TONY SMITH is a global expert in border security and leadership.
Tony retired as Director General of the UK Border Force in March 2013, after completing over 40 years’ service in the UK Home Office.
Tony was the Senior Responsible Owner and gold commander for the UK Border Agency’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Programme. He delivered his mission to contribute to a safe secure and inspirational Olympic Games by facilitating the entry of the vast majority of people and goods coming to the Games, whilst protecting the public from those that may cause harm.
Tony was educated at St Clement Danes Grammar school in West London. He is a qualified legal executive and an accredited Programme Sponsor. He started his career as an immigration caseworker in 1972 and has a long and distinguished career in the UK Immigration Service having served at all grades from immigration officer through to Director General, culminating in his appointment as Director General of UK Border Force in 2012.
Tony has the unique distinction of having served as Head of Borders in 2 different countries – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2000 – 2003) and the UK Immigration Service (2005 – 2007). He played a significant role in the operational response to the terrorist attacks in North America on 9/11 and in the UK on 7/7. Tony also led the development and establishment of local immigration teams across London and the South East, and the delivery of Home Office PSA targets on removals and case conclusions (2007 – 2009).
Tony (full name Anthony John Smith) was awarded the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the UK New Year’s Honours List 2013, for his services to the safety and security of the London 2012 Olympics.
He is now a global border security expert and leadership consultant.
Kevin retired from the Civil Service as Director Customs Transformation at HM Revenue and Customs, after completing 43 years of service in the Public Sector. His Civil Service career had four key themes: International trade policy and practice; business systems, IT and efficiency; delivery of large-scale change; and law enforcement at the border.
He offers a unique perspective on Customs controls and International Trade facilitation, having led the implementation of customs and trade policies; worked in port operating environments; and delivered large-scale border change programmes in the UK and the US, during a career in which he worked at four Whitehall Departments – HM Customs & Excise; HM Revenue and Customs; Department for Trade and Industry; and the Home Office.
Kevin began his career with HM Customs & Excise in 1977 as an import specialist in the regional office of London Port. He moved to Customs HQ in 1987 where he was instrumental in delivering the design, development and implementation of the national automated customs declaration system (CHIEF), supporting all movements of goods in and out of the UK and collects annually, over £30bn of tax and duties.
He later worked with the US Customs Service to lead a joint UK/USA project in partnership with multi-national companies to modernise international trade procedures and deliver a single automated system to manage imports and exports between the two countries.
Kevin was appointed Director of Trade Procedures at SITPRO (a non- departmental public body and the UK’s national trade facilitation agency) in 1998, and later became acting Chief Executive.
In 2003 he led the HM Customs and Excise Business Transformation Programme, delivering a broad range of strategic objectives through integrated e-Business solutions and in 2005 he was appointed Director Frontiers at HMRC, responsible for the delivery of UK and international policies on border security and controls.
Kevin joined the Home Office in 2008 to lead the integration of the work, people and operating procedures of Customs and the Border and Immigration Agency at the main points of entry to the UK, establishing a unified Border Force in 2009.
Before returning to HMRC in December 2013 as Director of its Department-wide Change Portfolio, Kevin was Head of Intelligence and then Director National Customs Operations at the Border Force.
In 2014 Kevin was appointed Director Customs Transformation, leading the development, build, test and implementation of a Government Major Programme called Customs Declaration Services(CDS), the largest system operating at the UK border designed to collect £34bn of tax each year and supporting the introduction of new Customs legislation. He also led cross-Whitehall initiatives designed to bring together border-related strategies and technologies with a singular vision to transform the experience of people moving goods in and out of the UK without compromise to border security.
Following the EU referendum in June 2016 his role expanded to lead the delivery of changes to over 30 HMRC systems (covering customs, indirect tax and trade statistics policies and requirements) to support the UK’s exit from the EU in a “No Deal” scenario, together with the implementation of contingency measures to support the Government’s plans should the UK have left the EU without a deal.
In the 12 months preceding his retirement from the Civil Service in October 2020 Kevin led major programmes to support the introduction of a NI Protocol at the end of the UK’s transition period. These programmes included major change to the customs declaration platforms; arrangements to support the UK’s safety and security; the design of a future operating model to support movements of Ro/Ro traffic in and out of the UK; arrangements to facilitate UK business interfaces with EU systems; and the introduction of a new trade support service to help businesses comply with customs legislation and policies, including the submission of customs declarations to HMRC systems to facilitate imports and exports.
