Home » Summit » Summit Participants 2021

Participants 2021

The Digital Summit features digital leaders from the worlds of government and industry.

Participants for the 2021 Summit included:

Jason Bay

Senior Director – Government Digital Services, GovTech, Singapore

Jason drives government transformation through digital technology as Senior Director for Government Digital Services, where he leads the overall strategy, design and delivery of citizen-centric and developer-centric digital products. He is also the product lead for TraceTogether, the world’s first national Bluetooth contact tracing app. Prior to this role, Jason was Director of the Industry, Economic Regulation, and International Strategy teams at the Ministry of Communications and Information, and had also been Special Assistant to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. Jason has also had stints in the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Law, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Public Service Division.

As a recovering engineer-turned-policy maker, Jason’s hands-on approach led to him providing and proving the key insight that solved the Circle Line rogue train mystery in 2016. He also oversaw the media and broadcast infrastructure supporting the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit in 2018. As an advocate for high-performing team cultures, Jason is regularly invited to speak on the topics of psychological safety and authentic leadership to public sector audiences. Outside of work, Jason is an avid diver, occasional racer, and aspiring aviator. He graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2005, as well as a Master of Science in Management in 2019.

Thomas Beach

Interim Chief Data Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce, United States of America

Biography to be updated soon.

Dan Brember

Head of Policy and Strategy – GOV.UK, Government Digital Service, United Kingdom

Dan is Head of Policy and Strategy at GOV.UK, part of the Government Digital Service. GOV.UK is the trusted online brand for HM Government and the canonical source of government services and information in the United Kingdom, with more than 30 million users every week.

Prior to this, Dan was Senior Private Secretary to the Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officers for the UK Civil Service.

Adi Cohen

Head of Data and Analytics Department, Digital Israel National Bureau, Ministry of Digital Affairs, Israel

Adi founded & managed the Data and Analytics Department at the Digital Israel National Bureau.

She leads Israel’s National Data Strategy, which is a major component of the Government’s National Digital Strategy.

Adi manages several complex data & digital projects, requiring the coordination and cooperation of many government ministries.

Adi is a professional facilitator regarding data issues (data literacy, human capital, data strategy, data projects, data governance, and data-related technology) for government ministries.

Prior to entering the civil service, Adi worked at several companies in the finance and telecom fields as a head of strategic, data & analytics.

Adi holds an MBA in Management from the College of Management, with a speciality in finance and marketing.

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.

Kevin Cunnington

Digital Envoy for the UK and Director General, International Government Service, United Kingdom

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

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).

Jennifer Duncan

Vice President – Government Innovation (Global), Mastercard

Jennifer has spent most of her career in government affairs and communications. She joined Mastercard in 2014 and in her current role focuses on addressing societal problems facing governments, the wider public sector and the citizens they serve – putting policy into practice. In 2020 she was named as the payments industry’s Emerging Female Leader.

She is currently leading Mastercard’s work with governments around the world to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jennifer is a passionate believer in public private partnerships and has been involved in a wide range of policy issues including contactless transport, social welfare, digital procurement, financial inclusion, security and sustainability.

Jennifer is a member of the UK Government’s ‘Inclusive Economy Partnership Financial Inclusion Steering Group’ and she led a govt/industry initiative to reduce a card fraud for the UK Home Office (2016-2018).

She is an advocate for financial inclusion and is Non-Executive Director of ‘Fair for You’, an ethical alternative lender focused on alleviating poverty. Jennifer chaired Project Inclusion on behalf of the ‘Emerging Payments Association’ playing a leading role in launching the world’s first inclusion specific transactional banking comparison tool and accreditation service (2019). She also supported the creation and work of The Independent Financial Inclusion Commission in the UK (2014-2017).

Before joining Mastercard Jennifer worked for Tesco, holding a variety of roles across Tesco Bank and the wider Retail Group. Prior to this, Jennifer was a member of the public affairs team at DLA Piper.

Jennifer is ‘Girls4Tech’ champion and has a First in Politics and International Relations from the ‘University of Aberdeen’.

Rotem Einav

Digital Transformation Project Manager – Human Capital, Digital Israel National Bureau, Ministry of Digital Affairs, Israel

Rotem manages digital projects related to human capital in the public sector. She designed and launched, together with the Government Procurement Administration, the “Digital Services Tender”, which enables the government to purchase services in a wide range of digital expertise, from boutique companies and freelancers to large scale suppliers. This project is part of a strategy that was created to bring the “Start-up Nation” into the government in terms of human capital, positions and roles, organizational culture and jargon, methodologies and tools.

