Ian is the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Prior to that, he was in the Cabinet Office where he was the head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, the Government's Chief Information Officer, and the first head of the Government Information Technology profession. He joined the Civil Service in September 2004 after a twenty four year business career in IT, culminating as Accenture's UK Managing Director from 2000 to 2004. He has a degree in mathematics and management studies from Trinity College, Cambridge.
He is on the board of the English Institute for Sport which provides sports science and sports medicine to Olympic and elite athletes. He spent five years on the Board of eSkills UK, the sector skills council for IT and telecoms. He is a former member of the Council for Industry and Higher Education, and Business in the Community. In 2005 he received the computing industry's Outstanding Contribution to UK IT award.
He is 49 years of age, is married with four teenage sons, and lives in the North West of England.