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December 7, 2020

Ministry of Defence, IPO and NHS CIOs at Thursday 10 December CIO Town Hall

Public sector technology leaders will discuss digital transformation trends and initiatives at the 10 December 2020 CIO Town Hall Live event.

By Edward Qualtrough

New Statesman Media Group’s CIO Town Hall Live will feature public sector technology leaders.

Ministry of Defence CIO Charles Forte will join Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust CIO Joanna Smith and Intellectual Property Office CTO Mike Fishwick at New Statesman Media Group’s CIO Town Hall Live event on the afternoon of Thursday 10 December.

CIOs, CTOs and technology executives are invited to register for the CIO Town Hall Live event, by Tech Monitor and its publishers, New Statesman Media Group. The forum is a gathering for CIOs, CTOs and fellow technology executives to join a live interactive platform with your peers, hear from leading CIOs, and engage with each other in group discussions, live Q&As with our speakers, and in private chats.

[Register for CIO Town Hall Live]

The Thursday 10 December 2020 CIO Town Hall Live forum is sponsored by partners IBM. The technology and CIO leaders will discuss digital transformation trends and initiatives in the public sector; how government organisations reacted to and supported the response to the coronavirus pandemic; how disruption has impacted tech priorities and the future of work – and the technologies which are transforming an organisation’s operations, and how they interact with citizens, customers and adversaries.


3pm – 3.30pm
Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust CIO Joanna Smith interview
The NHS CIO agenda Transforming through a crisis

3.40pm – 4.05pm
Intellectual Property Office CTO Mike Fishwick and IBM UK&I Director, Andy Astbury

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4.10pm – 4.40pm
Ministry of Defence CIO Charles Forte interview
Digital transformation and defence in the Information Age

All sessions will be followed by audience questions, moderated by New Statesman Media Group’s Edward Qualtrough.


Charles Forte was appointed chief information officer at the Ministry of Defence in January 2018. A director general-level post, Forte has 38 years of industry experience including roles as the deputy global CIO at BP, and the CIO at Thames Water.
Forte believes that “digital is fundamental to how defence needs to respond in a disruptive world” and is the primary adviser to the Defence Board on information and digital.

He is responsible for strategy and policy on the exploitation, operation, interoperability and protection of information and digital technology across the Ministry of Defence. This includes cybersecurity and resilience; the promotion of new ways of working, information technology-enabled innovation; and the delivery of effective IT services. Charles is a member of the Defence Executive Committee and the Strategic Command Executive Committee.

Joanna Smith is Group Chief Informatics Officer at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. She was previously CIO Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust where she successfully delivered a large transformation programme including the complete overall and replacement of the IT infrastructure and the introduction and replacement of a number of critical clinical applications, including digitising patient records. Joanna CIO at women’s and children’s hospital Sidra Medicine in Qatar, and was interim CIO at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children when she returned to the UK.

She started her career in pharmaceuticals, and has held roles in HR, sales and marketing become moving into IT.

Mike Fishwick has been CTO at the Intellectual Property Office since September 2015, leading an IT transformation at the IPO and changing the emphasis of its digital transformation to an agenda embracing broader organisational and process re-engineering.

Previously, Fishwick was CIO at clothing retailer and brand Fat Face, and was the UK’s first appointed chief data officer. The Intellectual Property Office CTO will be introduced by Andy Astbury, IBM’s public sector director whose team helps public sector institutions support the government’s digital transformation strategy.

Previous speakers at New Statesman Media Group’s executive technology events include British Army CIO Major General Jonathan Cole, UK Parliament CIO CIO Tracey Jessup, Met Office CIO Charles Ewen, Sainsbury’s CIO Phil Jordan, Chief Digital Officer for London Theo Blackwell, Philip Morris CTO Michael Voegele, Equinor CIO Åshild Hanne Larsen, Johnson Matthey CIO Paul Coby, Northumbrian Water CIO Nigel Watson, BEIS CIO Karl Hoods, British Red Cross CIO Rosie Slater-Carr, and SSE Energy Services CIO Phil Clayson.

New Statesman Media Group’s CIO Town Hall Live will be limited to CIOs and senior technology executives on the day of the event, but the sessions will subsequently be opened and made available on demand to all.

[Register for CIO Town Hall Live event]

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