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2020 Speakers

The last Global Government Leaders’ Forum featured public sector leaders from the world’s governments.

Leo Yip

Head, Civil Service, PS (PMO, PMO (STRATEGY) AND NSIC), Singapore

Leo Yip joined the Singapore public service in 1982 as a police officer. He holds degrees from Cambridge University, Warwick University and Harvard University.

In 2000 he was appointed Principal Private Secretary to Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew till 2002 when he joined the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) as Deputy Secretary. He served concurrently as Chief Executive of Singapore Workforce Development Agency from 2003.

Mr Yip was appointed Permanent Secretary of MOM in July 2005. He was concurrently appointed Deputy Chairman of the EDB in 2008 and became full-time Chairman from 2009 to 2014.

Mr Yip was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in December 2014 and was concurrently appointed as Permanent Secretary (PMO and NSIC) in 2016. Mr Yip relinquished his MHA appointment on 1 September 2017 to become Head, Civil Service and PS (PMO, PMO (Strategy) and NSIC).

Tan Kok Yam  

Deputy Secretary, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, and Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore 

Mr Tan Kok Yam is the Deputy Secretary of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), in the Prime Minister’s Office. In this role, he is responsible for the plans to realise impactful projects for Smart Nation, raise quality and inter-operability of Government IT and Smart systems, grow ICT-related capabilities for Government, and engage citizens and businesses to be part of the Smart Nation journey.

Mr Tan is also a Deputy Secretary in Strategy Group and oversees issues related to data, technology and climate change.

Prior to his current post, Mr Tan served in a number of other Ministries within the Singapore Public Service. As the Director of Manpower in the Ministry of Defence, he was in charge of both the human resource and national service policies of the Singapore Armed Forces. He also served previously in the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Education, dealing with public housing and higher education policies respectively.

Mr Tan is an engineer by training, having graduated from the University College London in 1997 with a Bachelor in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Master of Science in Telecommunications. He also completed the 1-year Sloan Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business as a Fulbright Scholar. 

Sir Suma Chakrabarti  

President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), United Kingdom 

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, born in 1959 in West Bengal, India, is the sixth President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Sir Suma has extensive experience in international development economics and policy-making, as well as in designing and implementing wider public service reform.

Most recently he held the position of Permanent Secretary at the British Ministry of Justice and was its most senior civil servant. Prior to this, he headed the UK’s Department for International Development, also worked in the late 1990s in the UK Treasury, and in the early 2000s in the Cabinet Office.

After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford, Sir Suma took a Masters in Development Economics at the University of Sussex. He also holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sussex and East Anglia, Bucharest’s University of Economic studies and Kazakhstan’s 25th Anniversary of Independence Medal.

Catherine Blewett 

Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet, Canada 

Catherine Blewett was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet on January 7, 2019. She is also presently serving as Canada’s representative on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

Ms. Blewett brings a broad national perspective to her work, having grown up in Inuvik and Yellowknife, then pursuing university, raising her family, and beginning her career in Nova Scotia.

She has nearly 30 years of experience in public service, beginning in 1990 with the Departments of Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs in Nova Scotia. In 2001, Ms. Blewett entered the federal public service serving with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

In 2011, she returned to the Province of Nova Scotia as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and as Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. She subsequently held the portfolios of CEO for the Office of Immigration, Deputy Minister of Communications, Nova Scotia, and Deputy Minister to the Office of the Premier.

Ms. Blewett returned to the federal government in June 2016 as Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada after serving as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet in Nova Scotia, the most senior non-political official in the Government of Nova Scotia. She was the head of the public service, responsible for the overall policy, management, and human resource leadership in the province.

Ms. Blewett holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Masters in Public Administration from Dalhousie University.

Taimar Peterkop 

Secretary of State, Government Office, Estonia 

Mr. Taimar Peterkop was appointed Secretary of State in December 2018. Secretary of State is the Head of the Government Office (central government institution to support the Government and the Prime Minister in policy making and implementation).

Prior to being appointed Secretary of State, Taimar was Director General of the Estonian Information System Authority (government agency responsible for core e-government systems and cyber security of Estonia). Before that, he was the Deputy Secretary General for Legal and Administrative Affairs of the Ministry of Defence.

During the period 2000–2001, Peterkop worked as a lawyer at the Government Office and from 2001–2008, at the Ministry of Defence, the first four years of which was spent in the Legal Department as Head of the Office of International Law, and the last three years as Head of the Operations and Crisis Management Department. During the period 2008–2010, Peterkop served as Defence Counsellor at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Taimar Peterkop is a graduate of the University of Tartu School of Law and the United States Army War College, and holds a Master’s level degree in Strategic Management.

Kevin Cunnington

Director General of International Government Service, United Kingdom

Kevin became Director General of GDS in August 2016. He was also Head of Function for Digital, Data and Technology across government, and a member of the Cabinet Office’s Executive Committee. He spent his early career in programming and IT consultancy, before becoming Global Head of Online for Vodafone Group then Business Transformation Group Director General at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In June 2019, it was announced that Kevin would be moving to become Director General of the newly-created International Government Service. He has been replaced by Alison Pritchard, GDS’s Director for EU Exit and Transformation.

