BHF appoints first Chief Technology Officer

Ursula Dolton has been appointed as the British Heart Foundation’s first Chief Technology Officer and will lead the charity’s new Technology directorate. 

Ursula will sit on the charity’s Executive Group and be responsible for delivering the BHF’s technology strategy in support of its charitable objectives. This will include a focus on how technology can best support research and innovation; help people affected by heart and circulatory disease; and drive income growth across the BHF’s commercial, retail and fundraising offerings.

The role will also ensure all teams in the organisation have the tools that they need to turn fledgling ideas into impact for the organisation, and can use technology to increase organisational efficiency and effectiveness.

The appointment comes as the BHF launches its new strategy which identifies ‘harnessing innovation and technology’ as a key accelerator in improving all areas of the charity’s work.

The Technology Directorate will bring together the BHF’s IT and Portfolio Management Office, its Digital, Data and CRM teams and its Digital Products and Delivery teams.

Ursula joined the BHF three years ago and has been the Director of IT and Business Change for the past year and a half. Prior to her role at the BHF, Ursula led technology transformation at the University of East London and held IT and technology leadership positions in the commercial sector including at Cadbury, Citi Group and Jaguar & Land Rover.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Improving how we harness innovation and technology has the potential to enhance every area of our work – from how we understand our supporters and raise funds, to the innovations that can improve the lives of people living with heart and circulatory disease. In three years at the BHF, Ursula has demonstrated that she is one of the sector leaders in leading new technology and innovation. I’m delighted that Ursula will be leading the British Heart Foundation’s exciting new strategy in these areas and look forward to seeing the innovative uses of technology that emerge from her leadership of a talented and dedicated team.”

Ursula Dolton, Chief Technology Officer at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“I am delighted to be taking on this exciting next step in my BHF career, at a time the charity is outlining its most bold strategy to date. The new technology directorate will enable us to put technological innovation at the heart of all areas of the BHF. Doing so will improve supporter experiences, make us a more efficient and effective organisation, and most importantly lead to innovations that make a meaningful difference to the seven million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK. I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of leading the team to make this a reality.”