Kevin is a graduate of the Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA), established by the Cabinet Office and Oxford University to transform the implementation of Government policy through world-class delivery of major projects.
Ian Neill is an expert on Border Systems and has been at the forefront of the development of international passenger data standards. Ian has over 35 years in border management having delivered Border systems for the UK and advised other governments on the development of their systems.
Ian has held a variety of senior roles in the United Kingdom Border Force, including leading Heathrow as well as holding a variety of posts in the criminal and enforcement arena. He was responsible for spearheading the development of the worldwide Airline/Immigration Liaison Officer network.
Ian was responsible for the UK’s Project Semaphore, the first EU state to capture entry and exit passenger data automatically, he established the UK’s targeting centre in 2005. The Joint Border Operations Centre, which evolved into the National Border Targeting Centre. He introduced a registered traveller system through “IRIS gates” into the UK and followed that with the implementation of e-passport gates, that replaced IRIS. He was involved in the early work for a tripartite registered traveller programme “mi sense” linking UAE, UK and Hong Kong.
Ian has worked widely with industry having chaired the International Air Transport Association’s Control Agency Working Group and Passenger Facilitation Working Group. Together with Australia, Canada, the USA, IATA, and the airline industry he delivered the new passenger data message standard PNRGOV as a free to use product for governments and carriers. Ian was the UK’s representative on the Frontex research and development board and has contributed to work on analysis of passenger data and Automated Border Controls. He has worked as an advisor to The International Civil Aviation Organization’s facilitation panel and is a regular contributor to work on travel documents. As part of the World Customs Organization’s Contact Committee he has played role in ensuring clear guidelines on the implementation and use of both Interactive and standard advance passenger information have been agreed between IATA, ICAO, WCO industry and governments.
Ian is a member of the Global Initiative against Transnational and Organized crime and continues to speak and moderate at international events on data and border security.
He continues to provide advice and support to a number of governments. He has focused recent efforts on targeting and intelligence and flexible, mobile responses to border issues, providing training and support to the development of targeting and command and control centres for a range of countries.
Alison is a former UK Civil Servant with over 30 years experience in the field of immigration with extensive knowledge of operations, policy and project delivery. She has worked at the highest levels within immigration and also with Government Ministers and has a sound understanding of strategic thinking.
Alison took early retirement after almost 34 years with the UK Home Office, having worked in numerous locations including central London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She has worked closely with security partners and police services across the UK and her work has been acknowledged by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.
Alison is an experienced senior manager who was well respected within the Home Office and among external partners. She has extensive experience of working in partnership with the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland and understands the political sensitivities involved.
Alison managed the Accreditation process for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, working closely with both Westminster and the Scottish Government in order to meet the objective of delivering a safe and secure Games. This work gained Alison letters of thanks from the then Prime Minister and the Scottish Government Minister for the Games.
Nigel retired from the Civil Service in November 2021 from his role as the Director responsible for the implementing the new UK imports/exports service ( the Customs Declaration Service – CDS) for HM Revenue & Customs. He is an IT professional and transformation change leader with over 45 years’ experience designing, building and implementing services in the public sector. Key areas of expertise are:
Major programme leadership
Customs and International trade
In the 3 years prior to retirement Nigel was part of the Board level team within HMRC shaping the department’s response to the UK withdrawal from the EU. This was clearly a very uncertain period with conflicting priorities and demands and late breaking changes as the negotiations between the UK and EU ebbed and flowed.
He led the EU exit programme which consisted of 2 major digital deliveries; Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and the Border Systems Programme. This was a large an complex programme spend costing hundreds of millions and around 950 internal and external IT staff were working on development. Twice during this period, we had to be prepared for the UK to crash out of the EU on Day 1 No Deal terms.
CDS was delivered on, we delivered the first version of the Imports service in August 2018 as planned and has gone through a series of planned upgrades and will replace the existing CHIEF service in 2022.
The Border Systems Programme consisted of 27 individual projects delivering solutions across the wider Customs & International trade arena particularly in support of a possible Day 1 No Deal. Despite this uncertainty and critical deadlines, we delivered all of the required new services in time for a possible D1ND exit on 31 March so that the UK would have a functioning border.
