The ICO exists to empower you through information.

ICO Deputy Chief Executive, Paul Arnold and Senior Independent Director, Nicola Wood have been awarded MBEs in the King’s New Year Honours List. 

Paul Arnold receives his award for services to Regulation, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Paul has over 25 years’ experience regulating data protection and freedom of information. Supporting the past five Information Commissioners, Paul has been integral to the sustained development and transformation of the ICO as a regulator, empowering people to confidently share their information to use the products and services that drive our economy, while helping organisations to responsibly use information to innovate and grow.

In addition to being an experienced executive leader and board member, Paul has lived with severe sight loss since birth and is passionate about challenging and breaking down the societal assumptions and barriers which too often prevent blind and partially sighted people succeeding in all aspects of life. His commitment to this cause has also recently seen Paul appointed to the board of Trustees at the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

On receiving his MBE, Paul Arnold said: “I am honoured to have been nominated for and to receive this award in recognition of both my regulatory and wider work.”

“I’m passionate about fairness and equality of opportunity in all aspects of life. I’m extraordinarily proud of my work at the ICO and with the RNIB and I’m honoured to be recognised in this way.

“This award is also an acknowledgement of the accomplishments of the hundreds of talented and dedicated colleagues I’ve worked with during my career in all four regions of the UK and the crucial importance of our work together.”

Nicky Wood is a former solicitor and has a broad portfolio of roles in addition to her position as the ICO’s Senior Independent Director. Nicky receives her award for services to regulation.

Commenting on her award she said: “It’s been a huge honour to be the Senior Independent Director of the ICO, so I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed MBE for services to regulation. The ICO’s work reaches into fundamental aspects of UK life and has a significance that goes beyond our shores. I am delighted that our work has been recognised in this way.”

Offering his congratulations to Paul and Nicky, Information Commissioner John Edwards said: “These are well deserved honours recognising the hard work and dedication both Paul and Nicky have in striving to make a positive impact on society. On behalf of the ICO, I offer them both our warmest congratulations and look forward to the many more accomplishments that undoubtedly lie ahead.”