Chair and board members

Sharon Gilburd

Sharon Gilburd is a digital strategist who has worked with established and start-up businesses to transform their ways of working, through the application of digital design and technology.

After spending nearly two decades working in marketing, change and innovation for multimillion pound brands and start-ups, Sharon knows how important it is to make the right technology choices to run critical services. Working with companies such as Visa, Orange and Barclaycard, Sharon is always mindful that the user must be the star of the show, with technology in the supporting role.

Having studied for a BA in commerce at Napier University in Edinburgh, Sharon was recruited to work for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, where she developed a love of both statistics and languages. From this point in her career, Sharon has sought out opportunities to work in multicultural and multilingual workplaces. Having grown up in Shetland, Sharon has now settled in Llandwrog in Gwynedd, where her latest language project is Welsh.

Sharon is very much looking forward to taking up the role of Chair of the Board for the Centre for Digital Public Services and playing a key role in the digital future of Wales.

Sam Ali
Board member

Sam is a digital solutions specialist, with over 15 years’ experience. Her background has primarily been in software as a service, working with products that cover the entire employee lifecycle. She’s currently responsible for the digital strategy for Newport City Council and is an advocate for digital inclusion, skills and accessibility citywide. Sam has renewed Newport City Council’s accreditation for the Digital Inclusion Alliance Wales.

Sam has just finished her board member term at Tredegar House – National Trust, where her project board role was to make the National Trust more inclusive. Outside work, Sam is a Women’s Aid Ambassador and sits on the Survivor Engagement consultation group for Welsh Government. In her spare time, she volunteers for the charities FareShare Cymru and Eden Gate.

Dr John-Mark Frost
Board member

John-Mark (known as JM) is Director of Transformation Delivery at Companies House, an executive agency of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy. He took on this role in February 2021, having been operations director for several years. His background includes large-scale operational delivery roles at Companies House and DWP.

JM has experience of working with and leading teams within operational delivery, social research and data professions. He’s worked on projects and programmes in the UK and internationally for the Office for National Statistics, European Commission, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Cabinet Office.

He is currently responsible for services to millions of users, with billions of data searches each year. He is accountable for the Portfolio, Programme and Project teams at Companies House and is senior responsible owner for the transformation programme. He joined the Civil Service in 2008, after time in academia and the private sector.

JM is a Welsh speaker (although it’s a bit rusty) and lives in Cardiff with his wife, two daughters and their two dogs.

Andrea Gale
Board member

Andrea is Head of Business Improvement and Governance at Linc-Cymru Housing Association. Her experience covers delivery of a wide range of programmes and change within the housing sector. She has worked within social housing for more than 28 years, in areas such as strategic planning, business development and service design. Andrea is an advocate for digital services to support equality of opportunity within Wales and the nation’s economic success.

Neil Prior
Board member

Elected as an independent county councillor in 2017, Neil is Cabinet Member for Corporate Improvement and Communities at Pembrokeshire County Council. Helping to lead the council’s improvement programme, he’s secured significant investment in technology innovation. He’s also acted as a lead on the council’s first ever ‘Programme for Administration’, setting out the political aspirations for a coalition cabinet.

In Neil’s professional career, he’s worked for blue chip technology organisations, as well as consulting within the public sector, before moving home to Pembrokeshire.

Neil is a member peer and deputy chair of the Local Government Association’s Improvement & Innovation Board, a non-executive director with the not-for-profit housing organisation Pobl Group, chair of his local community council and a school governor. He is proud to be a public servant.

Ben Summers
Board member

Ben is a software engineer and entrepreneur. He’s co-founder of Haplo, a platform for rapid delivery of digital services, and led a technology team that used it to transform administration of research at universities across the world. His professional interests are digital transformation, information security and diversity and inclusion within the technology industry.