Previously, Nigel led some of the largest and most complex change programmes within the public sector including:
STRIDE – a major infrastucture programme which replaced over 100,000 desktops and 650+ applications across the newly formed HMRC.
PAYE Open cases – tackling a backlog of 17.8m outstanding customer tax cases and clearing £2bn of outstanding payments and repayments
Implementation of the new Real Time Information service for PAYE – onboarding 2m UK employers and build the digital service to process over 850m transactions annually.
Within HMRC he was frequently parachuted in to lead highly complex or sensitive projects or to rescue those that had gone badly off track.
Nigel’s career span includes 14 years as a software developer and database designer, writing and supporting core applications and operating systems. His first IT role was a developer (in 1976) writing the new maritime import/export system for the UK. He was later (1987) both a systems analyst and designer for the CHIEF service which became the new vehicle for UK import/export. Nigel went on to lead the software development function within HM Customs &Excise (250+ people) and later was the Head of Profession for Project Delivery within HM Revenue and Customs (500+ people).
Nigel also has a strong background in large commercial negotiations on deals valued at hundreds of £millions. These range from leading the in-house bid team for market testing, infrastructure outsourcing and major contract re-negotiation.
Nigel is a specialist in transformational change in the public sector dating back to first wave of e-services in 2004 and more recently core customer facing services such as Tax Free Childcare.
Nigel is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and additonally holds Chartered IT Professional status. He is also a graduate of the Major Projects Leadership Academy at Oxford University (2014) and a High Risk Reviewer with the IPA.
He is married with two grown up daughters and currently lives in Essex where he spends his spare time playing or watching as much sport as he can get away with. A passionate cricketer who plays regularly for Essex Seniors.
38 years UK Customs and Border Control experience at operational and senior manager level. 20 years international experience as a trainer and consultant for HM Customs & Excise, HMRC and UK Border Agency working in South America, South East Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. For last 5 years of career, was national manager responsible for the development and deployment of screening technologies including biometrics, radiation portals, millimetre-wave cameras, and human/baggage x-ray scanners, and the integration of these into existing business processes and procedures.
Since leaving UKBA in 2010, have worked as an independent Customs and Border Management reform consultant and trainer, as an international aviation security consultant, and European Commission H2020 Framework (Security) proposal evaluator and rapporteur.
Patricia has over 35 years’ experience within all the disciplines of UK immigration, and worked with UK law enforcement specializing in criminal intelligence tackling people smuggling and trafficking. She was Deputy Head of RALON (a global Risk and Liaison Overseas Network) from 2006 to 2010 and then Regional Manager RALON Americas from 2010 to 2014. The RALON network identified risk to the UK borders from all sources and provided mitigating strategies and engaged in operational activity. Patricia was awarded an MBE in 2016 for contribution to UK border security.
Since retirement in February 2015 she has developed a consultancy career covering a number of projects, such as: the setting up of a risk assessment unit at the Charity Commission, visa process improvements for Guyana, development and delivery of IOM (International Organisation for Migration) projects (including producing a Maritime Security Manual for the Western Indian Ocean) and the audit and assurance of a text analytic process for the Home Office. Patricia is currently contracted to the IOM in Lesotho with regard to strengthening their immigration intelligence processes.
Howard retired after spending 36 years in the Home Office, having worked since 1982 in both the Immigration and Nationality Departments of the Home Office. He s an Expert Document Examiner, having been at the National Document Fraud Unit since 1996.
Howard has extensive experience in forgery training, having trained worldwide for the IOM, EU, Foreign Office and Government departments throughout the UK. He has written and developed numerous forgery training programmes, including two courses which are currently being delivered nationally by the NDFU.
Over the last 7 years he has specialised in the field of copy document fraud, and was the national lead in this area, visiting numerous UK employers to both examine and advise on their ID document records. He was also the author of a national UKguide On copy document fraud culminating in his being a speaker at Security Document World in 2016.
Shaun has over 41 years’ expertise in identity and border management, within the United Kingdom passport and Immigration services.
He has over ten years’ international experience working in UK diplomatic missions in the Middle East, Sub-continent and Africa. For over four years Shaun was regional manager for UK Immigration Enforcement International, responsible for over thirty staff deployed in eight international locations; covering fourteen countries in the Middle East, Levant and Pakistan.
