The Next Big Question with EY, Fannie Mae, UL Solutions and Chevron

Community Blog
Written by Liz Ramey

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

C-level executives participate in our communities in various ways –  suggesting program topics, joining discussions, and sharing their perspectives through our community insights, such as our podcast. Evanta’s The Next Big Question podcast asks an executive to explore a hot topic or forward-looking question and share how their organization might be tackling that subject now. 

We are set to launch our 2023 podcast series with four executives from leading companies around the world. We had the opportunity to speak with Bernard Mikael, Chief Information and Transformation Officer at EY, Kevin Bates, Chief Data Officer with Fannie Mae, Angela Williams, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for UL Solutions, and Ellen Nielsen, Chief Data Officer of Chevron. 

Here is a bit more about these distinguished guests and the topics they explore in each episode. Listen here or on your favorite podcast platform.

Why Should Organizations Integrate Tech Teams Across the Enterprise?
Guest: Bernard Mikael, Chief Information & Transformation Officer, EY

Bernard Mikael describes his professional experience as occurring in three phases. He started in engineering work, building skills in IT, engineering, and system architecture. He then moved into consulting at Accenture, helping clients with transformational programs, organizational change, infrastructure, audit, performance, and more. Bernard moved to EY ten years ago, where he is working today as Chief Information and Transformation Officer for EY France and as Chief Technology Officer on a wider scope. He supports all the business at EY from ideation and innovation to execution and run of infrastructure. 

In the first episode in the series, Bernard focuses on integrating technology teams across the business and how a “real, modern partnership” between IT and the business is necessary for true transformation. He also shares why transformation is more than having good technology alone.

How Can an Enterprise Gain Value from a Cloud-Based Data Ecosystem?
Guest: Kevin Bates, Chief Data Officer, Fannie Mae

As the Chief Data Officer at Fannie Mae, Kevin Bates runs all data functions that are enterprise facing, including data management, data operations, governance, and engineering, and supporting modeling and analytics – as he says, “The whole community that's out there using data.” Prior to his role as CDO, Kevin spent almost 20 years at Fannie Mae in different roles, particularly in technology. He comes from a science-based background, where he was doing a lot of models and quantitative techniques.

In this episode on cloud-based data systems, Kevin takes us through his vision and journey of a high functioning data ecosystem and the different personas across the organization that will gain value from this highly available data. He also talks about opportunities in the AI space that depend on these types of data environments.

How Can the Board Deepen Their Expertise of Cybersecurity and Risk?
Guest: Angela Williams, SVP and Chief Information Security Officer, UL Solutions

Angela Williams is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for UL Solutions. As she says, she has been in the cybersecurity industry “for more years than I will actually share…. I'll say Windows 8 was out even before then.” Angela started her career in IT as a desktop support analyst and subsequently moved into network engineering, project management, and cybersecurity. Angela says, “That's when the adventure and excitement really started.” She enjoys the nuances and complexities of cybersecurity and believes her background in IT has helped her progress and apply her problem solving skills to cybersecurity.

In this episode focused on communicating risk to the board, Angela describes what board members should know and how to help deepen the board's understanding of cybersecurity and risk. She also explores SEC regulations and what they might mean for board oversight.

What Should Enterprises Be Doing with AI?
Guest: Ellen Nielsen, Chief Data Officer, Chevron

Ellen Nielsen is the Chief Data Officer of Chevron and the first one in this role. She has a long background of more than 30 years in different areas, including IT, digital, data and supply chain. As she says, she has worked for different companies and industries – from automotive and manufacturing to consumer goods – and has experience with different customers. She has been at Chevron for five years and is “excited to be part of this energy transition.” 

In this episode on the hot topic of artificial intelligence, Ellen discusses how to think about AI at the enterprise level. While there are challenges, she says it’s typical of a big technology shift, and she talks about how change management fits in and why “the kicker is always the culture.”

Thanks to all of our guests for participating, and be sure to check out the full episodes of The Next Big Question podcast here, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.