John Seabourn - Chief Digital Officer

John SeabournWhen did you join the NSTA?

I have been with the NSTA since vesting in 2016. My role at the time was one of those that moved across from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which I joined in 2014.

What does your role at the NSTA involve?

My role sits within the NSTA Corporate directorate and is responsible for delivering NSTA’s Digital Strategy. The purpose of which is to ensure digital, data and technology works for everyone. This includes the wide range of services we provide industry, government, academia and society making use of years of data to support all manner of decisions.

Tell us about your career journey to date?

I studied Geography & Geology at university and specialised in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). From university I joined the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a geospatial analyst before training to be an air traffic controller. I returned to MoD after not quite making the grade after four years of training. After five years back at the MoD working on operational digital and data projects, I joined DECC as GIS manager. The opportunities to improve digital and data at DECC and NSTA have enabled me to move up through the GIS manager to Head of Digital Services roles and now Chief Digital Officer.  

What's the best thing about working here?

Variety of work and the people. The opportunities within NSTA to try new things and develop skills have been excellent. That is only possible when you are surrounded diverse and inclusive group of people. 

What is the most exciting challenge that you have been involved in to date?

When NSTA first vested we were granted Cabinet Office exemption to create our own website separate from gov.uk to better meet our user’s needs. This involved creating a wide range of data and digital services including interactive maps, data downloads and engaging web pages. In only 6 weeks we built an open data site with a suite of interactive tools bring data to the front and centre of our website. These pages remain the most visited elements of NSTA’s website.

What advice would you give to anyone who is looking to join NSTA?

Do it. We have an excellent culture taking all the best bits from industry and combining them with civil service ways of working to create a great working environment.