Sachiko Muto – Chief Executive Officer
Sachiko Muto is the Chief Executive Officer of OFE with the overall responsibility for developing and communicating OFE’s external strategies and policies in partnership with its members and partners. She originally joined OFE in 2007 and served for several years as Director with responsibility for government relations. She returned with her family to Brussels after spending five years in California to take on the role of CEO when Graham Taylor retired in 2016. Prior to OFE, Sachiko worked for several years in public affairs, first in London and then in Brussels. With degrees in Political Science from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics, she has been a guest researcher at UC Berkeley and is currently continuing her research at TU Delft where she takes an interest in the social and political implications of technological change. She is a regular speaker at international conferences and has published on the topic of ICT standards and the environment.
Graham Taylor – Chairman
Graham Taylor co founded OpenForum Europe in 2002 and is now its Chairman, having retired as CEO. As Chairman of the Board of OFE Ltd he continues to have legal and fiscal responsibility for the organisation, continues to work on specific OFE projects, and acts in an ambassadorial role for OFE. He has some 40 years of experience in the ICT industry, and prior to OFE was a Director at ICL (now Fujitsu). He is married, with two grown up daughters, lives mainly in the UK, just outside London, but with a ‘maison secondaire’ in South West France, from which he regularly commutes to Brussels. In the dim and distant past he gained a Bsc Honours degree from the University of Sussex in Mathematics and Computer Engineering. Not a linguist, other than English he gets by in French.
Norman Röhner – Policy Intern
Norman Röhner is a policy intern at OFE. He studied Economics and English Studies at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Before he joined OFE he worked in Customer Relations, as teacher for German, English, Maths and Physics and as journalist. As an enthusiast for everything digital and former youth parliamentarian he is especially interested in the opportunities and challenges of eGovernment and follows the evolution of digital sports. As a native German speaker he is fluent in English and gets by in Dutch.
Pablo Plaza – Communications Officer
Pablo joined OFE in September 2015. Having completed his last year of studies at Università di Roma La Sapienza, he graduated in Journalism from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where he pursued Political Science studies, too. He has practical experience as a journalist in a national digital newspaper, as well as developing social media and copywriting tasks in a creative agency. These opportunities allowed him to gain experience doing what he loves: communicate and design. Skilled in translating messages into visual outputs and finding the most impactful communication channels, he has the ability to summarise complex information into concise elements. Native Spanish speaker, he is fluent in English and Italian, and he gets by in French.
Shane Coughlan – OFA Fellowship coordinator and Non-Executive Director
An expert in communication methods and business development. He is best known for building bridges between commercial and non-commercial stakeholders in the technology sector. His professional accomplishments include establishing a legal department for the main NGO promoting Free Software in Europe, building a professional network of over 270 legal counsel and technical experts across 4 continents, and aligning corporate and community interests to launch the first law review dedicated to Free/Open Source Software. Shane has extensive knowledge of Internet technologies, management best practice, community building and Free/Open Source Software. His experience includes engagement with the server, desktop, embedded and mobile telecommunication industries. He does business in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and maintains a broad network of contacts.
Richard Archer – Chair of COIS
Dr Richard Archer is the owner and managing director of several companies that provide ICT-related goods and services to the UK public sector: Bramble Hub that provides SMEs with routes to contract through CCS frameworks; Bramble Knowledge, which is an information management consultancy; and Bramble People that provides recruitment for digital roles. As Chair of COIS, OFE’s UK chapter, Richard works to widen and increase the interchange between community volunteers and supporters within the public sector. The catalyst for the creation of COIS was the publication in 2013 by the UK Cabinet Office of the Open Standards Principles.
Karel De Vriendt – Non-Executive Director
Karel De Vriendt worked twenty five years (1987-2012) as an IT expert for the European Commission. From 2005 to 2011, he was leading the team responsible for the implementation of the IDABC programme and for the definition and implementation of the ISA programme. He was actively involved in initiatives such as the transeuropean network TESTA, the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) and the Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe (SEMIC) now both merged into Joinup and in the elaboration of the European Interoperability Strategy and the European Interoperability Framework. During his career, he also acquired a good practical experience in the public procurement of IT goods and services. Karel De Vriendt is now retired but has kept his interest in improving (computer based) public services via the collaboration between public and private partners and via the sharing and re-use of software based service components.
Basil Cousins – Non-Executive Director
Basil started with IT in 1968, leading the development of basic applications and to his appointment as Data Processing Manager for the Costain Group. In 2002 Graham Taylor and Basil co-founded OpenForum Europe, initially to promote Linux and Open Source Software in the European Commission and across Europe, particularly UK. Emphasis quickly changed to an overall focus on Open Standards. Basil retired as Executive Director of OFE in October 2013 and now acts in an advisory role as a Non-Executive Director with a special interest in the UK. Basil is married, with 6 children (eldest sadly deceased), 15 grandchildren and 3 grandchildren – so far!
Bob Blatchford – Non-Executive Director
Bob has spent over thirty years in the IT Industry, 23 of them within the insurance sector. Whilst with Lloyd’s of London he worked with emerging technologies, cross discipline projects and commercialisation of internal IT services. Bob has held a number of senior management roles during his career, with responsibility for IT, telecommunications, business development, strategic planning, electronic trading, commercial activities and the development and introduction of Internet based services for markets. He has managed the delivery of a number of successful major projects for the London insurance market. Bob also has had a long-term involvement and strong interest in the introduction of e-commerce and e-trading initiatives in the London Insurance Market.
Tony Ford – Non-Executive Director
Tony joined us in March 2015 as a Legal Consultant. He studied law for 4 years at Cambridge University, qualified as a solicitor in 1979, and has practised law in the IT industry ever since. Before creating Fordlaw Ltd. and providing consultancy services, Tony held a dedicated global legal role with TCS, aligned specifically with a new software group. Before TCS, Tony acquired his professional experience as an IBM UK lawyer for nearly 35 years. As well as his ‘pro-bono’ support for OFE and FAST (another UK not-for profit, of which he is also a non-Executive Director), Tony also consults for a global IT manufacturer. Tony is married (to another solicitor), with three adult daughters. His recreational interests include scuba diving (warm water!), underwater photography, downhill skiing, genealogy, theatre, opera and wine appreciation. Tony was born in France, holds a French passort (and also speaks French), and aims to improve his rather rusty German.
Rod Norman – Information manager
Rod has spent over 30 years in the IT Industry with 23 years in ICL Product Development, both hardware and software design, most recently in Retail Systems as Project Manager responsible for major software introductions in the High Street and Travel Sectors. Rod has been with OFE since 2006 and has been involved in all major web projects as well as day to day topical news management and weekly monitoring.