Rannia Leontaridi is the Director for Business Growth at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy since May 2016. Rannia leads the Government’s work to start up, grow and scale productive businesses in the economy. She also focuses on the role that technology plays in creating economic value and disruption in existing sectors as well as the creation of new business and new emerging sectors in the economy. Rannia is the joint Director lead for Artificial Intelligence in government and has been leading recently the AI Sector deal and AI grand Challenge in the Industrial Strategy. She is also the Government’s senior sponsor for the British Business Bank and “Be the Business”, the new organisation created by the Productivity Leadership Group, chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield. Rannia began life as an entrepreneur and later went on to be an Assistant Professor in Economics. She is a Carnegie Scholar and holds a PhD in Labour Market Economics. She began her career in the civil service in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office and has held senior positions in the University sector, Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. Rannia is a co-founder and sits on the board of Crown Hosting Services, a start-up and joint venture between Government and Ark Data centres, set up to deliver hosting services for legacy public sector infrastructure. In February 2016 Rannia received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for public service.
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