Katherine Jones 

Deputy Secretary, Department of Finance, Australia  

Katherine Jones is the Deputy Secretary for Business Enabling Services in the Australian Government Department of Finance. She has held that role since October 2017.

She has a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.

Her responsibilities include being the Chief Operating Officer for the organisation and overseeing the delivery of services and support across the department. She is also responsible for delivering whole of government digital systems to support collaboration and customer service, including the innovative GovTeams platform.

Katherine has practical experience in delivering shared services in government. She is responsible for the Service Delivery Office, a shared service hub which delivers digital corporate services to 15 public sector agencies. This includes responsibility for the Productivity and Automation Centre of Excellence (PACE) that supports government agencies to achieve enhanced business management practices and process automation.

She has previously held senior positions in the Attorney-General’s Department including as the Deputy Secretary responsible for National Security, Criminal Justice and Emergency Management, the head of the International Crime Cooperation Division and the head of the Social Inclusion Division with responsibility for policy and programs across Indigenous justice, native title, legal assistance and human rights. In 2017, Katherine received a Public Service Medal for her outstanding contribution in the field of national security.

Before joining the public service in 1999, Katherine spent more than a decade in educational and academic publishing as a sponsoring editor and publisher at the McGraw Hill Book Co.

H.E. Win Thein 

Chairman, The Union Civil Service Board (UCSB), Myanmar  

Mr. Win Thein, Chairman of the Union Civil Service Board, was born on 11 August 1948 in Yangon. He is the son of Toe Tet Yay U Thein (1st Class Order of the Star for Independence) and Daw Ma Ma Lay(3rd Class Order of the Star for Independence). In 1965, after completion of the matriculation of his high school education at St.Paul’s High School, he was selected as Officer Cadet and underwent training at Defence Services Academy. In 1969, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (DSA) and was appointed as Gazetted Officer in the Navy. He obtained the diploma of Higher Grade Pleadership (H.G.P) in 1976, and attended the training of Oceanography in Japan from 1978 to 1979 and computer programming courses conducted at the Computer Department of Universities in 1979. After he served in ranks in the Navy, he was transferred to serve at the Ministry of Transport in 1984.

He was elevated up to the rank of Deputy Director General at the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems under the Ministry of Transport. And then, he was promoted as the Principal of Myanmar Mercantile Marine College. He completed diploma of Advanced Computer Management conducted at the Central Statistical Organization in 1994, Post Graduate Diploma in Maritime Law in 2002, Post Graduate Diploma in Business Law in 2003, Post Graduate Diploma in International Law in 2004, M.A (Business Law) (1st Year) from Yangon University respectively. After that, he became a member of International WHO’s WHO of Professionals of United States of America in 2009. Furthermore, he was conferred Ph.D Honoris Causa in Educational Leadership from Akamai University, Hawaii, USA in 2014. He just completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from London College of Business Sciences in 2015.

In 1995-1996, being appointed as the National Consultant to draft “Myanmar Agenda 21” by the Head Office of United Nations Environment Programme (UNDP) (Nairobi, Kenya), through National Commission for Environmental Affairs, Myanmar. Along with his career, he also compiled about fifty research papers related with environmental conservation, education, training and contributed them through international conferences. In 2012, he was assigned as a member of the Commission on the Assessment of Legal Affairs and Special Issues at Pyithu Hluttaw (People Parliament). In 2016, he has been assigned as the Chairman of the Union Civil Service Board.

Catarina Maria Romão Gonçalves  

Deputy General Secretary of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Portugal  

Catarina Romão Gonçalves is, since 2013, Deputy General Secretary of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Portugal.

In this position, and among other functions, she is responsible for ensuring the liaison of the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers with members of the Government, and their respective Offices, as well as with other entities in the public and private sector.

She is also responsible for fostering, on an ongoing basis, curiosity, innovation and change, reinforcing the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers as a reference body integrated in the Portuguese CoG.

She holds a degree in Law and a Postgraduate degree in Artistic Programming Management and in her career had been also Director of two national theatres in Portugal.

Mikhail Pryadilnikov  

Head, Center of Competence for Digital Government Transformation; and Deputy Director, Analytic Center for the Russian Government, Russia

The Analytic Center for the Russian Government provides on-demand information analytics and expert support for departments; and as Deputy Director, Mikhail Pryadilnikov is responsible for strategic management, regional development, SME support, public administration and investment climate reform.

Mikhail has also recently been appointed as Head, Center of Competence for Digital Government Transformation, a top-level unit with a particular focus on government digital services established to support public sector organizations in managing their digital transformation programmes.

He previously served as the director of the Department for Strategic Planning, Government Programs and Investment Projects at the Ministry of Economic Development. Prior to joining the federal government, he worked for Moscow city government as the Head of Economic Policy and Development.

Mr Priyadilnikov studied economics and philosophy in the USA and was awarded a PhD in government and political science by Harvard University. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and a Visiting Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Before joining the civil service, he spent 10 years as a consultant at the World Bank in Washington DC, working in the Middle East and North Africa unit on anti-corruption and civil service reforms in Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and the West Bank & Gaza.

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