Meet the CitizenMe team

Ryan Garner
Data Innovation Director
Ryan Garner

Ryan has a strong background in insights and innovation, helping global brands shape products and services around real customer needs. Having spent most of his career consulting with businesses, he is now putting those ideas into practice at CitizenMe. Ryan loves reading speculative fiction, spending time with his kids and riding the emotional rollercoaster of being a Leicester City supporter.

StJohn Deakins
CEO / Founder
StJohn Deakins

StJohn founded CitizenMe with the aim of taking on the biggest challenge of the Information Age: helping digital citizens gain control of their digital identity. Personal data has meaning and value to everyone, but there is an absence of digital tools to help people realise its value. With CitizenMe, StJohn aims to fix that. With a wealth of experience digitising and mobilising businesses, StJohn aims for positive change in the personal information economy. Oh… and he loves liquorice.

Melih Birim
Lead Backend Developer
Melih Birim

With a background in Java, Javascript and ElasticSearch, Melih brings a wealth of experience and fresh perspective into his role as Lead Backend Developer. Melih studied Computer Science at Marmara University, and is fascinated with robotics and developing ways of empowering customers with Big Data. Outside of work Melih’s biggest loves are spending time with his children, cooking, and vehicles; having an obsession for watching racing, go-karting, and self-driving cars. (He dreams of the invention of self driving go-kart racing).

Laura Willis
UX/UI Design Lead
Laura Willis

Laura is Design Lead at CitizenMe, she is a skillful user experience designer with a passion for producing high-quality, user-friendly interfaces. Her interests in psychology and reading have helped to shape the creative path she has taken. Laura is also very passionate about illustration and won an award for Macmillan children’s books before she graduated from University of the Arts, London. She enjoys exploring London with a particular love for the tiny city farms dotted around the place.

Hadi Tok
Lead Android Developer
Hadi Tok

Hadi has a breadth of knowledge and experience. He is our Lead Android Developer, but also has experience working on server-side Java development and building Windows Phone apps. Oh, and he is currently learning iOS too. In his work, Hadi pays close attention to detail and is both surprising and playful. He currently lives in Istanbul, having lived in the US for four years studying Computer Science at the University of South Alabama. In his spare time Hadi loves playing Circassian songs on his treasured accordion.

Josh Hedley-Dent
Innovation Partner
Josh Hedley-Dent

Josh is a creative and strategic Innovation Partner. He helps clients leverage their digital and data assets in a way that creates value for both businesses and customers. He has experience helping international brands inject insight into their innovation, CX and digital strategies. Josh has a History degree from Warwick University and is a sports fanatic. He is captain of his North London Hockey team and also enjoys football, golf, skiing and cycling. He loves art and cooking and has a penchant for quality olive oil and cheap ham (although not together).

Cedric Ferretti
Lead HTML/JS/Python Developer
Cedric Ferretti

Cedric graduated top of the class at Sophia Antipolis University. We thought this was a great accolade but if you ask Cedric he considers it “unimportant”. Instead, Cedric is motivated by positive outcomes. He is excited about being at the forefront of making the internet a more human-centred domain. Born in France and working in London, Cedric has an eclectic set of interests. He loves the romanticism of Asian culture and thrash metal music.

Beth Hepple
Marketing Lead
Beth Hepple

Beth loves marketing and that no campaign is ever the same. She loves to truly broaden her horizons and expand her knowledge. Beth is a journalism graduate, and has developed her marketing skills and expertise to become more creative. Outside of work Beth enjoys cooking (and eating), FaceTime with Millie, her little squish-faced bulldog and exploring new places in London. She is generally very girly, but randomly has a love for 90s rap music and anything created by Jay-Z (but not so much Beyonce).

Arda Dogantemur
Lead iOS Developer
Arda Dogantemur

Arda is CitizenMe’s Lead iOS Developer, with a background in augmented reality, and advanced image processing. If that wasn’t enough, he has completed an MBA focused on organisational learning. He likes to surprise the team with prototypes of his ideas. He recently showed off an application that sees through physical boxes! We are all very excited about how Arda will apply his Jedi skills to future CitizenMe services. Outside of work, Arda likes photography, snowboarding and touring chess tournaments in Turkey.

Chris Norman
Junior HTML/JS/Python Developer
Chris Norman

Chris loves being a developer as he’s always learning new things. The development world is constantly evolving and he enjoys getting stuck into developing new designs and fine-tuning functionality to improve the CitizenMe Exchange. Unlike a lot of developers Chris thrives in the outdoors and loves a challenge, he enjoys climbing and mountaineering, oh and supporting Arsenal. Should you ever meet Chris, something you really ought to know is that he is actually allergic to camels.

Baris Iriz
QA
Baris Iriz

A Computer Engineering graduate from the American University in Cyprus, Baris is a Software Quality Assurance Lead at CitizenMe who is dedicated to success (which is obviously very good for us). He has a great sense of humour, which comes in handy when he is trying to find creative solutions to complex technical issues. Baris likes to focus on keeping everything moving smoothly and delivering projects to his high standards. He loves motorcycles and extreme sports but definitely has a calmer side, having gained a top score in a chess tournament in Turkey. His interests include cooking, sampling new foods, gaming and discovering new cultures.

Kat Williams
Product Manager
Kat Williams

Kat enjoys problem solving and finding solutions, so as a Product Manager that’s 90% of what she gets to do. Good eh! Kat is super proud of her MA in photography and the path it took her on to; a role that requires the thoughtful patience of a good photographer. Photography, is a huge passion for Kat as well as music, singing in particular, she claims to be pretty shocking at the guitar and piano but enjoys it all the same. Her all-time favourite film is Wayne’s World.

Professor Neil Lawrence
Data Science Advisor
Professor Neil Lawrence

Neil holds the collaborative Chair in Neuroscience and Computer Science at the University of Sheffield. Neil’s main research interest is machine learning through probabilistic models. He focuses on both the algorithmic side of these models and their application. He was Program Chair of NIPS in 2014 and is General Chair for 2015. Neil has a monthly column in The Guardian and is writing a book about Data Ethics. He enjoys cycling and last summer he spent six weeks cycling up and down the Alps. Many have tried, but no one has figured out how he fits everything in.