As Intelligence Manager at the Heathrow Immigration Intelligence Unit he was responsible for developing intelligence and strategies to combat transnational organised immigration crime. He set up the UK’s first Passenger Analysis Unit, at London Heathrow Airport. He worked with industry and other commercial partners to develop the operational and profiling capabilities of the UK’s Semaphore e-Borders programme, which included design and implementation of an electronic alert system to primary control points at Heathrow. He created and trained a debriefing team to gather intelligence from irregular migrants; and built a joint profiling capability with Customs counterparts- an early example of Border Force joint working.
As country manager for Bangladesh he delivered an overseas aid funded project to network real-time passenger movement records between major air/ seaports, and Bangladesh Immigration HQ. His team participated in early proof-of-concept trials of passenger travel data under the UK Semaphore project.
Shaun has been based in the UAE for the past six years, where he has established his own border management consultancy, MIB Managing International Borders DMCC.
Shaun worked closely with Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to successfully organise and moderate the Dubai Global Targeting Forum in 2018. He subsequently delivered training, coaching and continuous assessment of the GDRFA Targeting & Analysis team to develop passenger targeting and analysis capability.
As a trainer, Shaun has developed a wide range of bespoke courses in relation to border and identity management. He has delivered training on behalf of UN and non-governmental organisations in the Middle East & Levant, ASEAN region and Indian Sub-continent.
Recent activities include: conducting a review of border management and border security of five countries in North Africa, and in Jordan; delivery of open source intelligence training to specialist immigration and anti-corruption teams in Nigeria and Ghana; subject matter expert for two immigration-related policy projects in Saudi Arabia.
Janet is a former UK Civil Servant with a wide experience in operational, policy and project delivery, in the UK and in numerous locations worldwide.
Janet retired in May 2015, after 30 years working for both the UK Home Office, and on secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, both in London and overseas.
Janet managed UK visa operations in over 20 countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, and earlier ran a team of UK airline liaison officers working in twelve locations in South and South East Asia. She has considerable experience of working in partnership with foreign Governments and agencies, British ministers and Members of Parliament and partners in the travel industry.
Janet also managed the IT for UK visa operations for five years and oversaw the successful rollout of biometric enrolment for UK visa applicants in Africa.
Lionel recently retired after more than 40 years working for the Home Office, having built up a large skills base through the expansive and diverse roles he filled.
He has undertaken secondments with other government departments, where he has gained operational experience and undertaken extensive training, dealing with serious organised crime, people trafficking and modern slavery, developing and implementing a series of high profile projects within the immigration world. He has nurtured strong and profitable working relationships with foreign governments, promoting effective gathering and dissemination of intelligence to strengthen security.
He has vast experience of immigration systems and legislation from grass root to a senior level. He devised and delivered training, specifically tailored for international regional needs, in identity, credibility and anti-fraud training to increase capability, ensure compliance and streamline processes.
Lionel has many years experience in pre-entry visa work, on entry border control, in-country extension work and implementation of enforcement legislation. Lionel has fulfilled training roles in the majority of these postings and is known and respected for his knowledge and ability to pass on those skills not only within with organisation but through his collaboration with NGOs, internal and external partners.
International development professional in Customs system diagnostics, risk management, compliance management inc Free Zones, integrated border management, modernization & enforcement programmes and training.
24 years working in UK Customs administration.
4 years in EU Customs
6 years in Royal Oman Police DG Customs (Civilian officer)
8 years in private/public sector consultancy
Proven track record as Team leader and Country manager. Field experience is extensive having worked in over fifteen countries across four continents. Diverse geographical experience includes S.E Asia, Arabia, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, MENA and Sub -Sahara African environments. Considerable exposure to working on donor funded projects in post-conflict and fragile states. Relevant field experience includes, Angola, Belize, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Kosovo, Mozambique, Russia, Sultanate of Oman, & Yemen
Native English speaker with working knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic
BSc (Hons) International Studies
Post Grad Cert (Merit) in Conflict and Development
Kevin was part of the team that established the Juxtaposed controls in Calais in 2004. He was duty manager on the day controls opened. He has managed both freight and tourist controls at Calais, Dunkerque and the Channel Tunnel.He was part of the team that eventually secured the port of Calais and stop illegal migration though the port.From 2005 to 2010 he lived in Northern France gaining a unique insight into the to problems of illegal migration from both French and UK point of view. Kevin was the main point of contact on a daily basis with the French frontier police, French customs, the port authorities and carriers. He has vast experience in all matters concerning juxtaposed controls and illegal migration.
