Portrait of Dr Arif Mustafa

Dr Arif Mustafa

Director Digital is responsible ffor the RAF Digital Portfolio including Digital Capability, UK Operations Support, Services & Applications and Information Stewardship. The role provides specialist resource to meet the increasing digital business and operational demands, upskill the workforce, adopt new digital capabilities and improve digital integration across Government.

With the ever-increasing importance of technology in support of the UK’s Air Defence, I am delighted to join the RAF at this pivotal moment in its evolution.


Arif Mustafa joined the MoD as a Senior Civil Servant in February 2022 and became the first RAF Director Digital.

Dr Mustafa’s undergraduate studies centred on Information Technology. After completing a HND at Manchester Polytechnic in 1990 he went on to pursue postgraduate studies at the Universities of Manchester, Leiden and Oxford. He holds an MSc in Cognitive Science where he specialised in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in relation to accident causation.

His PhD was sponsored by Shell and concentrated on the implementation of technological innovation in large organisations. His research took him on assignment to operational facilities in Australia, Borneo and Oman. In 1997 he commenced work as a management consultant specialising in technology strategy and transformation in large companies. After completing a successful global project for BP, he joined the multinational in 2004 and was accepted into their advanced leadership development program. In 2007 he was appointed CIO BP North American Gas, Houston where he implemented IT strategy and programs enabling the business to compete in the competitive US energy market. In 2010 he went on to assist in the Deep Water Horizon incident, initially as part of the crisis team and then as the interim CIO for BP Gulf of Mexico.

In 2010 he returned to the UK and took charge of improving BP’s IT Operational Integrity before moving to Headquarters in 2012 to become IT Director in corporate functions where he led IT services for the CEO and Executive team. In 2015 he joined Seadrill as IT Director focusing on innovation and business partnering.

In 2019 he took the position of Group CIO for the Ma’aden mining company. Responsible for developing the IT Strategy he led a large-scale outsourcing program while also focusing on digital transformation. As CIO he enabled the company to operate through the Covid pandemic and pioneered the provision of advanced analytics. At the request of the CEO and with full support of the Board, he was appointed in 2020 to lead a corporate-wide transformation through delivery of a Cloud based technology which re-engineered key processes across all areas of the business.