Joanna Shields, prime minister David Cameron’s digital advisor and chair of Tech City UK, has been awarded a seat in the House of Lords.
Former Facebook and Google exec Shields, who is also a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange, is one of 22 new peers the government has announced today.
US-born Shields, 52, is one of 12 new Conservative Party peers. Another new Tory peer from the IT industry is Dido Harding, the CEO of telecoms company TalkTalk.
As digital advisor, Shields provides Cameron with advice on policy matters concerning the digital industry, with a particular emphasis on digital entrepreneurship.
She is also a member of Cameron’s Digital Taskforce, which is headed up by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and aims to “make the UK the most capable and competitive digital nation in the world”.
Shields led the Tech City UK initiative as its CEO for 15 months before stepping aside to let Gerard Grech take up the helm.
Meanwhile, Dido Harding, 46, has been CEO of TalkTalk since March 2010. Prior to the role, she was Sainsbury’s convenience director, and had several senior roles in Tesco’s UK and international businesses.
She was appointed non-executive director of The British Land Company in January 2010.
Harding is the daughter of retired British Army officer Lord John Charles Harding and is married to Conservative MP John Penrose.
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