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The Digital Summit 2019 will feature digital leaders from the worlds of government and industry.

Alison Pritchard

Director General of the Government Digital Service, United Kingdom

Alison is Director General of the Government Digital Service. Prior to that she was Director of EU Exit and Transformation at the Government Digital Service (GDS). 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 5 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. Following a period as Director of Transformation at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Alison joined GDS in 2017.

Kevin Cunnington

Director General of International Government Service, United Kingdom

Kevin became Director General of GDS in August 2016. He was also Head of Function for Digital, Data and Technology across government, and a member of the Cabinet Office’s Executive Committee. He spent his early career in programming and IT consultancy, before becoming Global Head of Online for Vodafone Group then Business Transformation Group Director General at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In June 2019, it was announced that Kevin would be moving to become Director General of the newly-created International Government Service. He has been replaced by Alison Pritchard, GDS’s Director for EU Exit and Transformation.

Anna Eriksson

Director General, DIGG, Sweden

Anna serves as the Director General at DIGG, the Swedish Agency for Digital Government. She is the former CIO of Lantmäteriet (the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority) and has worked within both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies, including Ericsson and ICA. Anna holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering specialising in Computer Systems Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Lauri Lugna

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior, Estonian 

Lauri Lugna has led the Ministry of the Interior since 2015, and is also a member of the Council of the State Infocommunication Foundation and the Council of the Estonian Internet Foundation. He joined the Ministry in 2004, working on issues including internal security, strategic planning, HR and ICT until 2013, when he joined the Estonian Road Administration as Deputy General Director for Traffic Safety and Public Transport. There, he led the development of digital services governing the right to drive and vehicle ownership transactions.

Lauri has studied public administration and European policies in Estonia, Finland and Belgium, and at Harvard Kennedy School and the Copenhagen Institute of Neurocreativity. He has a Master’s degree in European Politics and Policies from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and began his career as an official at the European Parliament.

Ott Vatter

Managing Director at e-Residency, Estonia

Ott Vatter is an entrepreneur, ex-startup founder and media producer, current Managing Director of the governmental startup e-Residency by the Republic of Estonia: the first transnational digital identity platform in the world for global citizens, built on inclusion, transparency and legitimacy to empower citizens globally and to achieve world-wide digital and financial inclusion. He has previously worked as a consultant to various government institutions. For more on e-Residency, read our recent interview with Ott. 

Mikhail Pryadilnikov

Head, Center of Competence for Digital Government Transformation; and Deputy Director, Analytic Center for the Russian Government, Russia

The Analytic Center for the Russian Government provides on-demand information analytics and expert support for departments; and as Deputy Director, Mikhail Pryadilnikov is responsible for strategic management, regional development, SME support, public administration and investment climate reform.

Mikhail has also recently been appointed as Head, Center of Competence for Digital Government Transformation, a top-level unit with a particular focus on government digital services established to support public sector organizations in managing their digital transformation programmes.

He previously served as the director of the Department for Strategic Planning, Government Programs and Investment Projects at the Ministry of Economic Development. Prior to joining the federal government, he worked for Moscow city government as the Head of Economic Policy and Development.

Mr Priyadilnikov studied economics and philosophy in the USA and was awarded a PhD in government and political science by Harvard University. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and a Visiting Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Before joining the civil service, he spent 10 years as a consultant at the World Bank in Washington DC, working in the Middle East and North Africa unit on anti-corruption and civil service reforms in Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and the West Bank & Gaza.

Chan Cheow Hoe

Government Chief Digital Technology Officer, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, & Deputy Chief Executive, Government Technology Agency of Singapore, Singapore

Mr Chan Cheow Hoe is the Government Chief Digital Technology Officer (GCDTO) of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO). He is also concurrently the Deputy Chief Executive of the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech).

As the GCDTO, Cheow Hoe oversees the development of the Government’s digital infrastructure and digital technology capability, as well as talent development in information and communication technology and smart systems (ICT&SS). He will also oversee the development of platforms to enable resource sharing and interoperability across Government, so as to drive the development and delivery of innovative government digital services for citizens and businesses.

