Ian Phoenix, NHS Digital’s Director of Citizen Health Technology, has been nominated for a British Ex-Forces In Business Lifetime Achievement Award.
The awards celebrate former servicemen and women who have succeeded in the business world after leaving the military.
Ian joined the Royal Navy in 1990 as an apprentice specialising in technical engineering and languages and spent seven years working all over the world, including a stint on the frontline during the Gulf War.
Ian said: “Being in the Royal Navy helped me to gain all the skills I’ve needed to succeed in business.
“It has taught me how to work as part of a team, given me leadership skills and the ability to deliver in a crisis.
“Most importantly it has taught me how to meet really high standards under pressure.
“When I first joined the Navy, I needed to learn Russian in six months. I remember going into the first lesson we had and being given half an hour to learn the alphabet.
“We were tested at the end of that lesson and if you didn’t know it you were out of the Navy.
“Every test we did after that we needed to get a minimum of 85% right, otherwise we’d be kicked out.”
After leaving the Navy, Ian spent a year travelling South America before joining American Express as head of communications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
He then moved on to jobs with Citibank and Visa before securing a job working for the Government in security and intelligence, where he stayed for 11 years.
Before joining NHS Digital in 2018, Ian worked for the Home Office as their Delivery Directory for Immigration Technology, overseeing then the world’s largest migration to Amazon Web Services as well as transformation of immigration platforms at the height of Brexit.
Ian said: “It is a huge honour to be nominated for this award alongside a hugely talented group of people.
“It shows that a career in the forces can give you the skills that you need to unlock your potential.
“One of my former bosses had started out in a very similar role to me and helped show me that I could go higher than I thought was possible in business thanks to the skills I learnt in the Navy.”