BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has elected John Higgins as its new President and Mayank Prakash as Deputy President at its recent AGM.

After his election, Mr Higgins urged government and business to “put IT to work to drive this recovery”.

“To recover and build back better from this terrible pandemic, we really need to double down on digital,” he continued. “Our members are the digital professionals ready to put IT to work to drive this recovery, and importantly, in ways that society can trust.

“With our outgoing President Rebecca George and my deputy Mayank, I will be particularly focused on three important themes to support the overall goal. First to double down on efforts to make our profession more welcoming for all – regardless of gender, age or ethnic background. Secondly to lead BCS to put its full weight behind efforts to help the nine million people unable to reap the benefits of digital, and finally to step up our efforts to encourage digital professionals to use their talents to help tackle the problems of climate and ecological change.”

Higgins is a digital leader with a strong technical background and awareness of current technology issues. He was Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, the association for the digital technology industry in Europe until 2017, following nine years leading its UK member association, TechUK. In Spring of 2017 he became Chair of the Global Digital Foundation, and has advisory roles with BCW, a global communications company; the EU’s Intelligent Cities Challenge and the University of Warwick’s European university collaboration, Eutopia.

BCS Chief Executive, Paul Fletcher, said: “John’s experience and insight will contribute greatly to the Institute. He has made an outstanding contribution to the IT profession and as President of BCS, will help us address a number of challenges facing the industry.

“I’d like to thank our outgoing President Rebecca George, who has worked closely with us during an unprecedented and extraordinary year which was massively disrupted by the pandemic.”

Mayank Prakash, who is Group Chief Technology Officer at Tilney Smith & Williamson and Non-Executive Director of Uber in the UK said of his election to Deputy President: “I am really looking forward to working with John, engaging with members and supporting BCS colleagues. The potential of computing presents unprecedented opportunities as digitisation reimagines society, businesses transform post-COVID and the UK aspires to become a global science superpower. I share John’s aim to support BCS in its ambition of making IT good for society.”