In his role as Deputy Chief Executive, GovTech, he oversees multi-disciplinary teams that develop and manage key government digital products such as the National Digital Identity.

Cheow Hoe has more than two decades of extensive experience both in the public and private sectors, with a strong track record in leading digital transformation changes in organisations and the government.

Prior to joining GovTech, Cheow Hoe held senior appointments in international banks and consulting companies in the areas of technology, operations, finance and business.

Cheow Hoe graduated from the National University of Singapore, and obtained his masters from Wharton School.

Emma Stace

Chief Digital Officer, Department of Education, United Kingdom

Emma has been leading digital in government for over five years. She began her journey in government at the Government Digital Service, moving to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in 2015. In 2017, she started working at the Department for Education as Director of Transformation and Digital and Chief Digital Officer. She is a leader of cultural change and service delivery and has worked all over the world and in both the public and private sectors. Prior to working in government, Emma lived in Sydney, Australia from 2008 to 2012 which forever changed her appreciation of good coffee. During her time there, she worked at The Inspire Foundation, Australia’s leading online mental health organisation. She can be found on twitter @emmastace

Caron Alexander

Director of Digital Services, Northern Ireland Civil Service, Northern Ireland

Caron has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK public sector, and is currently Director of Digital Shared Services for Northern Ireland Government and Head of the NI Civil Service IT profession. She is responsible for providing ICT shared services to 27,000 staff, for the NI citizen portal www.nidirect.gov.uk and contact centre services, delivering the NI Digital Transformation Programme and driving forward the NI Open Data agenda. Previously Caron held a number of senior technical, programme and change management roles in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Paul James

Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, and Government Chief Digital Officer, New Zealand

In 2018 Paul James was appointed Chief Executive and Government Chief Digital Officer at the Department of Internal Affairs, a large government agency with many responsibilities and functions. As Government Chief Digital Officer, Paul is responsible for driving digital transformation across government agencies to deliver better services and outcomes to citizens. This functional leadership role spans information management, technology infrastructure, and technology-enabled business processes and services to ensure all New Zealanders can participate in and benefit from the digital world.

Paul has been a public servant since 1993. He has worked extensively in Treaty of Waitangi settlements and has held senior policy roles at the New Zealand Treasury, Ministry of Justice and Accident Compensation Corporation. Before taking up his current role, he was Chief Executive at Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Paul holds a Master of Science in Geography from the University of Canterbury.

Edward Hartwig

Deputy Administrator, U.S. Digital Service, The White House, USA

Eddie currently serves as Deputy Administrator of the United States Digital Service (USDS). Following the failure and successful rebuild of healthcare.gov in 2013, President Obama established USDS to protect and modernize our nation’s most critical public-facing services. Since 2014, USDS has built more than 90 products across fifteen federal agencies. Current products include digitizing the immigration process, building Medicare’s Quality Payments Program, and developing a single login and identity platform for government.

Prior to USDS, Eddie served as advisor and speechwriter to the U.S. Ambassador to Austria. While in Austria, he also founded and directed Elevate Entrepreneurship, a grassroots movement to improve and grow Austria’s innovation economy. Eddie is a former Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State who has served abroad in the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Austria. He began his professional career as a public defender in Massachusetts, defending indigent clients against the prospect of life in prison.

Aaron Snow

Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Digital Service, Canada

As Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Digital Service (CDS), Aaron leads the Canadian Government’s newest digital team in its ambitious mandate to improve federal service delivery.

Recruited through a global talent search, Aaron is tasked with helping to mainstream new ways of designing and delivering services that reduce the risk of project failure, lower costs, ensure user privacy and system security, and above all, improve people’s lives by putting their needs front and centre.

Before CDS, Aaron was Chief Operating Officer of cBrain North America. He was a Presidential Innovation Fellow under President Barack Obama, and then co-founded and was the second Executive Director of 18F, the United States Government’s in-house digital consultancy. Aaron has held several roles related to improving the government’s use of technology to improve services to the public and was Deputy Commissioner and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Government’s Technology Transformation Service (TTS).