Prior to entering the civil service, Rotem worked at several start-ups and digital organizations as a project manager.

Rotem holds an MBA in Public Policy from Bar-Ilan University. and a BA in Management and Psychology from Tel-Aviv University.

Eric Gagne

Director General of Digital Strategies and Information Management, Environment and Climate Change, Canada

Biography to be updated soon.

Gina Gill

CDIO (Interim), Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom

Gina is the Interim CDIO at the Ministry of Justice where she has been part of the digital leadership team for over 2 years.

Gina has a background in consulting, financial services and has led a range of complex programmes covering technology, insourcing/outsourcing and cultural change. She has strong commercial expertise and started her career as a developer.

Tariq Hussain

Senior Director, UK Public Sector, Dell Technologies

With over 20 years’ of commercial experience that spans across a range of industries including manufacturing, transport, consulting and information technology, Tariq Hussain brings a broad spectrum of expertise to his role as UK Government Sales Director for Dell in the UK. In this role, Tariq is responsible for leading a business of 16 Account Executives across the UK (with a wider indirect team of >50) and driving growth across all of Dell’s end-to-end products and services – offering technology solutions for every person across Local and Central Government and Defence and Securities. The revenue from this account set is now worth >$250m a year and has seen substantial growth in the last 8 quarters. Prior to this role Tariq was the UK Finance Director supporting the UK VP Tim Griffin.

Outside of his main role at Dell – Tariq leads the Dell Management Challenge – a 2 day corporate adventure race held in the Brecon Beacons each year with up to 250 people across our partners and customer set.

Prior to joining Dell, Tariq was a Financial Performance Consultant at IBM looking to streamline IT across a number of diverse industries including Shell and the Banking Sector.

An alumnus of the University of Wales, Swansea; Tariq is an avid rowing fan having most recently rowed at Marlow Rowing club and at GB level at Under 21s.

Tariq is a big supporter of encouraging diversity within organisations to build stronger teams and is actively involved involved in a number of Employee Resource groups to that effect. Tariq is also a Dell UK Pension Trustee.

Fariz Jafarov

Director – E-Gov Center, Azerbaijan

Mr. Fariz T. Jafarov is the Director of the E-Gov Development Center subordinate to the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan since its establishment in March 2018. He is at the forefront of the digitization processes and public sector innovations in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Currently, his position brings together more than 230 employees and the Center has achieved more than 50 projects to date.

He previously headed the Center for Monitoring at the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan from 2017 to 2018. Jafarov also worked as the Deputy Head of the Department of e-Services Development and Social Innovations at the same Agency, where he got extensive insight into digital transformation in Azerbaijan from 2013 to 2017. Prior to those, he started his career as the Strategic Management Specialist at the Department of Strategic Management of the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Fariz Jafarov holds Master’s in Business Management from the Webster University in London, Master’s in Project Management from the University of George Washington, and the Master’s in Adaptive Strategy Management from the Duke University –The Fuqua School of Business. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Public and Municipial Administration from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2008.

He has an extensive experiece in digital transformation and the implimentation of artificial intelligence in public sevices. He is the Member of the Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) in Strasbourg, France, an initiative by the Council of Europe; United Nations Digital Government Expert; Former Curator of Global Shapers Community’s Baku Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum; Member of the working group on evaluation of state information systems; Member of the working group on e-government (Members consist of leaders of all government agencies).

He is fluent in Azerbaijani, English, Turkish, Russian and speaks French.

Matthew Lindsay

Global Lead, Government & Public Sector, Mastercard

Matthew Lindsay is the Global Lead, Government & Public Sector Segment for Mastercard Data & Services. He brings twenty years of diverse experiences to his clients while working across the public and private sectors to help organizations make better data-driven strategic decisions.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Mr. Lindsay spent over ten years working for the Hershey and Wrigley companies where he led strategy teams and lived internationally while managing businesses in Canada and India. He also spent time in management consulting with both Deloitte Consulting and as a founding member of Archstone Consulting.

Mr. Lindsay holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he graduated with High Distinction, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

H.E. Younus Al Nasser

Assistant Director General – Smart Dubai and CEO – Dubai Data Establishment, UAE

Younus Al Nasser is a prominent Emirati leader in the field of digital transformation and one of the most well-known executives in managing the future visions of the UAE overall, concentrating his efforts on the growth of the Emirate of Dubai. For over 15 years he has occupied several official positions in the government of Dubai that have contributed in building the digital capacities of the Emirate. Currently he is the Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, the establishment leading Smart Dubai’s city-wide data efforts. Furthermore, Al Nasser is also the head of the UAE Data Committee vested with building the UAE National Data Strategy and launching the National Data Platform, under the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence.

