Amanda Brock

Amanda BrockAmanda is CEO of OpenUK, an organisation for the business of Open Technology in the UK – being open source software, open hardware and open data -with a purpose of UK Leadership and International Collaboration in Open Technology.

She is a Board Member of the Open-Source Initiative; UK Cabinet Office Open Standards Board Member; British Computer Society Inaugural Influence Board Member; Advisory Board Member: KDE, Planet Crust, Everseen, and Mimoto; Charity Trustee, Creative Crieff and GeekZone; and European Representative of the Open Invention Network.

A lawyer of 25 years’ experience, she previously chaired the Open Source and IP Advisory Group of the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs, sat on the OASIS Open Projects and UK Government Energy Sector Digitalisation Task Force Advisory Boards. She was General Counsel of Canonical for 5 years and set up their legal function.

Amanda was awarded the 2022 UK Lifetime Achievement Award in the Women, Influence & Power Awards, and included in Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in Tech list in 2021 and in their UK Tech50 for 2022. She is the editor of Open Source, Law, Policy and Practise, second edition being published by Oxford University Press in September 2022 and with open access thanks to the Vietsch Foundation.

Julian Burnett

Julian BurnettCurrently engaged in various Board advisory projects, start-up mentoring and Non-Executive roles, Julian is a versatile, dynamic and innovative leader with significant experience of delivering digitally driven business transformation and growth.

He works at the forefront of integrated digital/physical commerce, an expert in optimising fast paced businesses, building high performing digital, tech and data functions to drive gains through customer and colleague experience. He has operated successfully at Executive level in the consulting, tech and consumer industries with expertise leading in diverse national and international sectors.

An experienced speaker and influencer, with a professional career spanning global brands including BT, BNP Paribas, Cap Gemini, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis Partnership and IBM, Julian brings confident, committed, and practical, people focused leadership to strategic change.

He believes passionately in the potential of all people, leading others to deliver outcomes often well beyond their own expectations. Julian is a Fellow of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Daniel Card

Daniel CardDaniel Card is a cyber and technology thought leader and cyber security expert. He is the founder of Stark Industries. Creator of ARK 3.0, Lead architect of Jericho active defence solution and Chief Information Security Officer at PwnDefend.

During the pandemic Dan also co-founded the European Cyber Volunteers 19 group to help protect healthcare providers in Europe from cyber-attacks, scams and fraud.

Kathy Farndon

Kathy FarndonKathy started her clinical career in Medical Physics where she specialised in Cardiology. She has since gone on to hold very senior national management positions in healthcare both in New Zealand with the Ministry of Health and in the UK with NHS England. Her clinical and leadership skills and experience, specifically relating to the digital healthcare agenda, have been fundamental to her successful career.

She has focused on driving innovative transformational change in order to improve patient care and outcomes always mindful of the concerns regarding exacerbation of a potential digital divide. She has also been a proponent of the need to ensure that algorithm development is ethical, professional and ensures that bias is minimised as this is critically important in healthcare e.g. clinical decision support tools.

Kathy has held several Board roles with international organisations and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust and a member of the All of Government Open Standards Board.

Her extensive experience and knowledge of healthcare and how digital technology can be used to support and enable improved care pathways, and treatment options and transformative change resulting in better patient outcomes will be a key contribution that she will bring to the influence Board.

John Higgins CBE

John HigginsJohn is the Chair of the BCS Influence Board.

He is also Chair of Global Digital Foundation, Senior Advisor BCW, President 2021-22 BCS, the professional body for IT & Advisor and Moderator for the EU's Intelligent Cities Challenge. 

Charlene Hunter MBE

Charlene HunterCharlene Hunter is the CEO & founder of Coding Black Females. Charlene has a strong academic background with a BSc in Mathematical Sciences and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham.

She has over 10 years of experience as a Java and C# developer and technical architect, and has skills in requirements capture, technical architecture, testing and various other aspects of building successful software applications. She has a strong passion to increase and showcase the skills and talents of black women in tech and is determined to diversify the tech sector.

Charlene set up Coding Black Females because in her years as a Software Developer, she discovered black women were heavily underrepresented in tech. She wanted this to change and ensure that black women were able to discover role models and see familiar faces within the industry. Charlene has received multiple awards and recognition work she does to support black women in tech.

Basil Manoussos

Basil ManoussosBasil is a Digital Forensics & Cybercrime Consultant, working as an Expert Witness for more than 13 years. He is currently the Manager of The Cyber Academy, at Edinburgh Napier University and he runs his own consulting firm, Strathclyde Forensics Ltd.

Coming from a diverse business background, that includes organisations like Abbey National, IBM, HM Government, Edinburgh Napier University, West College Scotland, West Lothian College, and the Greek Army, he has been recognised as a subject matter expert in Digital Forensics and in cyber-crime and cyber threat awareness.

He works closely with the academia, he is a regular speaker and contributor to Interpol’s training and he has been asked to help formulate the future strategy on Digital Forensics as well as Interpol’s training and guidance on Digital Evidence for Prosecutors.

