DSIT appoints leader to oversee tech policy and programmes

Emran Mian, recruited from the levelling up department, will lead work in areas including the regulation of online safety and artificial intelligence, and will oversee the rollout of gigabit broadband

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has nabbed levelling-up department housing bigwig Emran Mian for a key digital role.

Mian has been appointed as director general for digital, technology and telecoms at the recently created department, taking over the role previously held by Susannah Storey, who has joined the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as its new permanent secretary.

At the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Mian was DG for regeneration, housing and planning. He has also previously worked at the Cabinet Office, Department for Education and the now-defunct Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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In the DSIT role, Mian will oversee government’s relationship with regulators Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office, as well as executive agency Building Digital UK. He will also oversee the rollout of Project Gigabit, the government’s flagship £5bn programme which will enable hard-to-reach communities right across the UK to access “lightning-fast” broadband. The project aims to ensure over 85% of premises are connected to Gigabit capable broadband by 2025.

Mian will also play a central role in preparations for the upcoming global summit on artificial intelligence later this year. The summit will agree targeted, rapid, international action to develop the international measures needed for the safe and responsible development of artificial intelligence.

Other areas Mian will lead on include investing in the government’s supercomputing capability, driving economic growth through digital markets and reforming data rights laws to boost productivity. He will also work with Ofcom to support the introduction of the new online safety regulatory framework, following the passage of the Online Safety Bill.

DSIT permanent secretary Sarah Munby said she was “delighted” to welcome Mian to the department.

“Emran joins us at a pivotal moment for the department and brings with him valuable experience from across government and beyond which will position him well to lead us as we continue to carve out our position as a global tech superpower,” she added.

Tevye Markson

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