Government strengthens digital leadership team

Government announces new digital appointments to lead digital, data and technology

Posted 14 January 2021 by Christine Horton

The government has bolstered its digital leadership team with the appointment of three senior digital, data and technology leaders.

In a blog, COO for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, Alex Chisholm announced that chief digital advisor at LEGO Group, Paul Willmott will chair a new Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) for the Government.

Joanna Davinson will be appointed the executive director of CDDO and Tom Read will be the new CEO of Government Digital Service (GDS).

The appointments have been approved by the Prime Minister.

“This is an exciting and important moment for digital government in the UK. There is a clear mission to establish the UK as global leader in digital government and to provide citizens with better services. The ambition and challenges are substantial but, from what I’ve seen, we have both the capabilities and determination to succeed. I’m delighted to be able to help,” said Willmott.

The Cabinet Office will establish the CDDO for Government – the new strategic centre for Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) for the Government – in early February.

Chisholm said the appointees will be responsible for “shaping and delivering the government’s innovation and transformation strategies to overhaul legacy IT systems, strengthen our cybersecurity, improve capability, and ensure the government can better leverage data and emerging technologies.”

‘Digitally advanced’

“I’m delighted to announce these three impressive appointments, whose mix of skills and experience will enhance our Digital, Data and Technology leadership capability and make real our ambition to deliver the public with better, more personalised public services that will enhance our reputation as the world’s most digitally-advanced government,” said Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office, Julia Lopez MP.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be chosen to lead the government Digital, Data and Technology profession and community and to have the opportunity to shape government digital, data and technology on a national scale,” said Davinson.

 “I am looking forward to working with department chief digital information officers and their teams and with other colleagues across government, to develop and deliver the strategies and plans that enable the UK to lead the way in serving its citizens by being one of the most digitally advanced governments in the world.”

“To have the opportunity to lead Government Digital Service into its next era is incredibly exciting and one that I cannot wait to get started on,” added Read.

“Never has it been more important to build, deliver and support services that are fundamentally based on the needs of our users. I look forward to delivering a refreshed focus on the development and delivery of digital products and services underpinned by strong digital standards.”