Among his major achievements is the launching of several unprecedented initiatives in the field of Data, principally leading the launch of the Dubai Data Establishment and the issuance of the Dubai Data Law, as well as the launch of Dubai Pulse – the first fully-integrated platform of its kind worldwide that hosts data sets from Dubai government entities, and is considered the backbone of smart digital transformation in Dubai. He is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Dubai Data initiative, considered one of the most comprehensive and ambitious data initiatives in the world, to achieve the opening and sharing of data between government and private sector entities in Dubai.

Prior to his current role, Al Nasser was Director of Projects and Security Systems at the Dubai Electronic Security Center, where he was responsible for building a framework for providing electronic security in the Emirate and overseeing its implementation. He was also member of the Dubai Open Data Committee, established in 2014 by a decree granted by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

Al Nasser is one of the most prominent digital transformation executives globally, and has contributed as a speaker in countless events discussing future prospects of data. Events include the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona and the Data Innovation Summit in Stockholm.

Maria Nikkilä

Senior Ministerial Adviser, Head of Digital Unit, Public Sector ICT Department, Finland

Maria Nikkilä is a head of Finnish government Digitalization unit of Ministry of Finance Finland. During past few years Maria has been responsible for the developing architecture of shared digitalization services in Finland – first as a Program Director and then as the owner of government digitalization projects. The main projects just now are Digital Identity SSI, artificial intelligence program AuroraAI and Digital Services & Digital Support. Maria is also a member of the steering group of Koronavilkku, the covid-19 tracing app downloaded by almost 50% of Finns.

Maria is a member of the board of Erillisverkot, wholly state-owned special-purpose company providing critical leadership society services for public authorities and other critical operators of national security.

Before joining in ministry of Finance, she worked as project manager in both public and private sector digitalization projects. She holds a Master of Science degree in economics.

Iain O’Neil 

Director, Digital Strategy, NHSX, United Kingdom 

Iain currently heads up the Digital Transformation function within NHSX. Having joined the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in 2017 Iain led the department’s digital and technology strategy function and produced the Technology Vision for Health and Care working closely with Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock. The publication was quickly followed up by the creation of NHSX – an organisation combining NHS England and DHSC staff to provide digital and technology leadership for the health and care system. Iain is proud to be a founder member of NHSX and has worked closely with its CEO Matthew Gould on creating the transformation function within it.

Prior to joining the civil service Iain worked for around 15 years in digital and technology transformation roles in the private sector.

Indrek Õnnik 

Global Affairs Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia

Indrek Õnnik is the Global Affairs Director of The Government CIO Office of Estonia. He is responsible for the cross-border co-operation between the Government CIO Office and international stakeholders, both from public and private sector. He also represents his country in various international organisations as well as conferences globally. He was previously positioned as the Project Manager of the e-Estonia Briefing Centre where he was hosting high level delegations from around the world and introducing them the specific policies and and strategies of Estonia along the path of becoming an advanced digital nation. His overall background is much related to digitalisation, international affairs and cross-border cooperation.

Dr Vik Pant

Chief Scientist and Chief Science Advisor, Natural Resources Canada, Canada 

Vik is responsible for providing strategic direction to build capacity within NRCan’s scientific community, promoting a departmental vision for S&T and assessment of future needs. This involves leadership in developing and advancing S&T priorities, providing strategic policy advice on horizontal science issues and opportunities to ensure strong linkages between science and policy communities, and promoting effective engagement of S&T activities. Vik is responsible for accelerating the creative application of innovative digital technologies including Artificial Intelligence, to enhance NRCan’s ability to conduct research and analysis, as well as provide evidence-based policy advice that is supported by advanced analytical techniques. Vik works with counterparts from other science-based organizations to ensure that the management of federal policy and research activities support and align with Government of Canada priorities.

Vik earned a doctorate from the Faculty of Information (iSchool) in the University of Toronto, a master’s degree in business administration with distinction from the University of London, and a master’s degree in information technology from Harvard University, where he received the Dean’s List Academic Achievement Award.

His research, featured in numerous peer-reviewed journals and refereed international conferences, focuses on the conceptual modelling of strategic coopetition in complex multi-agent systems.

Vik joined NRCan from the MaRS Discovery District, a technology start-up accelerator in Toronto, where he was a Senior Technical Advisor of Applied Artificial Intelligence. Prior to that, he held progressively strategic positions in leading software enterprises including Oracle, SAP and Open Text.

