The UK Cyber Security Council has appointed Simon Hepburn as its permanent chief executive.
Hepburn will succeed Don MacIntyre, who was appointed interim CEO of the Council in January 2021, shortly before it launched as an independent organization.
He is tasked with driving forward the remit of the self-regulatory body for the cybersecurity education and skills sector, whose activities are funded by the UK government. This is primarily to represent the cybersecurity profession, drive awareness and excellence across the industry and help close the UK’s cyber skills gap by providing a clear roadmap for those entering or progressing through roles in the sector.
Hepburn has a wealth of experience in developing skills and educational programs across various organizations, including leadership roles at a number of charities. Among his experiences, he founded Black Star Inc., where he advised on diversity and inclusion, leadership and management, people and change, strategy and organization development, careers and employability. He was also UK Director at the international social action charity City Year UK, where he oversaw school partnerships, program design and delivery, leadership program development and mentor experience.
Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Claudia Natanson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the UK Cyber Security Council, said: “Simon Hepburn’s record is one of delivering at the sharp end of education and careers, for charitable organizations like the Council.
“The Council may well be the voice for the profession, but it is absolutely intended to be a ‘doing’ organization rather than just a ‘talking’ organization, so this attribute made him an excellent candidate for CEO; we welcome his passion and energy and look forward to him driving the organization forwards.”
Hepburn outlined: “I make no secret of my passion for supporting people and organizations to reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society — it has been at the heart of my career to date. I intend to bring the full weight of that knowledge and experience to bear on the activities of the Council, benefiting the cybersecurity profession.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to work with one of the most critical sectors in our country, delivering education and skills support and resources to organizations and the professionals that are essential to the safe, secure and prosperous operation of the UK economy.”
Last week, the Council announced it had opened its membership application process.