Neil Williams

Neil Williams has been appointed as the BFI’s new Executive Director of Technology and Transformation. He joins at a critical moment as we develop an overarching strategy and roadmap that will support us to become a digital-first organisation, with a focus on the user experience and improving public access to our programmes and collections.

The news follows the recent appointments of Arike Oke as Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections, and Jason Wood as Executive Director of Public Programmes and Audiences.

Williams has worked for the last three years as chief digital officer at Croydon Council, where he led on a number of transformative projects including a shared platform run by the town’s local tech community to grow it into a thriving economic and technical cluster, and reimagining their IT to support agile working.

Prior to that, Neil was deputy director of the Government Digital Service, responsible for creating, building and eventually running GOV.UK, the UK government’s website and resource for citizens to find and use government services and information. He was also instrumental in local and central government’s adoption of social media as part of its overall communications strategy.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the BFI, and I look forward to working with Ben Roberts and the executive team to lead the organisation together and make the bold, digital-first ambition a reality,” says Williams. “I’m all about using technology and digital products to create great user experiences, make the world a better place and help organisations work smarter and adapt to change. 

“Film is a huge part of my life too – I’ve always loved cinema and the moving image in all its forms, and I’ve been around the industry for a long time. So it’s fantastic to have this opportunity to combine those two lifelong passions in this new role. 

“I can’t wait to bring what I’ve learned from leading digital transformation in central and local government to the BFI, to help more people get more out of screen culture, and to help redefine the organisation for the digital age as it heads towards its centenary.”