delivering an agenda to improve resilience in the department’s current IT estate, as well as migrating its services from their present data centres to public cloud. In addition, Denise has delivered a new Cloud Centre of Excellence within HMRC to ensure that ways of working are adapted to deliver successfully and efficiently in the Cloud. Denise previously worked at NHS Blood & Transplant as Director of Transformation. Denise’s IT career started at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) where she was responsible for delivering a number of IT changes across PwC’s global IT estate.
Dr James Tucker, Head of Government Data Quality Hub, Office for National Statistics
James has worked as an analyst in a range of government departments and on secondment to the Royal Statistical Society, before joining the Office for National Statistics in 2013. Since early 2020, he has focused on developing the Government Data Quality Hub as a service for anyone working directly or indirectly with data in the public sector. This involves setting direction and providing support for cross-government action on data quality, and ensuring alignment with other initiatives supporting better use of government data. James has previously served on the Board of Trustees for the Royal Statistical Society, and is on the editorial board for the RSS’s Significance magazine. He co-chairs the United Nations Data Quality group.
Helen Roberts, Director, Digital Delivery, DWP
Helen joined DWP Digital in September 2018 having previously worked in a variety of technology and digital delivery roles in organisations including the Bank of England, Experian, and TNT Post Group.
She’s currently the Digital Delivery Director for Children, Retirement & Counter Fraud, leading teams who look after all of DWP’s digital services in these areas. She is also the joint lead of DWP’s broader service transformation agenda, shaping the organisation of the future. Helen’s primary role is to support teams in delivering all that they need to, creating an environment where individuals can thrive, and getting as many blockers out of the way as possible. She is passionate about the immense potential of digitalisation to improve the services and she feels a huge accountability to do these things well, realising how important DWP services are in the day-to-day lives of so many people.
Georgina Marathefis, Programme Head, Local Public Services, techUK
Georgina works with suppliers that are active or looking to break into the market as well as with local public services to create the conditions for meaningful transformation. techUK regularly bring together local public services and supplier community to horizon scan and explore how the technologies of today and tomorrow can help solve some of the most pressing problems our communities face and improve outcomes for our people and places.
Prior to techUK, Georgina worked for a public policy events company where she managed the policy briefing division and was responsible for generating new ideas for events that would add value to the public sector. Georgina worked across a number of portfolios from education, criminal justice, and health but had a particular interest in public sector transformation and technology. Georgina also led on developing relationships across central and local government.
If you’d like to learn more about techUK, or want to get involved, get in touch.
Alison Mckenzie-Folan, Chief Executive, Wigan Council
Alison is Chief Executive at Wigan Council and was formerly the Deputy Chief Executive with strategic responsibility for a wide range of services. Alison is also the GM lead Chief Executive for both Culture and Environment. Alison is passionate about public services and determined to make a difference for residents and communities. She is dedicated to inspiring the next female generation and committed to collaboration, innovation and technology. She is a spokesperson for SOLACE on the digital agenda and sits on the Board of Open Data Manchester. Alison was named in the Northern Power Women Top 50 Power list and one of the nine most influential digital leaders in Greater Manchester. Wigan Council was named LGC Council of the Year 2019 and Northern Power Women Large Organisation.
Julia Lopez MP, Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office
Julia Lopez MP has represented the Greater London constituency of Hornchurch & Upminster in parliament since June 2017. She was promoted by the Prime Minister to Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office in 2020, having served on the International Trade Committee in the 2017-2019 parliament. She supports work on public sector transformation through leadership of the Government Digital Service, Government Communications Service and Civil Service Human Resources functions. This incorporates a number of transformational programmes, including ‘One Login for Government’ and ‘Reshaping the Government Communications Service’. She also contributes to the Places for Growth programme to make government less Whitehall-centric, efforts to crackdown on public sector fraud and cross-departmental work to maximise the opportunities of EU exit, including reforms to government procurement. Julia grew up in Essex and was educated at her local state primary and secondary schools before securing a place at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, to read Social and Political Sciences. After university, Julia moved to East London and entered elected politics for the first time in 2014 as a councillor in Tower Hamlets in order to fight corruption, electoral fraud and maladministration in the borough. She led the office of a Central London MP, where she worked with financial and professional services firms in the City of London and ran a successful campaign for tax relief to support the creative industries. She has co-authored two books on the financial crash and its aftermath, and was writing her own book about London’s development in the new millennium before her election to parliament. She worked with the International Office of the Conservative Party to strengthen international trade, democratic systems and party alliances in developing nations and across Europe in the run-up to the EU referendum. She was also a trustee of education charity, Inspire Malawi. She and her British-Australian husband, who was born in El Salvador, have a young daughter. .
Diane Barlow, CIO, Food Standards Agency
Diane is an energetic, enthusiastic, resilient, and creative senior leader with deep experience of delivering successful Digital and Technology change programmes in multiple Government Departments. She is committed to delivering exceptional user-centred services, embedding positive change that transforms the way people work, and ensuring her teams and the people she works with are empowered and supported to achieve. Diane is extremely committed to ensuring the benefits of digital and technology are realised. She proactively seeks opportunities to transform complex or painful processes and issues through digitalisation and she is particularly proud of the way she has led and delivered services and change initiatives at the FSA. Throughout, she lives by the values of supporting and building highly engaged and motivated teams committed to working together. To collectively achieve goals, she actively encourages colleagues to continually challenge themselves (and her!) She sponsors colleagues to participate in development schemes and uses her network to help team members receive specialist coaching, developing their expertise alongside their personal effectiveness and resilience.
Jenny Baynes, Head of Business Change (Smarter Working), Government Property Agency
Jenny heads up the business change service focusing on smarter working practices within GPA to support departments. She has a 20-year career background in leadership development,
and organisational change portfolios across public and private sectors.