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2023 SPEAKERS

Each year Public Service Data Live attracts government data expert speakers from both the public and private sectors.

Simon Case

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the United Kingdom Civil Service

Simon Case was appointed Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service in September 2020.

Before this he was appointed Permanent Secretary at No10, focusing on Covid-19 and the response to the pandemic.

He has also served in the Royal Household, having previously been Private Secretary to HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Prior to this, he held many other notable positions across government, serving under both Cameron’s and May’s administrations as Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.

He has also served as Director General for Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as Director General for the UK-EU relationship throughout his time in government. Simon has amassed over 15 years of experience in the Civil Service.

Sarah Ashley

Sarah Ashley

Partner – Government and Public Sector, Baringa

Barah is a Partner in Baringa’s Government and Public Sector team. She has over 20 years’ experience delivering large public sector projects with a focus on driving commercial benefits and building capability within government teams (including Net Zero, EU Exit, Test & Trace). She has worked extensively across central government departments on multiple GMPP programmes from business case development through to implementation and benefits realisation. Sarah has supported numerous high-profile procurements, designed and stood up commercial operating models and is passionate about building and leveraging data and commercial skills across government.

Kamal Bal

Director, Digital, Ministry of Justice

Kamal was appointed as Director of Digital at the Ministry of Justice in January 2023.

He is responsible for the 750 staff who design, run and maintain the digital services that are the bedrock of the UK’s justice system. This includes those used in His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, the Legal Aid Agency, the Office of the Public Guardian and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

As Director of Digital, he has a crucial role in delivering on the Justice Digital strategy, to create simpler, faster and better services for the people interacting with the justice system.

Before joining the Civil Service, Kamal held a range of digital roles including Chief Digital Officer at Pizza Hut Digital Ventures, Director of Global Digital Customer Experience at Avon and Head of Digital Customer Experience at Marks & Spencer.

Sue Bateman

Interim Chief Data Officer, Central Digital and Data Office, Cabinet Office

Sue Bateman is the interim Chief Data Officer at CDDO. This includes responsibility for delivering Mission 3 of the DDaT Roadmap and National Data Strategy – working with fora like Chief Officer Council and Data Standards Authority – to drive a step change in the way government uses and shares data to transform our services and decision making capability. This work spans data sharing (including ethics), data architecture, data asset management (including open data and knowledge, information and records management) and data capability. 

Sue previously spent a number of years working on IT and data policy and strategy in GDS and other departments, including leading the international collaboration on the G8 Open Data Charter and establishing the UK government data science programme and partnership.

Christine Bellamy

Director of Publishing, GOV.UK, Government Digital Service, United Kingdom

GOV.UK is the digital home for the UK government and the best place for people to access government services and information. Christine joined GDS from the BBC where she held a number of roles over a ten year period (2012-2022) and most recently was Head of Product for BBC News and Sport UK and Global. Prior to working at the BBC, Christine was a Managing Director at Johnston Media (2009-2012).

Sir Robert Chote

Chair, UK Statistics Authority and First Chair of the Northern Ireland Fiscal Council

Sir Robert Chote has been Chair of the UK Statistics Authority since June 2022 and is serving part-time as the first chair of the Northern Ireland Fiscal Council. Before this Robert was head of the Office for Budget Responsibility and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and was Economics Editor of the Financial Times and the Independent. Robert was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours list for services to fiscal policy and the economy.

Kevin Cunnington

Former Director General, Government Digital Service (GDS), United Kingdom, and Expert Advisor, Global Government Forum

Kevin was Director General of the International Government Service and Digital Envoy for the UK from August 2019, until April 2021. Prior to that, he was the Director General of the Government Digital Service from August 2016 to July 2019. Kevin left the UK Civil Service in April 2021.

Kevin has led a variety of large scale, and global, digital transformation programmes. He spent his early career in programming and IT consultancy. More recently he was the Global Head of Online for Vodafone Group and Business Transformation Group Director General at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Kevin now advises Global Government Forum, and leads the Global Government Digital Leaders’ Study

Megan Lee Devlin

Chief Executive, Central Digital and Data Office

Megan Lee Devlin is Chief Executive of the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), responsible for leading the government’s digital transformation from the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) in the Cabinet Office. CDDO leads the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) function for HMG by putting the right conditions and capabilities in place to enable departments to transform through digital and technology. Megan joined the Civil Service from McKinsey & Company, where she worked with private sector and public sector organisations on technology, analytics and organisational transformation topics.