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the OpenGov Foundation. He serves as Chief Technology Officer of Voter Protection Partners, and is a member of the OpenGov Foundation’s Board of Directors in the United States.

Before his government service, Aaron was co-founder of Daring Software, a practicing litigator, and a program manager at Microsoft. 

Carlos Santiso

Director, Governance Practice, Digital Innovation in Government, Development Bank of Latin America, Colombia

Dr. Carlos Santiso has been the Director of the newly-established governance practice focusing on Digital Innovation in Government at the Development Bank of Latin America since September 2018. He spearheads a special regional initiative on govtech start-ups and public innovation.

He previously headed the Innovation in Citizen Services at the Inter-American Development Bank, based in Washington from 2011 to 2018. Santiso also worked as sector manager for governance at the African Development Bank between 2007 and 2011, governance advisor to the British government aid agency between 2002 and 2007, and as senior operations officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance between 1996 and 2000. He started his career as an advisor in the French prime minister’s office between 1995 and 1996.

Santiso holds a PhD in comparative political economy from Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s in international economic policy from Columbia University, and a Master’s in public policy from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris.

He has written extensively on digital transformation, public governance, and anticorruption. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption for 2019-20, advisor to the World Economic Forum Partnering against Corruption Initiative and Tech4Integrity platform; member of the advisory committee of NYU GovLab´s “blockchan.ge” initiative; and member of the editorial advisory board of Data&Policy.

Rob Thompson

CTO & Director, Home Office Digital Data and Technology, Home Office, United Kingdom

Rob is the Director & Chief Technology Officer for the UK Home Office with extensive experience in digital strategic leadership and delivering large scale digital product development and transformation. Previously he was Head of Engineering for DWP Digital, leading the technology delivery of Universal Credit Full Service.

He is a CTO with a broad range of experiences gained in Government, Mobile, Telecommunications, Software and Internet sectors. Joining the Civil Service in 2014, he is passionate about creating a Digital Government to respond to people’s increased expectations for internet based services.

Prior to joining UK Government, Rob led the technology team in Deutsche Telekom’s international mobile internet business, supporting 85m customers across Europe and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering & Technology

Neal Craig

Partner – Lead, Public Sector Digital, PA Consulting

Neal is the Public Sector Digital lead for PA Consulting, working in collaboration with Central Government and wider public sector clients to deliver fantastic digital outcomes for organisations, staff and users. His experience spans digital strategy; service design, transformation and delivery; and broader organisational transformation using digital as the catalyst.

Prior to joining PA Consulting, Neal led the digital team at Deliotte Digital, supporting a range of Central Government clients in their digital transformation journeys. Before working in the Private Sector, Neal was a Senior Civil Servant, and held a range of digital, policy, operational and private office roles in a 15-year career.

Colin Cook

Director of Digital, The Scottish Government, Scotland

Colin Cook is Digital Director, Scottish Government.  In that role he is responsible for the Scottish Government’s Shared IT service, data policy, the development of digital public services and the roll out of broadband and mobile connectivity. 

Colin started his working life in the packaging industry before joining Royal Mail where he eventually became Marketing Director of the company’s £4 billion core letters business.  Other roles have included Marketing Director, British Army Recruitment, Head of Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretariat and a Senior Civil Servant leading change programmes across NHS Scotland.

Tobias Plate 

Head of Unit Digital State, Federal Chancellery, Germany

Dr Tobias Plate leads the Digital State unit, which is part of the new directorate-general for Innovation and Digital Policy in the German Federal Chancellery. His tasks include facilitating the execution of the German Act on Online Access, which stipulates that all application procedures with public administration are to be made available online until the end of 2022, no matter whether the competent authority is the federal government or one of the 11,000 municipalities in Germany.

His role also involves looking into how public administration can reinvent itself so as to better attract, retain and develop staff.

Before his time in the Federal Chancellery, Tobias worked with the Federal Ministry of the Interior in various functions, including that of press spokesperson.