Frank Smith has a wide range of international experience in business technology, particularly relating to immigration and borders, much in the UK Home Office. Recent experience includes:
Chairing the Technology Working Group of the IGC in Geneva from 2009 to 2015, meeting twice yearly to track new and emerging developments in immigration technology in Europe, America and Australasia.
Chairing the EU working group on mobile solutions for the police and immigration, e-MOBIDIG, since 2010—now working with the Dutch Police.
Leading the UK representation on the European Commission committee for passport chip security and passport / card design (Article 6), 2008 to 2014.
Representing the UK on the Management Board of the EU agency for the management of large IT systems in justice and home affairs, eu-LISA, from 2012 to 2015.
Frank has 37 years experience in a wide range of roles in the UK Home Office (the UK interior ministry responsible for immigration, borders and policing) including advising Ministers, developing policy and legislation as well as technology and business modernisation. He has been Private Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Broadcasting. He has experience of delivering UK border control, serving from 2011 to 2015 in the contingency reserve for Border Force, including working on the front-line during the London Olympics in 2012. Most recently he has worked on biometrics, mobile solutions and strategy as well as his international work.
Frank is recognised as an authority in several technical fields and is particularly effective in communicating between those who do and do not have advanced technical knowledge. He has spoken widely at international conferences and meetings in the UK and across Europe, at the Department of Homeland Security in the US, and in Canada and the UAE. He was instrumental in brokering an agreed EU-wide technical standard for passport chip security in 2012, led an IGC study visit on immigration technology to Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and gave the opening keynote address to the Security Document World (SDW) conference in London in 2014. ICAO has published an article he wrote on the future development of mobile solutions for the police and immigration in its global Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD) Report 2015.
Frank’s qualifications comprise:
Fellowship of the British Computer Society (FBCS) in 2014, recognising his international work on technology.
Chartered Information Technology Practitioner (CTP) and Chartered Engineer (CEng).
Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2001 with Distinction and a Class Prize from Imperial College Business School, London.
His first degree is in Computer Science, from the University of Edinburgh.
Tony has wide experience of strategic and organisational development, HR and people strategies, change management, transformation, cultural integration, learning and development and training, all gained at executive director or director level in the UK in both the public and social housing sectors. This has often involved helping the organisation make sense of their ‘organisational jig-saw’.
Tony has also undertaken projects in Africa (mainly), Asia and Europe since 1992. This covered both working with senior teams on their roles and responsibilities in creating and sustaining change and designing and delivering training courses (e.g. programme/project management, customer service, communications).
Tony has designed, led and delivered strategic and operational interventions throughout his career. This has been achieved in a number of ways – through leading the area of work as an executive director (Orbit and Wandle Housing Associations) or director (Home Office); as programme director; as an internal consultant (within the Home Office and Prison Service); and an external consultant in the private sector (Insight Consultancy, Eunoia Consultancy and Tony Williams Associates).
Key areas to highlight are:
Developing (in partnership with the executive team) five year strategic plans in ESP Global IT Services and the British Horse Society.
Developing and implementing Customer Service Strategies in Cornwall Housing, Orbit and ESP Global IT Services.
Delivering transformation programmes in:
Orbit (focussed on driving commercial success based on a culture defined as ‘Profit for a purpose’).
Home Office (focussed on creating an outcomes based organisation).
Prison Service (focussed on performance standards)
Developing and implementing leadership development programmes in Orbit and British Horse Society (focussed on transformational leadership)
Coaching and mentoring CEOs, executive directors, directors and board members across the private, public and not for profit sectors.
Developing and facilitating partnership working and clear levels of responsibility between Group Board and Executive Team (Home Office, Prison Service, Wandle and Orbit)
Assessing, developing, implementing and evaluating culture change (through culture narrative, values, behaviours) that drives business achievement in ESP Global IT Services, Home Office, Prison Service, Wandle and Orbit.
Developing and implementing various people focussed approaches in Orbit including talent management and succession planning (‘Making the Most of our People’ )and a ‘Work Inspiration’ project for young people,
FCIP (fFellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel)
ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) coaching qualification