Anatole Papadopoulos

Chief Operating Officer – Canadian Digital Service, Canada

Biography to be updated soon.

Seong Ju PARK

Deputy Director, Digital Government Cooperation, Ministry of Interior and Safety, South Korea

Seong Ju has been working with governments and international organizations around the world to facilitate digital government innovation to build better digital society since joining the Ministry of the Interior and Safety in 2016. She is in charge of multilateral cooperation on digital government, facilitating MOIS’s cooperation with organizations including OECD, Digital Nations, UNDESA etc.

Tiago C. Peixoto

Senior Governance Specialist, World Bank

Tiago C. Peixoto is a political scientist and a Senior Governance Specialist at the World Bank. Since joining the institution in 2010, Tiago has been working with governments to develop digital solutions for better public policies and services. Prior to joining the World Bank, he managed projects and consulted for a number of organizations such as the European Commission, OECD and United Nations. He has been honored by TechCrunch as one of the 20 Most Innovative People in Democracy, and by Apolitical as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government. He is also a recipient of the Louis Brownlow Award of the American Society of Public Administration for the best article written by a practitioner. Tiago’s work has featured in both mainstream and specialized media, and he has published in The British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Journal of Information Technology and Politics, UCLA Law Review, Governance, Public Administration Review, and European Journal of eParticipation, among others. He is also the co-editor and co-author of Civic Tech in the Global South (edited with Micah Sifry), and more recently he co-authored with Tom Steinberg the World Bank report Emerging Digital Technologies & Citizen Participation.

Dr Tobias Plate

Head of ‘Digital State’ Unit – Federal Chancellery, Germany

Dr. Tobias Plate heads the unit “Digital State“ 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. Above and beyond that, he is dealing with how public administration can reinvent itself so as to better attract, retain and develop the staff needed in the new era that actually began longer ago than most people in the administration still tend to think. His biggest project currently is creating a digital identity solution that works both for government and private entities alike.

Before his time in the Federal Chancellery, Tobias worked with the Federal Ministry of the Interior in various functions, inter alia as one of its press spokespersons.

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

Alison Pritchard

Deputy National Statistician – Data Capability, Office for National Statistics, United Kingdom

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.

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.

Dr Carlos Santiso

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

Dr. Carlos Santiso, a national of France and Spain, has been the Director of the new governance practice of the Development Bank of Latin America focusing on Digital Innovation in Government since September 2018.

He has two decades of experience in international development, public sector governance, digital transformation and public integrity in Europe, Africa and the Americas. He has held management roles at the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank, as well as advisory functions with the British government’s Department for International Development, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, and the French Prime Minister’s Office.

He has written extensively on digital transformation, public governance, and anti-corruption. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption and its Tech4Integrity platform. He is also a member of the advisory boards of the Global Government Forum, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and Cambridge University’s journal, Data&Policy.

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.

Sarah Winmill

Chief Information Officer – Business Functions, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom

Sarah joined the Ministry of Defence in early 2020. Previously she was Chief Information Officer for the British Transport Police, leading the delivering of ICT services supporting 3,500 police officers across Great Britain. In 2020 she was #6 in the UK CIO100, improving her 2019 position, when she was also listed as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech. A past Chair of Charity IT Leaders, her career has seen her work at some of the UK’s most iconic visitor attractions including the V&A Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Academy of Arts, Hampton Court Palace and HM Tower of London, as well as University College London. In the mid-1990’s she served part-time in the Royal Signals, Territorial Army.

Sarah is a Chartered Fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of the Information Technologists. She is passionate about working in tech and the creative opportunities a tech career offers all, particularly those from areas of society currently under-represented in the industry.

Ahmed Yousif

Digital Transformation & Strategy Head – Makkah Municipality, Saudi Arabia

Mr. Yousif has two decades of experience working in the ICT industry, most of which has been on Digital Transformation products and services for public sector governance and e-Government innovation. After 15 years working in the U.S. Government in a leadership role, he joined the Makkah Municipality in 2015 in Saudi Arabia as a Digital Transformation and Strategic Head.

As a Digital Transformation Leader, he has led many data driven projects in the area of Blockchain, BI, AI, and ML where he is able to deliver substantial strategic results. His strong operational focus based on data and customer digital experience is used to inform, plan, and enable the digital strategy. He is a proven cross-cultural, multi-national executive with exceptional influencing skills. He is an innovator with a deep grasp of G2C and G2G technologies, data, and services both in the U.S. and abroad.