Since 2017 Basil has been working as the Manager of The Cyber Academy at Edinburgh Napier University, leading the cooperation between industry and academia in the field of cybersecurity. He has organised international conferences, ran dozens of awareness events, and has successfully organised and implemented two Cyber Taster courses for Neurodiverse audiences with The Cyber Academy.

Basil has been a guest speaker and lecturer to numerous UK and international universities and colleges, including the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, The American College of Greece (his alma mater), University of West of Scotland, Robert Gordon University, Spoleczna Academia Nauk (Poland) and many more.

Working with the legal profession, he has been called by The Law Society of Scotland to develop and deliver their Cyber Security Certification, the first and only one of its kind in the country. As an Expert Witness and a digital forensics consultant, he has created a solid reputation and his evidence has never been challenged successfully in court to this day.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Basil has delivered dozens of public awareness, specialist and private webinars. His awareness work brought into light the new challenges from online fraud and fake news during the crisis.

Mark Martin MBE

Mark MartinMark Martin MBE aka @Urban_Teacher is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Education Practice.

Mark is a thought leader in #EdTech and a hugely popular speaker, sharing his expertise and insights to educators around the world. He is a teacher/advisor for the major global tech brands and continues to advocate for home-grown talent, digital skills and education equity.

In May 2022, Mark was recognised as one of the top 50 most influential people in UK IT by computer weekly. In 2019, he was awarded an MBE for services to education, technology, and diversity in UK technology.


Freddie Quek

Freddie QuekFreddie Quek is Chief Technology Officer at Times Higher Education. He is a disruptive, networked and agile leader who has worked in Singapore, US and UK across higher education, automotive, publishing, loyalty, insurance, travel and financial services industries.

He helped transformed the publishing industry from print to digital pioneering the use of NoSQL technologies and achieving large scale agile implementations. He started the #joiningthedots initiative to join up across the tech and other communities to address #digitalinclusion. He is a Community Board member of the Digital Poverty Alliance and Chair of the BCS Digital Divide Specialist Group.

Freddie is a Fellow of BCS and judge for the UK IT Industry Awards. He has Master of Science degrees from the London School of Economics and Henley Business School, alumnus of Oxford University and currently a Research Associate at Henley Business School undertaking doctoral research. He sits on the Board of University of Bristol and is a member of the Technology Advisory Group at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Kate Russell

Kate RussellJournalist, reporter, educator and author, Kate has been writing about technology and the Internet since 1995. A champion for diversity in tech, she has been a regular face on TV and voice on radio throughout her career, being a core member of the BBC Click reporting team for over a decade, as well as writing a ‘travel tech’ column for National Geographic traveller.

Kate also helps to inspire the next generation of tech professionals through her work with Teentech CIC, a non-profit co-founded by Tomorrow’s World presenter, Maggie Philbin. Working with schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, this gives Kate a unique perspective on the challenges of the digital divide, and what is important to children when using technology and the internet.

She also speaks at conferences, digital strategy, and policy meetings to help businesses and politicians understand the complexities of digital transformation. Her website,, has won multiple awards for best technology blog and she has been honoured in the Hall of Fame for the Computer Weekly Top 50 most influential women in UK IT.

She also writes sci-fi and fantasy with two published novels now available. Kate hopes to bring a practical viewpoint and plenty of ideas to the BCS Influence Board. Her experience and knowledge covers a broad spectrum of technology innovation and culture - with a focus on helping people thrive in the digital age, promoting diversity and inclusion, and creating a safer internet for everyone.

Jag Sohal

Jag SohalJag is on a mission to help those in their early careers make a positive start in the IT profession. Committed and passionate about building a diverse talent pipeline, Jag is a myth buster keen to let people know that there’s many entry paths into IT and the profession offers a whole host of opportunity, impacting all sectors.

During 2020, Jag partnered with the BCS creating an inspiring eight-part Early Careers webinar series, with a range of industry guests. Alongside her voluntary ambassador commitment at BCS Jag is also the Early Career Advocate for the BCS Birmingham Branch supporting regional projects, and still fits in an impressive full-time job as a Senior IT Business Relationship Manager in Financial Services.

Jag is skilled in strategic planning, leadership, and proven as an innovative & trusted partner. Strong commercial business acumen combined with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Other interests include advancements in STEM and an avid National Trust explorer.

Paul Williams

Paul WilliamsPaul is a Cloud Engineer with a background in Enterprise Public Cloud delivery, having worked with and led numerous FTSE 100 and S&P 100 companies on their public cloud projects over the last 10 years. He is a founding member of the BCS Fellows Technical Advisory Group and a founding member of the BCS Influence Board.

Outside of work, Paul is a singer with the London Gay Men's Chorus, and a serial volunteer, previously serving on the Pride in London Operations Committee, Wikimedia UK Board of Directors, and getting involved in events for charity.

  • BCS Influence Board members