Karen Baxter appointed as first Ofcom Board member for Northern Ireland

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today appointed Karen Baxter as the first member of the Ofcom Board of Directors for Northern Ireland.

Public appointment

The Minister confirmed the appointment after consultation with the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Karen retired from policing in 2020, following a 30-year career with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Police Service of Northern Ireland and City of London Police.

Most recently, as Commander and National Economic Crime Co-ordinator, she oversaw the UK’s most serious financial investigations. Karen was also the police’s executive head of cybercrime prevention, working with key stakeholders and the third sector to address emerging risks in the online space.

In 2020 Karen joined UK Finance as Managing Director of Intelligence Strategy, working across the banking sector to examine the use and management of intelligence.

Speaking of the appointment, Minister Lyons said:

“I am delighted to announce that Karen Baxter is the first member of the Ofcom Board of Directors for Northern Ireland. Karen has a deep understanding of the issues facing the communications industry and how a thriving communications industry contributes to a stronger economy.

‘I am also grateful to Ofcom Scotland Member of the Board, Bob Downes, for his excellent work representing Northern Ireland during the interim period.’

Karen Baxter said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on this new role at an important time for Ofcom. The communications sector provides essential services to everyone in Northern Ireland and the wider UK and is vital to the future success of the economy.”

Ofcom Acting President Maggie Carver commented:

“I am delighted that Karen Baxter has been confirmed as the first Ofcom Board member for Northern Ireland. Her appointment is a further step in ensuring that the Ofcom Board has voices representing consumers and citizens across the UK Karen has considerable cybersecurity expertise which I am sure will be of great benefit as Ofcom prepares to take on new new online security responsibilities.

“I would also like to thank Bob Downes for the tremendous job he has done over the past few years working with our Northern Ireland office and stakeholders and championing Northern Ireland on the Board of Directors. ‘Ofcom. We are all truly grateful.

Dame Melanie Dawes, Chief Executive of Ofcom, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Karen to Ofcom and look forward to working together to deliver Ofcom’s priorities. Karen brings with her considerable experience and knowledge from her previous roles in policing and cybersecurity, which is particularly relevant to Ofcom’s growing mandate.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. We have responsibilities in television, radio, video-on-demand, telecommunications, wireless communications and postal services. Press releases and other resources for journalists are available on Ofcom.
  2. As Ofcom is a UK-wide public body, the appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s governance code on public appointments.
  3. Pay for this role is £42,519 for two days a week. The mandate will last four years.
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  5. For media enquiries, contact the Department of Economics Press Office at [email protected]
  6. The Executive Information Service runs an after-hours service for media inquiries only between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Monday to Friday and on weekends and public holidays. The permanent press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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