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Digital top dogs take on GDS roles



Stephen Foreshew-Cain to chair advisory board of big names from business

A group of 'digital heavyweights' including LoveFilm boss Saul Klein and ARM Holdings founder Hermann Hauser, are joining a new advisory board for the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock announced the appointments, which includes names from the technology, retail and finance industries.

They will meet quarterly with a brief of advising and asking difficult questions on the work of GDS, under the chairmanship of its executive director Stephen Foreshew-Cain (pictured).

The list includes some figures who have had previous input into government's digital activities, notably Richard Allen, now director of policy for Facebook's European operations, Baroness Lane-Fox, co-founder of and previously the Government's digital champion, and Sir Nigel Shadbolt, chairman of the Open Data Institute.

Hermann Houser, whose ARM Holdings is the leading producer of processors for mobile phones, provides some heavyweight experience from technology development.

Others on the list are:

Dr Sue Black OBE, senior research associate at University College London and founder and chief executive officer at Savvify, which encourages the spread of technology skills in hard-to-reach groups.

  • Joanne Hannaford, global co-head of enterprise platforms at Goldman Sachs.
  • Brent Hoberman, co-founder and executive chairman of start-up support firm Founders Factory.
  • Saul Klein, chief executive officer of LoveFilm.
  • Herman Narula, chief executive officer and co-founder of simulation company Improbable.
  • Wendy Tan White, general partner at pre-seed investment programme Entrepreneur First.
  • Vanessa Vallely, managing director and founder of women's networking organisation

Hancock said: “We are recasting the relationship between the citizen and the state – all with the goal of making people’s lives better. I’m thrilled to have these experts onboard and looking forward to working closely with them to discover and build the new digital infrastructure.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0


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