Abby Eaton

Aitemoligst, Aitemology

Abby’s entrepreneurial background includes ventures in the music business, deal facilitating for sport/music/rights holders/personalities, and film funding/product placement. In the late 1990s she co-founded a dotcom PLC (global email product) that she took to float, running the gamut of raising finance and presenting in the city.

She also has considerable Executive Search experience, working for two renowned London talent agencies (The Lloyd Group where she was Head of New Media, and Kendall Tarrant where she was Head of Sponsorship & Experiential Marketing) as well as freelance work with venture capitalists and private clients. Management structure for dotcom start-ups was her specialist area, finding senior directors to work together in the embryonic digital market of the late 1990s/early 2000s.

A more recent focus on business change, stakeholder engagement and comms strategy for transformation programmes led her to co-found Aitemology® with her two fellow Directors Luke and Mandip in 2021 where her skills provide the critical non-technical rigour needed to ensure successful programme delivery.

Dr Tim Ferris

National Director of Transformation, NHS England

Dr Tim Ferris is the inaugural National Director of Transformation at NHS England, and previously a Non-Executive Director on the Board. Tim is seconded from his role as CEO of the Mass General Physicians Organization in Boston, USA. Tim trained in medicine and public health at Harvard University, and became a professor at Harvard Medical School in 2018 and continues as an adjunct Professor.

Emma Gordon

Director, ADR, United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council

Dr Emma Gordon is the Director of the £105m Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) programme at the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), which is opening up secure access to government administrative data across the UK, to support research and inform policy decisions. Emma joined ADR UK from HM Treasury, managing the Government Economic Service and Government Social Research profession, and prior to this was Head of Health Analysis at the Office for National Statistics (ONS). At the start of her career, Emma was a post-doctoral researcher on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

Doreen Grove

Head, Open Government, Scottish Government

Doreen leads Scottish Government’s involvement in the Open Government Partnership at both a National and International level. In Scotland, Open Government supports the reform and development of trustworthy public services, the renewal of democracy, promotes openness, transparency and the use of innovative participative processes and open access to information to help transform how people interact with public services.

Sean Heshmat

Head of Data and AI, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant

Sean leads Cognizant’s Data and AI practice across Global Growth Markets and was a founding member of the Cognizant Data Science Services for geographies outside of North America (e.g. EMEA and APAC) across all industries. With 30 years of management and analytics consulting experience, Sean’s key focus is enabling his clients to realise value and insight from data. Having previously worked at Accenture and IQVIA, at Cognizant, Sean holds commercial and large-scale transformation/implementation responsibilities in the areas of data and analytics across industries within Cognizant’s Global Growth Markets.

Catherine Hutchinson

Head, Evaluation Task Force, Cabinet Office and HM Treasury

Catherine is the Head of the joint HM Treasury (HMT) and Cabinet Office’s Evaluation Task Force and has a wealth of experience both of evaluation and of leading improvement and change, gained in a range of senior roles. Catherine is also currently the Chief Social Researcher in the Cabinet Office, Number 10 and HM Treasury. She has worked as Head of Profession for Evaluation at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and as the Head of the Evaluation unit at the Department for International Development, and before that in a number of evaluation roles at the College of Policing (a What Works centre for crime reduction), Department for Education, and HM Inspectorate of Prisons. Her career has been split between operational and strategic roles, including working in the psychology department of various prisons. 

Fiona James

Chief Digital Officer and Director, Data Growth and Operations, National Statistics

Fiona is Chief Data Officer and Director of Data Growth and Operations at the Office for National Statistics. She is an experienced digital, data, technology and policy expert with a deep understanding of the delivery challenges faced by public sector organisations.

She has a track record in leadership through complexity, projects and people in both a policy and service delivery context.

Fiona joined the Civil Service in 2006 as a generalist Fast Streamer at the Department for Transport, where she held policy, strategy and operational roles across aviation, roads and maritime.

