Ofcom appoints new Chairman to Advisory Committee on Older and Disabled People

16 April 2010

Ofcom today announced the appointment of Jo Connell as the new Chairman of its Advisory Committee for Older and Disabled People for an initial term of three years. The new Chairman succeeds Mike Whitlam CBE after he recently completed a second and final term leading the Committee.

After a career in IT, Jo retired as Managing Director of Xansa plc in 2003. She was a Trustee of Help the Aged from 1991 and Chairman from 2004-2009 where she played a key role in facilitating and supporting the charity's merger with Age Concern England to create Age UK, the UK's largest older people's charity.

Since 2001 Jo's roles have also included Chairman of the University of Hertfordshire and Non-Executive Director of THUS Group plc, which provides cable and wireless telecommunication services to the retail, transportation, and manufacturing sectors. Since 2004 she has also been Chairman of the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.  In 2008/9 she was Master of the Information Technologists Company.       

Colette Bowe, Ofcom Chairman, said: "I am delighted that Jo has agreed to take on the important role of ACOD Chairman. She brings enormous experience and understanding of the needs and interests of older people in particular, as well as extensive experience gained in the technology sector."

"I would also like to thank Mike Whitlam for his work on this Committee; Mike was the founding Chairman of the Committee and its success to date has been due to Mikes tenacity and inspiration. We are indebted to Mike for creating such an effective and well respected Committee."

Jo Connell said: "I'm delighted to take on this role and to build on the previous work done by the Committee. The juxtaposition between technology and an ageing population offers many challenges for citizens, consumers, industry and regulators alike. I'm looking forward to helping the Committee continue to play a leading role in shaping and contributing to the many debates in this arena."

The Committee

As set out in Section 21 of the Communications Act 2003, the Advisory Committee for Older and Disabled People was established to provide advice to Ofcom about the interests and opinions of older people and disabled people on all communications matters.

The Committee, which meets quarterly, reports directly to the Ofcom Board and publishes its own annual report.

There are eight other members of the Committee. More information can be found at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/csg/adv_cmmt_older_disabled/.



  1. Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.
  2. For further information about Ofcom please visit: www.ofcom.org.uk Ofcoms news releases can be found at: www.ofcom.org.uk/media/.