Tobias holds a German law degree as well as a Master of Laws from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Maria Nikkilä

Head of Digital Unit, Public Sector ICT Department, Finland

Maria is head of the Digital Unit at the Finnish government’s Ministry of Finance. Over the past few years Maria has been responsible for developing the architecture of shared digitalisation services in Finland – first as a Programme Director and then as the owner of government digitalisation projects. The Ministry of Finance’s Digital Unit is responsible for the overall development of the digital services of public administration and the integration of joint development projects.

Maria is also a member of the board of Erillisverkot, a wholly state-owned special-purpose company providing critical leadership society services for public authorities and other critical operators of national security. Erillisverkot provides situational awareness and collaboration tool, the administrative security radio network Virve.

Iain O’Neil

Director, Digital Strategy, NHSX, United Kingdom

Biography available soon

Huw Stephens

CIO – Information Workplace Solutions and Treasury Group Shared Services, HM Treasury, United Kingdom

Biography available soon

Gavin Gaunt

Director, Group Assurance and Digital, Department for Transport, United Kingdom

Biography available soon

John Seglias

Chief Digital and Information Officer, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom

Biography available soon

Karl Hoods

Chief Digital and Information Office, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom

Biography available soon

Helen Mott 

Head of Digital, Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom 

Biography available soon

Richard Matthews

Director of CTS and Lead for the Technology Transition Programme, Digital & Technology, Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom 

Richard started his technology career in 1993, when he joined IBM’s graduate fast-track scheme. From there, he moved into selling System Integration Services before working for a boutique technology company in London’s Old Street, known as ‘Tech City’, where he sold hardware and software to a wide range of businesses in the City of London.

Later, at Thomson Travel/TUI Travel, he supported the move from a paper-based brochure, available at high street stores, to the information being available online.

Richard then transitioned into digital, spending 10 years working for a digital marketing company in Sweden which sold digital content directly to customers. There, he focused on removing legacy processes, moving to open-source and utilising the latest digital techniques to maintain competitive advantage.

In 2010, he moved back to the UK and sought an opportunity to work in the public sector. He joined the Ministry of Justice in 2010 in the role of Lead Account Manager and through temporary promotion he has been working as the Director for Change, Innovation and Demand for the last two years. Since June 2015 he has been the Director for Business IT, focusing on MoJ Technology Engagement, Project and Programme Delivery and more recently Live Service.

Rūta Šatrovaitė  

Interim Director, INFOBALT, Lithuania 

Biography available soon

Ian Porée

Executive Director, Community Interventions, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom

The Executive Director of Community Interventions is accountable for the contracted-out delivery of probation and rehabilitation services across England (c.£400m per annum). Ian is also responsible for the national Public Protection and Offender Accommodation functions across the Agency.

Prior to this role, Ian has held numerous director level roles across HMPPS and the Ministry of Justice, leading reform programmes, digital service design and major competitions involving the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, as well as being responsible for commissioning adult offender services across England and Wales. He has also completed a secondment to the National Citizen Service as Strategic Commissioning and Operations Director.

He is an experienced strategic director with a history of leading high potential teams to grow and change businesses and large-scale complex systems, making connections across organisational boundaries. Ian has a proven track record of managing commercial relationships in challenging operational environments, including technology enabled change.

Ian is a contributor to recently published book Stories from 2045, edited by Calum Chace, which includes stories that explore the ways that artificial intelligence and related technologies may affect jobs.

Ian completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Hons) from the University of Natal, Durban. He has also studied Business Management and has a Master’s in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management from the University of Cambridge.

John Manzoni

Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, United Kingdom

As Chief Executive of the Civil Service, John Manzoni leads the reform programme across government, working with permanent secretaries to transform public services and the way government works. John’s work focuses on skills, property, shared services, government processes and digital technologies.

As Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office, John is responsible for leadership and governance. The Permanent Secretary is also the Cabinet Office’s Accounting Officer, responsible for the financial propriety of the department.

John has more than 30 years’ experience in the private sector. Before joining government, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy Inc. Prior to that he was at BP, where he held senior strategic and operational leadership roles at global, regional and local level. Between 2002 and 2007 he was BP’s Chief Executive, Refining and Marketing, spanning six different businesses across more than 100 countries; and he was a member of the BP plc main board from 2003 to 2007.

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