Ajay shortlisted for IT Leader of the Year Award

Published: 7 September 2009 at 13:36

University’s Director of Information Systems is shortlisted for national title

Anglia Ruskin University’s Director of Information Systems and Media Services has been shortlisted for the UK IT Leader of the Year 2009 award organised by Computing magazine and the British Computer Society, the professional body for IT.

Ajay Burlingham-Böhr MBA FBCS CITP FRSA, who has been with Anglia Ruskin since 2006, is the only finalist in the UK IT Leader of the Year category of these national awards representing higher education. Other finalists from the public sector include candidates from Yorkshire Water Services, the Highways Agency, Transport for London and Fife Council. 

During her time with Anglia Ruskin, Ajay has overseen a transformational change to the IT systems and processes, including a major turnaround of the IT function, the replacement of an aging IT infrastructure, the creation and implementation of a new support service, and the implementation of over 50 major projects to help achieve organisational objectives.

Ajay joined Anglia Ruskin from the RSPB, Europe’s largest conservation charity, where she worked as Head of Information Systems. During her last year at the RSPB, the Information Systems department that Ajay led was winner of the Computer Weekly UK Public Sector 2006 Best Place to Work in IT Award.

Ajay, who is from Cambridge, originally qualified through the British Computer Society as a Chartered Information Technology Practitioner and has worked in the IT industry for over 25 years.  In 2004, she completed a Masters degree in Business Administration.

Ajay was nominated by Professor Helen Valentine, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Anglia Ruskin University, for her contribution to the University.  Speaking about Ajay’s success, she explains:

"Anglia Ruskin is a large organisation with a turnover of £150m, over 24000 students and over 2000 staff. Every single student and every member of staff has benefited hugely from the very significant improvements in our IT infrastructure, in the dramatically improved responsiveness and agility of the Information Systems and Media Services (ISMS) introduced by Ajay and from her energetic and enthusiastic approach to her leadership of this important work."

"We have nominated Ajay for this award because she has led a very significant 'turnaround' of our IT department in a remarkably short time. She has developed a vision and a strategy, reorganised the entire department, sorted out the basic infrastructure, and improved the reputation of the department with students and staff. We are now 'ahead of the pack' in the HE sector."

"Ajay is a forceful, energetic and inspirational leader and we are lucky to have her."

Commenting on the shortlisting, Ajay said:

"I am delighted that achievements in the public sector are being recognised by these awards. The success of a leader is dependent upon an excellent team and the Information Systems and Media Services Team at Anglia Ruskin continues to grow and improve in their skills, customer focus and ability to support and deliver our University’s strategy, enabling us to provide excellent learning, teaching and research for the region and beyond."

"IT in the public sector often has a bad press, but the reality is that there are many examples of excellent practice, demonstrating very good value for money for taxpayers. My personal contribution is only meaningful in the context of the team and our University as a whole and I am very excited that the contribution that we have made to improving the standards of IT delivery within Higher Education is being recognised in this way."

Over 400 entries were received for the annual awards.  There are six ‘Individual Excellence’ categories for awards for outstanding employees.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a gala dinner to be held at the Battersea Park Event Arena in London on Thursday 12 November.