The Board

The Authority Board has responsibility for setting the overall strategic direction of the organisation, and for promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good.

2024 meeting dates 2025 meeting dates
25 January 30 January
29 February 27 February
21 March 27 March
25 April 24 April
30 May 29 May
27 June 26 June
25 July 31 July
26 September 25 September
31 October 30 October
28 November 27 November
19 December 18 December

Membership of the Board

Non-Executive Members

The Board has a non-executive majority, and its sub-committees are chaired by non-executive directors.

Sir Robert Chote is the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, appointed on 1 June 2022.

The Authority is an independent public body charged with promoting and safeguarding the production and proper use of official statistics. Its remit covers the Office for National Statistics, the Office for Statistics Regulation and the Government Statistical Service. As set out by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, the UK Statistics Authority has the statutory objective to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. The Chair of the Authority is a Crown appointment made with the approval of Parliament, and chairs the Board.

He currently also serves as the first chair of the Northern Ireland Fiscal Council (NIFC) since 2021. The NIFC is an independent public body created to bring greater transparency and external scrutiny to the public finances of Northern Ireland.

Previously, Robert chaired the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK’s fiscal watchdog, from 2010 to 2020 and the OECD’s network of parliamentary budget officials and independent fiscal institutions from 2017 to 2020. Before that he served as the Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies from 2002 to 2010, as an advisor to senior management at the International Monetary Fund from 1999 to 2002, as the Economics Editor of the Financial Times from 1995 to 1999, and as an economics and business writer on the Independent and Independent on Sunday from 1990 to 1994 (where he was named Young Financial Journalist of the Year by the Wincott Foundation).

Robert is a director of Pacific Horizon Investment Trust plc, managed by Baillie Gifford in Edinburgh, and a senior adviser to the government reform consultants FMA. He also chairs the external advisory panel of the Parliamentary Budget Office in the Republic of Ireland. He is a visiting professor at the Department of Political Economy at Kings College London, a member of the Policy Committee of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and a governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Robert studied economics at Queens’ College, Cambridge (where he is now an Honorary Fellow), journalism at City University in London and public policy at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of York and was knighted in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List for services to fiscal policy and the economy. He is married to Sharon White – Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Deputy Chairman of Sadlers Wells and a non-executive director of Barratt Developments.

Professor Sir John Aston is Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life at the University of Cambridge, where he leads research into the use of quantitative evidence in public policy making, works with those in public life to ensure the best methods are used, and aims to improve the use of statistics and other quantitative evidence in public policy debates. He also works in the areas of statistics in healthcare, particularly medical imaging, and he is Co-Director of the Cambridge Mathematics of Information in Healthcare Hub. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to statistics and public policymaking.

From 2017-2020 he was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, and formerly was a board member and trustee of the Alan Turing Institute. He also worked at the Institute of Statistical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and the US Census Bureau.

John specialises in applied statistics, with particular interests in official and public policy statistics, statistical neuroimaging, statistical linguistics and methodological interests in time series and functional data analysis. He has a degree in Maths from Cambridge and a PhD in Statistics from Imperial College, London.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, where he leads work between the Centre and actors in fields such as health, media and government to improve the way quantitative evidence is used in society. His background is in medical statistics, particularly the use of Bayesian methods in clinical trials, health technology assessment and drug safety, a field in which he is one of the most cited and influential researchers. He was awarded an OBE for services to medical statistics in 2006. His interest in performance monitoring led to his being asked to lead the statistical team in the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, and he also gave evidence to the Shipman Inquiry.


Sir David is the author of the 2019 book The Art of Statistics: Learning from Data and was President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2017-18.

Sir David joined the board on 27 May 2020 for a period of three years. In 2023 he was reappointed for a further period of three years, ending on 26 May 2026.

dr jacob abboudDr Jacob Abboud is Managing Partner of Petraenovus Consulting Ltd and previously held board-level positions at Legal & General, Allianz Insurance and AXA UK & Ireland. Jacob has previously served in non-executive roles at Allianz Business Services Limited (Premierline) and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. He currently serves as a non-executive director at the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service, and is a trustee at the Workforce Development Trust. A Chartered Member of the British Computer Society, Jacob holds a PhD in computer-aided engineering from the University of Bath and has a long track record of leading digital transformations in complex organisations.

Dr Abboud joined the Board on 13 February 2023 for a period of four years.

Professor Dame Carol PropperProfessor Dame Carol Propper is a world-renowned economist and an expert in workforce and health statistics. She is currently Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School in London and Monash University in Melbourne. She is a British Academy Fellow, a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, an International Fellow of the American National Academy of Medicine, and a former President of the Royal Economic Society.

Dame Carol joined the Board on 13 February 2023 for a period of four years.

penny youngPenny Young was the Librarian and Managing Director of Research and Information at the House of Commons, where she oversaw research services for MPs, including the House of Commons Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), and had Board level responsibility for information risk. Prior to this she was Chief Executive of the National Centre for Social Research. She holds an MBA from Bradford University.

