Biog/Jessica Cecil February 2023
Jessica is a leading media industry figure and an expert in the field of disinformation, currently working as a consultant to media and tech companies. She founded the Trusted News Initiative (TNI), the world’s only alliance of major international tech companies and news organisations to counter the most harmful disinformation in real time.
The TNI’s membership includes Meta, Google, Twitter and Microsoft alongside the BBC, AFP, AP, Reuters and other leading global news providers, and its members have a fast-alert system to counter the most harmful disinformation.
Jessica’s media industry leadership experience was honed over a long career at the BBC, which serves an audience of 450 million people around the world. As Chief of Staff to four Directors-General, she had a track record of creating and leading global alliances responding to the changes tech is having on audience’s lives. Before the TNI, she led a 30 partner-strong initiative to get the world to learn how to code. The result was the creation, manufacture and distribution of a codeable computer, the micro:bit. 6 million micro:bits have now been sold in 50 countries and are used by 25m children from Singapore to Finland.
Jessica’s background is as a news journalist and documentary maker. She was an international news producer and assistant editor of BBC Newsnight. She is an Emmy nominee for the prime time TV science documentary Human Instinct. Jessica is a Non-Executive Director of the Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology. Jessica is also a Trustee of the University of Bristol, where she chairs the Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee. She sits on the Council of Advisors for RAND Europe and is an Adjunct Fellow of the Queen Elizabeth II Leadership School at Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs.