Two new Directors General have been appointed at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to support the National Statistician, John Pullinger, in leading UK National Statistics.

Heather Savory, who is currently Chair of the Open Data User Group (ODUG) has been appointed as Director General for Data Capability, and will take up post in early April 2015. Jonathan Athow, currently Chief Economist and Director of Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence at HM Revenue and Customs has been appointed as Director General for Economic Statistics, and will take up post as soon as practicable after the general election.

Heather Savory and Jonathan Athow will join Glen Watson, the Director General for Population and Public Policy, all reporting to John Pullinger as National Statistician, to deliver the strategic vision for ‘Better Statistics, Better Decisions‘.

Speaking today, John Pullinger, the National Statistician said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Heather Savory and Jonathan Athow as new Directors General, joining Glen Watson and me as the new senior leadership team. Together with our colleagues across the Government Statistical Service we are ready to take the statistical evidence base of the nation to a new level mobilising the power of data to help Britain make better decisions”

Heather Savory, the new Director General for Data Capability said:

“I look forward to leading many new and exciting projects, mobilising data, and creating digital-by-default, real-time data services that will improve the nation’s statistical and data analysis capabilities. My personal goal is that our data should be of the highest possible quality and more openly and readily accessible.”

Jonathan Athow, the Director General for Economic Statistics said:

“The Office for National Statistics has a hugely important role in producing data and statistics for the benefit of the whole United Kingdom. There is a growing awareness across the economy of the potential benefits from the better use of data and statistics, and I look forward to continuing the work of delivering high quality economic statistics.”

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Heather Savory – Director General for Data Capability

Heather joins the Office for National Statistics with a strong commercial track-record and extensive board and senior management experience in entrepreneurial and high technology businesses, consulting and central government.

Heather was appointed as Chair of the Open Data User Group (ODUG), an independent advisory group to the Government’s Public Sector Transparency Board, for three years from May 2012; she is also a member of the Regulatory Board of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Heather has previously worked at 3Dlabs as Vice President of Engineering and Operations and eComData as Managing Director. More recently, Heather worked at the centre of UK Government, spending two years in HM Treasury and three in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills at the Better Regulation Executive (BRE).

Heather graduated from Loughborough University of Technology with a 1st class B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and a diploma in Industrial Studies; she also has an Executive MBA from the London Business School. Out of working hours, Heather enjoys sailing, travelling, playing Bridge, the creative arts and good food.

Jonathan Athow – Director General for Economic Statistics

Jonathan began his civil service career at HM Treasury. He worked there for nearly 14 years on a range of economic and policy issues. This included significant changes to the tax and benefit system, and key tax policy reforms. He also worked on the fiscal and macroeconomic policy framework, and oversaw spending on the NHS and social care in England.

In 2011 Jonathan joined HM Revenue and Customs as Director of the Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence directorate and as Departmental Chief Economist. His directorate’s responsibilities included providing tax forecasts to the Office for Budget Responsibility and analysis to support the policy partnership between HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury. In addition, he oversaw the production of the Measuring the Tax Gap publication, managed the Department’s research programme and helped to embed a greater use of data and analytics techniques in HM Revenue and Customs.