Penny joined the Board on 13 February 2023 for a period of four years.

Executive Members

The Authority Board has three executive members: The National Statistician and the Director General for Regulation and the Director General for Data Capability.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond FBA FRSE FAcSS became National Statistician on 22 October 2019, and was reappointed for a five year term on 1 April 2023.

Sir Ian previously served as a non-executive member of the UK Statistics Authority Board from June 2018 to August 2019.

Sir Ian was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen from 2010 to 2018. He was previously Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research (ESRC) Council and, from 2004 to 2009, Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group (2004-2009).

Before joining the ESRC, Sir Ian was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton, where he had been for most of his career. Sir Ian is Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport, Chair of Edinburgh College of Further Education, Chair of Plan International UK and a Board member of UK Research and Innovation. He chaired the Welsh Assembly Government of the Higher Education Review for Wales reporting in 2016.

Sir Ian was elected to the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 1999, is a Fellow of the British Academy (2005), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2009) and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Cardiff, Glasgow and Curtin.

The National Statistician

The National Statistician is a Crown appointment as the Authority’s and the Government’s principal adviser on official statistics. The National Statistician is:

  • principal adviser to the UK Statistics Authority  and Government on official statistics.
  • a member of Authority Board as Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary.
  • Head of the Government Statistical Service (GSS).  Government Statistical Service (GSS) statistical policies, standards and guidance can be found in the Policy Store. This includes Guidance and other information from the National Statistician.

Main responsibilities

  • Planning of the development of statistics across government
  • Supporting statisticians and other officials to comply with the Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics
  • Advising ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officials on the production, dissemination and use of statistics across government
  • Professional leadership for all statisticians producing official statistics, as Head of the GSS
  • Strategic oversight of the Office of National Statistics
  • Maintain strong relationships with devolved administrations; respecting their specific needs for devolved and other statistics while ensuring as far as possible harmonisation, coherence and consistency in UK-wide statistics
  • Act as head of the UK’s National Statistical Institute, promoting UK interests as well as contributing to higher standards in statistics across the world.


These reviews were commissioned or undertaken by the National Statistician as Head of the Government Statistical Service.

Contacting the National Statistician

You can email the National Statistician team or write to:

National Statistician
UK Statistics Authority
Statistics House
Cardiff Road
South Wales
NP10 8XG

The post of Head of Assessment is a statutory post under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Head of Assessment is the Authority’s principal adviser on the assessment and reassessment of official statistics and their compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics, and is operationally known as the Director General for Regulation.

Ed Humpherson was appointed as Director General for Regulation in October 2013 and took up post in January 2014.

Prior to joining, Ed was a Board Member and Executive Leader for Economic Affairs at the National Audit Office, a post he held since July 2009. This role included responsibility for the overall strategic direction of NAO’s work on economic affairs.

Amongst other previous responsibilities, Ed oversaw the NAO’s response to the recent financial crisis through building capability in capital markets and financial services work. He also coordinated the NAO’s programme of work on the administration of the tax system and the welfare system; led the NAO’s work on public private partnerships and major infrastructure developments, including in transport and energy; and oversaw the development of the NAO’s audit of the Whole of Government Accounts.

Between 2007 and 2009, Ed Humpherson was Assistant Auditor General, and before that was NAO’s Director of Regulation between 2003 and 2007. Ed joined the National Audit Office in 1993.

Ed Humpherson was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he obtained a first-class MA honours degree in Politics and Economic History.

Ed is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Ed is married and has three children.

Emma Rourke is the Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Health, Population and Methods, taking up this role in July 2022. Emma’s portfolio spans health analysis including the COVID-19 Infection Survey, population and migration statistics including the Census, and methodology and statistical design. Emma was previously Director of Health Analysis and Pandemic Insights (HAPI), joining the Office of National Statistics in November 2016.

Prior to this Emma was the Director of Public Policy Analysis at the ONS, leading a range of social analysis, informing the public about social and environmental matters, assisting in the development and evaluation of public policy, and promoting high quality statistics.

Emma is experienced in leading analytical portfolios to meet the needs of a diverse range of customers in central and local government and develop strong relationships, so our analysis is relevant to domestic and international political discourse.

Emma is a member of the UK Statistics Authority Centre for Applied Data Ethics Advisory Committee. Emma’s professional background is in healthcare clinical practice where her area of interest was clinical risk management, audit, and analytics.

Prior to joining the ONS, Emma was the Director of Intelligence at the regulatory body, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) where she developed a strategic plan to create an intelligence-driven regulator. This included the development of a risk model to prioritise operational activity. Prior to that, Emma held various analytical and policy development roles in the CQC and its predecessor body, the Healthcare Commission.