She spent four years working on exiting the European Union, leading transport and digital, data and technology readiness at the Cabinet Office, before moving to the Crown Prosecution Service as a digital technology leader, helping to transform criminal justice during the pandemic.

Fiona is married to Will, and they have three sons

Shruti Kohli

Head, Data Science (Innovation), Innovation lab, Department for Work and Pensions

Shruti lead DWP’s Innovation Lab. This includes horizon scanning, and identifying the data and technology in the external ecosystem that can help the department to innovate and improve their services. Shruti is working on a couple of interesting data-driven projects in the lab, one of these is a programme to understand use the of synthetic data as a data-sharing tool. She holds a PhD in Computer Science, with over a decade of professional experience in both the private and public sectors encompassing a variety of roles.

Albert King

Chief Data Officer, Digital & Security, NHS National Services Scotland

Albert King is Chief Data Officer at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS).  NHS NSS serves as the data hub for the health and social care economy in Scotland. Through and unrivalled mix of health and social care datasets, professional capability and it’s leading technology platform (SEER) it supports the development of insights with partners, including Public Health Scotland, Health Boards, local and national government.  Previously, Albert served as Chief Data Officer in the Scottish Government and draws on over 20 years experience in industry and public sector data and technology.

Dominic Lague

Deputy Director, Government Strategic Management Office, Cabinet Office

Dominic is a career civil servant, and a hobbyist software engineer. He has led successive efforts to track and improve a wide range of central government’s work, from the Brexit readiness portfolio, to Covid response efforts, and latterly the full range of the government’s activities. 

Dominic currently leads the Government Strategic Management Office, which sets the government’s annual delivery planning approach (jointly with HM Treasury), tracks priority projects and programmes, and builds the single digital platform that creates a central picture of performance across government.

Alex Longden

Head, Data Strategy and Standards, Ordnance Survey

Alex Longden is a seasoned government data professional with a passion for unlocking valuable insights from data to support informed decision-making. With over a decade of experience in the fields of geospatial data and meteorology, Alex Longden has been at the forefront of shaping data strategies that drive innovation and efficiency in the public sector.

In his role as a Government Data Strategist, Alex Longden has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the transformative power of data. He has played a pivotal role in curating and harnessing data resources to create actionable intelligence and empower government agencies to make data-driven decisions.

With a passion for innovation, a dedication to leveraging geospatial data and meteorology for the greater good, and a proven track record in data strategy, Alex Longden is an invaluable asset to the government data community. Their expertise and commitment to data-driven decision-making continues to drive positive change in the public sector, ensuring that data remains a powerful tool for improving government operations and serving citizens effectively.

Beata Lisowska

Beata Lisowska

Chief Data Officer, London Borough of Camden

Beata has been leading the transformation of the data estate and building data capability at the London Borough of Camden since August 2022.

She is responsible for setting and implementing Camden’s new Data Strategy which aims for Camden to be the pioneering leader in the use of data that measurably improves citizens’ lives. She also leads the DDaT data professions and works to support frontline services with building data capability and the use of new methods and technology. She is passionate about building trust through transparency and the ethical use of data.

Prior to joining Camden, Beata held senior roles at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) including leading the Data Products team. She has been actively involved in setting cross-government standards, data sharing initiatives as well as contributing to the National Data Strategy on behalf of ONS.

Before joining ONS, Beata was leading the research in interoperability of data standards and classifications in the sector of international development.

She holds MSc in Bioinformatics from Imperial College London and a PhD in Mathematical Modelling of Microbial Systems.

Tuula Lybeck

Project Director, Development and Digitization Project of Discretionary Governmental Grants, Ministry of Finance, Finland

Tuula Lybeck leads the improving and digitization of discretionary government grants in Finland. Tuula has worked for more than 25 years as a civil servant of the Government in many different expert and management positions in the Ministry on Education and Culture and in the Ministry of Finance. Tuula has experience among other things in legislative drafting, state budget preparation and strategic policy planning. She has also been responsible official for religious freedom and ecclesiastical matters as well as copyright issues.

Master of Laws from the University of Lapland in 1995.

