Carolyn Brown (formerly Lees) has joined the National Housing Federation as the organisation’s CTO following a successful career with Permira, a global private equity organisation.
The National Housing Federation is the national body for the UK’s housing association sector which in recent years has become a critical provider of affordable and social housing in cities as well as rural areas.
Based in London, the National Housing Federation has over 900 housing organisations as members. The National Housing Federation members represent 2.5 mill homes in England. It can trace its foundations back to 1935, a period of significant home building in the national history.
Brown joins the National Housing Federation to lead the digital transformation of services to meet the changing needs of its members and the needs of a wider stakeholder community that are engaging with the housing association sector.
The Federation has been in the news a great deal lately following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London representing its members in communication with government.
Brown was a keynote presenter at this title’s inaugural Innovation Leadership Summit in 2016 and told the UK’s largest gathering of CIOs that Permira invests in a wide range of sectors from technology to pharmaceuticals as well as household brands such as Dr Martins, the boots maker. Private equity businesses go into proven companies that have a value that is yet to be created, Brown told CIO peers.
You can download and listen to Brown’s presentation as a Horizon Live podcast.
“There is a deluge of innovation that is constantly bringing new opportunities to market,” she said. “The CIO has a role to play to bring the message of what value technology can bring to the organisation.”
Brown started her early career as a coder. At Permira she was Global IT Director for over 12 years with responsibility for the organisation’s strategy, information security and operations across all markets. The CIO has held a number of international roles, including head of global IT support and development for Hilton International, the noted hotels and resorts organisation and head of training and technology in the EMEA region for Avis Europe, the car rental and leasing business.
Brown joined Permira in 2005 from the legal sector, having been IT Director for an international law firm, Kennedys, for nine years.