John Higgins CBE was appointed Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, the association for the digital technology industry in Europe, in November 2011 following nine years leading its UK member association, Intellect. He is the public face of the digital sector in Europe and speaks regularly on platforms and at conferences throughout Europe and indeed world-wide. After graduating from the University of East Anglia with an honours degree in Mathematics and then gaining a post graduate Diploma in Accounting and Finance, John began a career in IT. He trained as a systems analyst, held senior positions with Ernst & Young and worked in Chicago with leading software company SSA. In 1995 he was appointed CEO of the Rocket Networks, a California based dot.com that provided the world’s first online recording studios. He returned to the UK in 1998 and became Director General of the Computing Services and Software Association, one of Intellect’s predecessors. John served as a member of the governing body of the University of Warwick for 12 years until 2015 and was chair of its audit committee. He also chaired a committee that carried out a governance review for the University. John is President of the European Commission’s Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship and was recently elected to the Board of the European Internet Foundation. John’s other committee chair roles include the cross industry association council of the CBI, a government/industry space committee and the global policy action committee of the World IT Services Association, WITSA. He was board member of e-skills, the UK’s digital sector skills council and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was presented with two personal awards for outstanding contributions; first to the association sector in 2004 and then to the IT industry in 2008. The Queen appointed him a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005 for his services to the UK IT industry.
John is married to Ailsa; they have three adult daughters.