This year Finland ranked first in the European Union’s digital performance comparison. The European Commission’s annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) monitors the digital performance of EU Member States and tracks their progress in digitalisation. Finland has been at the top of the list for several years, ranking number two in 2021 and number one in 2019 and 2020.

In a changing operating environment, the government’s operational capability is enforced by utilising high-quality information in a diverse manner. Finland will develop foresight systematically, so as to quickly be able to form a reliable information base when needed. This means, for example, that Finland will open government data resources and we will link foresight more strongly to preparation and budgeting.

Discretionary government grants consist of public financing awarded on a discretionary basis from central government funds for the purpose of supporting activities or projects for tens of thousands of operators considered important to society. Discretionary government grants totalling almost EUR 4 billion are awarded each year in more than 300 calls for government grant applications.

The purpose is to get more information about the effectiveness of the use of government grants to support decision-making for the Government. The data resource of government grants will collect information from all administrative branches in order to open and utilize information about government grant activities, to evaluate effectiveness and to improve the monitoring of the use of government grants.

Richard Price

Director General, Performance, Strategy and Analysis, Ministry of Justice

Richard Price joined the Ministry of Justice as Director General of Performance, Strategy and Analysis Group in May 2022. He previously served as Director of the Analysis Group at the Department for International Trade (DIT) for five years, where he was also Chief Economist.

Richard has held a number of senior roles across government, including Chief Executive of the Office of Rail and Road and Chair of the UK Regulators Network. He was also Director of Analysis and Chief Economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) working on decarbonisation, natural capital, and agriculture, and led on enterprise and industrial policy at the Treasury. Prior to this, Richard led on global health and vaccines in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and undertook the first work on climate change at HM Treasury.

As Chief Economist at the Home Office, he led projects on the performance of the criminal justice system, the economic and social cost of crime and crime reduction strategies, and economics of migration. As an adviser in commercial practice, he worked on regulatory reforms in eastern Europe and Asia.

Alison Pritchard

Deputy National Statistician and Director General Data Capability, Office for National Statistics

Alison is leading the transformation in data usage which will see ever more integrated data put to effective and safe use across the private and public sectors. She ensures ONS has the right technology and skills to meet its ambitious goals in data analytics and data science and champions safe and secure data sharing for the public good in ONS and beyond.

Most recently Alison was Director General of the Government Digital Service leading the organisation through a busy and critical period. And before that, she was Director of Transformation at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

She began her Civil Service career in 1987. She has worked across a range of departments including the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Her career has seen her enjoy a varied and interesting range of roles, including: spending five years in Saudi Arabia with a UK defence programme; leading the independent review of Royal Family and ministerial air travel; and being responsible for gambling and the National Lottery.

Outside government, Alison has experience as Head of Operations for an IT engineering business and on secondment to the third sector as Director of Programmes for a multi-faith research body supporting counter-radicalisation.

Matthew Rees

Commercial Hub Director, National Audit Office

Matthew Rees is Director of the National Audit Office’s Commercial Insights Team, which focuses on public procurement, corporate finance, and regulation. Recent NAO reports that Matthew directed include:  “Competition in public procurement”, “Managing the commercial lifecycle”, “Corporate finance in the public sector”. He also directed the investigations into the collapse of Bulb Energy and into Supply Chain Finance in the NHS. Prior to joining the NAO, Matthew commissioned and ran a contract data, pricing and benchmarking service for a regulatory agency that reported to the Ministry of Defence to provide transparency and insights about its commercial spend. Matthew is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the ICAEW Council and he has worked for a variety of public and private sector organisations.

Daljit Rehal

Chief Digital and Information Officer, HM Revenue and Customs

Daljit Rehal is a senior technology and data executive with broad experience in the sector, including modernising digital capabilities, adopting Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies and Agile methods and leading change.

Before joining HM Revenue and Customs in September 2020, Daljit served as Global Digital and Data Services Director at Centrica. He has previously held senior positions at Talk Talk and Virgin Media.

Bill Roberts

Senior Partner, Government Data, TPXimpact

Bill Roberts is Senior Partner for Government Data at TPXimpact. He was previously co-founder of Swirrl, who were acquired by TPXimpact last year, and he continues to work with government organisations to help them make the best use of their data to find new insights and enable innovations in their operations. He works closely with Office for National Statistics, DLUHC, CDDO, Defra and the Scottish Government to ensure government data can have the maximum positive impact.

