The Interim CIISA Team

Jen Smith

Jen Smith is Interim CEO of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA) responsible for developing its remit, operating model and governance structure. Jen led the creation and publication of the screen sectors’ first ‘Set of Principles and Guidance to Prevent Bullying and Harassment and Racism’ convening over 50 cultural organisations to adopt them, in addition inspiring additional editions tailored for the Theatre and Music sectors. In her previous role at the BFI before leaving to lead CIISA, she was responsible for gaining international recognition for the BFI Diversity Standards, achieving Autism Friendly Status for BFI Southbank, partnering with Changing Faces on the impactful #Iamnotyourvillain campaign and ensuring that the full range of diversity data on who the BFI funds and employs is published annually. Jen has also held a broad range of roles in the housing sector leading on Strategy, PR, Business Development, Learning and Develpment and Inclusion. Prior to that Jen worked as Parliamentary Researcher specialising in Foreign Affairs and International Relations and is a member of the Institute of Regulation and an ACAS accredited mediator.

Dame Heather Rabbatts

Dame Heather Rabbatts’ career spans law, government, sport and media. She established the Women’s Sports Group, to create opportunities to promote, enhance and empower women’s sport. She is the Chair of both Soho Theatre and 42, a fully integrated management and production company. Some of Heather’s production credits to date include The Drifters, The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Silent Twins. Heather is also a non-executive director on the Board of Associated British Foods. In 2018 Heather became Chair of Time’s Up UK. Born out of the revelations of #MeToo, Time’s Up UK advocates to end sexual harassment, change representation, promote black equity and pay parity to achieve long term cultural change. Heather began her career as a lawyer, then a government advisor and was the youngest CEO of a Local Authority. She was the first woman and person of colour on the board of the English FA in 150 years, served on the boards of the BBC, Bank of England, the Foreign Office and the Royal Opera House and commissioned award-winning content as a senior executive at Channel 4 Television.

Caroline Norbury

Caroline Norbury OBE is the Chief Executive of Creative UK, the independent network for the UK’s Creative Industries working to support and invest in creative talent and businesses, and unite the UK’s creative industries.Caroline sits on the Creative Industries Council and chairs the Investment for Growth sub-group of the Council. She is a non-executive director of Crowdfunder, the UK’s largest rewards-based crowdfunding platform; a member of BAFTA and the Royal Society of Arts and a trustee for the PRS Foundation, a charity supporting new music and talent. Caroline is also Chairwoman of The Music Works, a charity in Gloucestershire changing the lives of young people through music. She was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to the film industry, and has recently been awarded an OBE at The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022 for her leadership and advocacy in shaping the creative sector’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Andrew Medlock

Andrew joins the CIISA team as the interim COO. Andrew is a senior leader with over 15 years of operational and strategic experience in improving social justice for the public through his work with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who investigate complex complaints about the NHS in England and UK Central Government. Andrew is highly skilled in delivering strategically significant initiatives, innovation and transformational change, using user-led service design approaches and public engagement to shape services design. Andrew was the Senior Responsible Officer for building the Ombudsman’s Complaint Standards initiative, building strong working relationships with stakeholders across the NHS and Central Government on excellence in complaints handling and organisational learning. He was also responsible for oversight of outreach within the public and increasing awareness of (and trust in) the Ombudsman in diverse and underrepresented communities.

“Having come from a long background of working in a values-driven organisation that has a strong ethos in social justice and supporting organisations to using feedback to continuously develop, I am hugely proud to join CIISA and get behind its hugely important cause’, says Andrew, “and am really looking forward to working with the team to bring CIISA to life.”

Niyi Akeju

Niyi joins CIISA as interim Head of Standards Development. Niyi has over two decades’ experience in stakeholder engagement and project management in the screen industries. She recently led the UK-wide BFI Film Academy programme to help young people build careers in film and television. Previous roles include heading up communications for the BBC’s filmmaking arm BBC Film, and senior PR roles at the BFI supporting film production, exhibition, skills and inclusion. During 11 years at BAFTA, Niyi oversaw corporate communications and devised long-standing initiatives including the organisation’s first ever mentorships, the BAFTA Scholarship Programme, and BAFTA Young Game Designers. Niyi has also been a consultant to industry-led skills body ScreenSkills. Niyi began her career in public relations at leading global PR agencies. She wrote briefly for a TV soap opera and was Diversity Executive at the UK Film Council.