Organization : CIO

Tony Mather is CIO of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, signing up for civil service in March 2007 after being hired in from the private sector as part of the government’s drive to recruit talent from beyond Whitehall walls.

Mather is the first CIO at a more than 200-year-old institution – a sign that winds of change are rattling through some very old halls indeed. A key current priority is the FCO’s Future Firecrest project which is aiming to enable more modern and mobile ways of working by upgrading the department’s global IT infrastructure. Or in his words making the FCO “more foreign, less office”.

In an interview with earlier this year he said: “The biggest challenge I face is not about deploying technology, it’s about actually saying to 16,000 people we can do things differently now, and really starting to drive that – embracing the opportunity.”

Apart from championing mobile working – he uses an iPhone for work – Mather’s role also incorporates responsibility for various major IT-related programmes such as biometric visas. He sits on the FCO Board, and is board champion for gender diversity. He is also a member of the government’s CIO Council.

A mechanical engineer by training, Mather holds an MBA as well. Prior to joining the FCO he was responsible for all globally delivered services for The BOC group. He has also worked in various different industries during a 20-year IT career, including insurance (Friends Provident), transport (British Airways), FMCG (Pepsi) and retail (Safeway Stores).

Outside work his hobbies include marathon running and skydiving.