Aydin Sheibani

Chief Data Officer, HM Revenue & Customs

Aydin is the chief data officer at HMRC which he joined in Sep 2021, having spent 2.5 years at the Civil Service at DWP leading the data transformation programme. Prior to that he worked across transport, utilities, health and finance sectors in data & analytical leadership roles.

Dr Ravinder Singh

Modernising Technology Programme Manager, Central Digital and Data Office

Dr. Ravinder Singh brings a remarkable history in digital consulting and transformation, encompassing areas such as Generative AI, LLMs, AI/ML, IoT, RPA, Blockchain, enterprise architecture, sustainability, standards, assurance, audits, cyber and information security, as well as adept program and project management, handling budgets reaching £1.5 billion. With extensive experience at the ‘C-level,’ he has made significant contributions across both public and private sectors, spanning influential roles with the World Bank, UK government, Switzerland, Thailand, Colombia, Ukraine, Rwanda, India, and various other governmental entities. His expertise extends to the realms of defence, top-tier consulting firms, BFSI, software houses, research and development, telecommunications, and the oil/utility sectors.

Ravinder holds the distinction of being the copyright holder for two software programs and has authored 14 impactful research papers. His pioneering work earned him a nomination for the prestigious Shri Dewang Mehta National Award for Innovation in Information Technology in India. Additionally, his name graces the pages of WHO’S WHO in the WORLD for consecutive years – 2014 through 2020, and WHO’S WHO in ASIA (1st and 2nd editions) published in 2006 and 2012 by Marquis Who’s Who, USA.

Dr. Singh co-authored the book “Model Driven Business Process Engineering,” available on Amazon (2016) and Bentham Science (2014). He holds accreditation as an IPA Reviewer and holds certifications in PMP, Prince-2, ITIL, ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, CMMI, and ISO 9001. Beyond his individual achievements, he has played an integral role as an editor for postgraduate, undergraduate, and certificate course materials, contributing to Board of Studies initiatives and curriculum design. His expertise has also been shared as a Visiting Faculty across numerous universities and colleges.

Deepak Shukla

Head, Data and Analytics Capabilities, Amazon Web Services 

Deepak heads data and analytics capabilities at Amazon Web Services (AWS) for public sector in UK and Ireland.

Deepak is a commercially focussed senior leader with over 16 years of management consulting and advisory experience (to CIO, CTO, CDOs) within cloud and digital transformation enabled by data, analytics, AI and Generative AI. He is passionate about innovation and enabling large scale AI and data-led transformation programmes delivering multi-million dollars in benefits to his customers.

Before joining AWS, Deepak has worked as senior manager at Accenture, shaping and delivering large scale data driven transformation programmes for customers across industries.

Sian Thomas

Chief Data Officer, Department for Business and Trade

Beginning her career in the private sector, Sian moved to the Food Standards Agency working 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.

Siân joined DIT in February 2019. Sian joined DIT in Feb 2019. Her remit includes building services and products to enable DIT staff to understand and meet business and customer needs, leading a data infrastructure team to produce more value from its data assets and creating a new data service to allow the UK to implement an independent trade policy for the first time in 40 years. Sian currently leads two portfolios in DDaT in DBT: Data Platforms and Employee Experience.

Ed Towers

Head, Advanced Analytics and Data Science, Financial Conduct Authority

Ed leads the FCA’s Advanced Analytics and Data Science function, responsible for developing and embedding data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools and capability across the organisation. The team’s work supports a broad remit of regulatory priorities: from identifying scams and detecting problem firms, to testing firm compliance with financial crime regimes and analysing the impacts of Costs of Living on Consumers . Since joining the regulator in 2015 Ed has led a number of transformation initiatives. Prior to the FCA Ed worked as a consultant within Financial Services.

Siobhan Benita

Event Moderator, Global Government Forum

Siobhan was a senior civil servant in the UK with more than 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell, to lead work on civil service reform and strategy. Siobhan left to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University, as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.

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