Carolyn Downs has been Chief Executive of the LGA since November 2011.
Before this she was chief executive of the Legal Services Commission where her role was to drive performance and secure a stronger financial future.
She was also previously deputy permanent secretary and director general of corporate performance at the Ministry of Justice. She was responsible for all corporate services, including finance, estates, personnel, risk management, business planning and communications. From 2003 to 2009, Carolyn was Chief Executive of Shropshire County Council, where she was responsible for a budget of £500 million a year and a staff of 12,000.
Carolyn had worked for the same council as director of environment and community services since 1999 and before this, worked for a range of other councils including Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Stevenage Borough Council, and the London Borough of Haringey, where she started her working life as an assistant librarian.
Source: LGA website
Mark Rogers, Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council
Following his successful career as head teacher since 1994, in 2001, Mark was seconded to be the Head of Specialist Services in Tameside, working on the Authority’s first inclusion strategy. Having quickly developed an appetite for local government, Mark was appointed as Assistant Director, Children & Young People, for Stockport Council in 2003.
In March 2006, Mark was appointed to the post of Director of Children’s Services and, as joint DCS and Chief Executive from 2007, Mark had the pleasure of guiding the Council successfully through a number of major inspections and, latterly, has helped position the council as a national leader and enthusiastic participant in sector-led improvement.
In December 2013 Mark was appointed to the role of Chief Executive and Director of Economy at Birmingham City Council and took up role in March 2014.
Mark maintains his commitment to children’s services as the Society of Local Authority Chief Executive’s lead for this area, becoming co-chair of the new national Children’s Health and Wellbeing Partnership in 2013, and jointly founding the Children’s Improvement Board (2010-13) which set the framework for sector led improvement in children’s services.
Source: Birmingham City Council website
Che Smith, Head of Advanced Technology and Business Innovation, Virgin Media Business
Che leads the Advanced Technology division of Virgin Media Business looking at how innovative technologies can transform the way we live and work. Che is responsible for developing the future strategies and investments in Virgin Media’s Infrastructure to deliver the next generation of technology to support our 5 million customers.
Che has been with Virgin Media for the last 15 years, mostly dealing with Public Sector, where he has been responsible for the transformation of many Public Sector organisations through the Public Services Network (PSN). He has also led Virgin Media’s relationship with the Treasury and Cabinet Office in the development of this national initiative.
Alto Gnaritas or the ‘ Knowledge Cloud’ is Che’s current strategy and he is here today to share with you our thoughts and vision on how this can transform your approach to front line services.