In its majority the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee (NSDEC) consists of independent members. The relevant expertise of members allows for independent challenge and scrutiny ensuring advice is impartial and credible.
Helen was appointed Chair of NSDEC on 1 April 2023 for a term of two years.
Helen started her career in commercial radio in the Middlesbrough but switched sides and worked for the BBC for 34 years, starting as a reporter on local radio in Leeds and ending on the Executive Board as Director of BBC Radio. In between she won awards for her journalism on Radio 4 and went on to become Controller of the station which won Sony Station of the Year twice under her leadership.
Helen became the first female Director of BBC News in 2004 and when she left the job eight years later, she was responsible for 8000 staff at home and abroad and led the team which created the largest multi media newsroom in the democratic world.
In 2017, Helen retired from the BBC take up a Fellowship at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research examined the pressures on the journalistic values of the BBC and the American press. She now sits on the Shorenstein’s Advisory Board. In 2017, she gave evidence to the DCMS Parliamentary Committee’s investigation into Disinformation and ‘fake news’.
She loves the Arts and being out of doors. In 2018 Helen produced The Boaden Review for the Irish public Service broadcaster, RTE, on the sustainability of its orchestras. She is Chair of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where Alan Ayckbourn premiers his work. She sits on the Council of the Royal Academy of Arts where she chairs the Remuneration Committee. In 2019 she was appointed Chair of the Audio Content Fund, a new government backed scheme supporting creativity in commercial radio.
She chairs courses for Windsor Leadership, a charity which supports emerging and experienced leaders in the public sector. She is also President of HF Holidays, a hundred year old Co-operative devoted to walking and other outdoor activities.
Helen served as a non-executive member on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority from July 2019 to December 2022.
Robert Bumpstead is Deputy Director with responsibility for the UK Statistics Authority’s policy secretariat and Deputy Chair of the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee. Rob has worked in official statistics for more than 15 years, including spells in social survey research, analysis and statistics. Topics he has worked on include statistics and research about mental health, ethnicity and identity, housing, labour market and population. Rob’s current role includes supporting the Authority Chair, the National Statistician and his three deputies and developing policy around access, use and sharing of data for statistics and research purposes.
Stephen Balchin is Head Workforce Information and Analysis at the Department of Health and Social Care where he’s responsible for analytical support in decision making around how we make sure we have the right number of people to run the health and social care systems. He was previously Head of Profession for Statistics at Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) where he was responsible for a range of statistical outputs including Family Resources Survey, estimates of Fraud and Error in the benefit system and the wide range of statistics based on DWP’s benefit system. He’s had a range of posts in DWP including leading a team providing analytical support to Finance and Human Resources, Lead Analyst for Social Justice looking at most disadvantaged in the Labour Market and developing analysis on older workers. Before working in DWP he worked in No 10, HM Treasury providing distributional analysis on taxes and benefits and in ONS.
Vanessa Cuthill has been reappointed for the duration of three years. She is currently Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Sussex, having taken up this post in September 2022. Previously, Vanessa has been Director of Research at The British Academy, Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Essex, and immediately prior at the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). During her time at the ESRC she has commissioned and led projects establishing social sciences data resources including the Administrative Data Research Network and longitudinal surveys; and advised on health and social data legislation developments and policy, working closely with a wide range of government departments and other research funders. Vanessa has also worked at the University of Bath, during which time she established their social sciences ethics committee.
Colin Godbold is a lay member of the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory committee and has been appointed for the duration of five years.
Colin is an independent consultant specialising in delivery of large scale information technology and organisational change programmes. Formerly a partner in IBM’s consultancy and services practice, Colin has had a successful business career spanning over 30 years, during which he has led the delivery of many complex programmes in both public and private sectors. He has worked closely with a wide variety of UK government departments and previously held a number of advisory appointments, including Vice Chair of the DWP’s Social Security Advisory Committee and a member of the Administrative Data Research Network Board. He was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Durham and is a Chartered and European Engineer and a fellow of the British Computer Society. Colin has a particular interest in the security and privacy of personal data stored in digital systems.
Monica Magadi is a Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health at Keele University. Her academic background is in Demography and Social Statistics. She has more than 30 years of international research experience in global public health and serves in various international advisory roles, including for the WHO, and currently co-Chairs the Research Projects Review Panel (RP2) of the WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR). Her research largely involves statistical modelling of large-scale complex demographic and health datasets (global and UK-based), including linked survey/administrative datasets. Besides statistical modelling, her methodological research expertise includes research design, especially surveys and evaluation/intervention research. She has experience in qualitative and mixed methods research as well. Monica’s long-standing career in UK academia has involved serving in various leadership roles, including Research Directorship, with significant research ethics and data protection responsibilities.
Isabel Nisbet has been appointed to the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee for the duration of five years. Isabel has had a career in senior roles in government and regulation, particularly of medicine and education. She was the first CEO of Ofqual, the regulator of examinations and qualifications in England. She is an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education. In October 2021 Isabel was appointed by Northern Ireland Ministers to a panel reviewing education in Northern Ireland. Her academic background is in philosophy and she has engaged throughout her career in ethical issues, particularly medical ethics. She is co-opted to the Home Office’s Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group.