Team Meeting Laptop

As a limited company UKSBS is governed by its shareholders with a Board structure which oversees the strategic direction of the organisation.

How the Board operates

The Board meets every two months.

It is made up of:

  • two independent Non-Executive Directors, with one appointed by the shareholders as the Board Chair
  • five Non-Executive Directors from owner organisations
  • an Executive Director, who is the UKSBS Chief Executive Officer 

The UKSBS Chief Executive is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Company following the Business Plan and instructions from the Board, and is supported by the Executive team. 

The Board also operates an Audit Committee with two Non-Executive Directors, one of whom is the Chair, and one co-opted member.


Meet the Board

John Clarke 2021 BW SQ

John Clarke, Chair, Non-Executive Director (independent)

John Clarke is a Non-Executive Chair at Companies House, and the MoD Defence Business Services. He has also been a Non-Executive Director with the UK Ordnance Survey, and the Department of Work and Pensions – as part of the Digital Transformation Advisory Committee. He is advisor to private and public bodies on business and digital transformation, and a systemic (team) coach and mentor, helping boards and leadership teams grow and develop.

John is a former partner with EY and has held senior corporate positions including Chief Executive and Chairman at Mind Foundry, Chief Information Officer at Nokia, Chief Technology Officer at Tesco, Interim Chief Operating Officer at the UK Ordnance Survey, and Interim Chief Information Officer at Morrisons and Primark.

He has led a range of large-scale digital transformations, developed global business services, shared services, digital and cyber operations and had led several large-scale corporate transactions.

Screenshot 2023 10 18 At 12.01.46

Richard Semple, CBE, Chief Executive Officer

Richard joined us in 2018 after thirty three years as a Royal Engineer and senior officer in the British Army. In addition to strategic and policy development roles in the Ministry of Defence, he has spent much of his career with responsibility for the delivery of the Army’s engineering and information services across the world.

As a general officer, he held board-level responsibilities for the Army’s equipment fleets, logistics and support services. As the Army’s first Chief Information Officer, he increased information exploitation and directed digital transformation across the organisation. As a technology leader with extensive experience in directing operations and complex programs, Richard brings a valuable insight to UKSBS to maximise the potential of future shared services.


Helen Mills, Non-Executive Director (from DSIT)

Helen is the HR Director at the newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). Helen's directorate are responsible for all people-affecting areas of the department, ensuring that the department has the right foundations, a compelling people offer and leads the way in people innovation.

Helen’s previous experience includes Chief People Officer at DFID/ FCDO during the merger and as HR Director at the Department for Exiting the European Union before taking up the broader role as Corporate Centre Director. Helen has also spent time in Cabinet Office as a HR Deputy Director overseeing a wide range ​of areas including HR Business Partnering, Performance Management, Pay and Policy.  Helen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has a CIMA advanced Diploma.

David Thomas 2023 SQ BW

David Thomas, Non-Executive Director (from DESNZ)

David has been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero since March 2023. Prior to that he spent five years as finance director at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and has held a number of other civil service roles including on pensions, household energy efficiency, the environment and EU. He is married with two children.

Board member Bidesh

Bidesh Sarkar, CBE, Non-Executive Director (from DBT)

Bidesh Sarkar is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), having previously been the Interim Director General, Chief Operating Officer, from November 2022 to July 2023 for DBT and its predecessor, the Department for International Trade. He is DBT’s Senior Information Risk Owner and serves as the executive committee champion for diversity and inclusion. Bidesh was previously DIT’s Director of Finance, Security and Business Services (covering knowledge and information management, estates, and health and safety).

Prior to joining DBT, Bidesh has been CFO and corporate services lead at Academies Enterprise Trust (a national academy school chain) and the British Council. He has also held CFO positions at Blenheim Chalcot (a venture capital firm), Plan International (an international development organisation), and has been finance director for a European division of Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

Katrina Nevin Ridley 2023 SQ BW

Katrina Nevin-Ridley, Non-Executive Director (from UKRI)

Katrina is Director of External Relations Communications and Public Engagement at UKRI, bringing a wealth of communications experience from across the research and innovation sector and currently leading UKRI’s extensive communications and public engagement programmes. Before joining UKRI she was Director of Communications at Genomics England where she led the complex strategic engagement needed to deliver the ground-breaking 100,000 Genomes Project in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England, working on the launch of the world leading NHS Genomic Medicine Service. Prior to that she was Head of External Affairs at the Student Loans Company and Head of Media and Communications at the Wellcome Trust.


Sarah Finigan, Non-Executive Director (from UKRI)

Sarah is the Group Financial Controller at UKRI ensuring effective financial control and financial reporting is in place. Prior to this role she was Director of Finance, Compliance and Performance for Optalis an adult social care provider working in partnership with two South East local authorities. Sarah trained as an accountant in the civil service and has held finance roles across government including positions in the Department for Work & Pensions, Cabinet Office, Rural Payments Agency and UK Government Investments.

Graham Mcalister Bw

Graham McAlister, Non-Executive Director (independent)

Graham has extensive operational experience in a tech-enabled environment. He began with his own software start-up and within three years floated it on the American stock market, NASDAQ. He led the Europe-wide digital transformation for Deluxe Digital, distributing movies over broadband to cinemas. Graham was a Director for HP UK, (Hewlett Packard) and has played a central role in digital transformation with cloud and cybersecurity at HP. Graham worked and lived in the US (California), South Africa and UK. He is originally from Zimbabwe and holds a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from Cape Town University.


Michele Hughes, Non-Executive Director (independent)

Michele is an experienced private sector technologist and shared services executive with over 30 years working in international business, IT and technology, and talent development.  She led a fourth generation shared services organisation at Procter and Gamble and is an exceptional leader of large teams of over 3000 people, delivering solutions to more than 100,000 users worldwide.  She has an excellent track record of leading change in large and diverse organisations.

Michele is also a Board Trustee of Scouts of Scotland and a MCR Pathways Mentor.

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