Register of Interests & Former Members

Name Role Outside Interests
Dr Jacob Abboud Non-Executive Director • Managing Director, Petraenovus Consulting (founder)
• Non-Executive Director, Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, Department for Transport
• Non-Executive Director, Financial Ombudsman Service
• Trustee at the Work Development Trust
Professor Sir John Aston Non-Executive Director • Employee of University of Cambridge
• Independent Member of Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, Home Office
• USS Pension
• Research Grants from UK Research and Innovation
• Research Partnership (through University of Cambridge) with KPMG
Pete Benton Deputy National Statistician for Health, Population and Methods None
Sir Robert Chote Authority Chair • Chair of the Northern Ireland Fiscal Council
• Non-executive Director of Pacific Horizon Investment Trust plc
• Senior Adviser for FMA
• President of Trinity College, University of Oxford (from 1 September 2025)
Professor Sir Ian Diamond National Statistician • Chair, Plan UK
• Welsh Chief Scientists Group
• Advisory Board, Resolution Foundation
• USS pension
• Member, Strategic Advisory Board, Alan Turing Institute
• Chair, Independent Commission on the College of the Future
• National Institute of Economic and Social Research Governing Body
• Chair of the What Works Network (Cross government network)
• Chair of Unit for Future Skills
• Chair Advisory for the Economic and Social Research Centre, Connecting Generations
• Chair, Southampton University Council (from 18 April 2024)
Ed Humpherson Director General for Regulation • Vice Chair of Motability, the charity supporting the mobility of disabled people.
• Trustee, Pro Bono Economics
Mike Keoghan Deputy National Statistician for Economic, Social and Environmental Statistics • Welfare Officer, Tooting Park Rangers (Youth) FC
• School Governor, St Anselm’s School, London
• Wife, Director of Communications and Marketing, the Lancet - Elsevier
Alison Pritchard Deputy National Statistician for Data Capability • Member, Digital Advisory Panel, Gambling Commission
Professor Dame Carol Propper Non-Executive
• Professor of Economics, Imperial College London
• Adjunct Professor of Economics, Monash University, Australia
• Research Associate, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
• Council member, Royal Economic Society
• Life Vice President of the Royal Economic Society
• Fellow of the British Academy, US National Academy of Medicine, CEPR, Academy of Social Sciences
• Member of the Council for Science and Technology
Emma Rourke Deputy National Statistician for Health, Population and Methods None
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter Non-Executive Director • State Pension
• USS Pension
• Patron of the Karuna Trust charity
• Fees from occasional journalism and talks, and royalties from books about statistics
Penny Young Non-Executive Director • Civil Service Pension
• BBC Pension
• Which? Pension
• NatCen Social Research Pension
• Volunteer Grant Assessor, Baily Thomas Charitable Fund (from July 2023)

  • Sian Jones (from 1 July 2016 to 1 July 2024, Deputy Chair from 12 December 2018)
  • Nora Nanayakkara (from 1 July 2016 to 1 July 2024)
  • Alison Pritchard – Director General for Data Capability (from June 2023 to June 2024 )
  • Ms Sam Beckett (Second Permanent Secretary from August 2020 to May 2023)
  • Mr Richard Dobbs (from 27 May 2020 to 26 May 2023)
  • Professor Jonathan Haskel (Non-executive Director 1 February 2016 to 1 February 2023)
  • Professor Anne Trefethen (from 30 June 2018 to 31 December 2022)
  • Ms Helen Boaden (from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2022)
  • Sian Jones (Interim Chair 1 April 2022 to 31 May 2022)
  • Sir David Norgrove (Chair 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022)
  • Professor David Hand (Non-Executive Director from 1 April 2013 – 1 July 2021)
  • Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS (Non-Executive Director 1 April 2008 to 1 September 2008, and again from 1 September 2012 to 31 March 2020)
  • Professor Sir Ian Diamond FBA FRSE FAcSS (Non-Executive Director 1 June 2018 to 5 August 2019)
  • Dr David Levy (Non-Executive Director 1 August 2012 to 31 May 2019)
  • Dame Colette Bowe DBE (Non-Executive Director 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2018)
  • Dame Moira Gibb DBE  (Non-Executive Director 1 February 2008 to 31 January 2018)
  • Sir Andrew Dilnot CBE  (Chair  1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017)
  • Ms Carolyn Fairbairn  (Non-Executive Director  1 April 2013 to 30 September 2015)
  • Professor David Rhind  (Deputy Chair (Statistics System)  1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015)
  • Mr Partha Dasgupta  (Non-Executive Director  1 April 2008 to 30 June 2014)
  • Sir Jon Shortridge  (Non-Executive Director  1 February 2010 to 30 October 2012)
  • Lord David Rowe-Beddoe  (Deputy Chair (ONS)  1 April 2008 to 31 August 2012)
  • Sir Michael Scholar KCB  (Chair  1 April 2008 to 31 March 2012)
  • Professor Sir Roger Jowell CBE  (Deputy Chair (Statistics System)  11 November 2008 to 25 December 2011)
  • Professor Stephen Nickell CBE FBA  (Non-Executive Director  1 April 2008 to 31 October 2010)
  • Sir Alan Langlands FRSE  Non-Executive Director  (1 April 2008 to 12 April 2009)