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GDS welcomes 2 new senior hires

In my last post, I wrote about how GDS needs to make a commitment to collaborate with all government departments. We need to work together if we want to transform the relationship between citizen and state.

This week I’m happy to announce 2 new senior appointments to GDS. Both will play a vital part in making that collaboration happen.

Arif Harbott, formerly Chief Digital and Information Officer at the Ministry of Justice, has moved over to GDS to advise on Digital, Data and Technology. He has joined GDS on a short-term contract.

Arif joined GDS on Monday 31 October. He takes up the position from Susana Berlevy, who is moving to take on a great role at Lloyds of London. We’d like to thank Susana for the great work she did to develop new digital career paths in the Civil Service.

Arif is in a strong position to take up the reins as he has extensive experience in digital and technology both inside and out of government. He will also begin work on the other parts of capability-building at GDS: workforce planning, attraction and recruitment, learning and development and employer branding.

He will take the lead on our Digital Academy. As I said in my previous post, our goal is expansion: to train 3,000 people every year on more than 300 courses, giving government the capability to push ahead with citizen-facing services.

I’m also delighted to welcome Emily Ackroyd to the organisation. Emily will be Director of Policy and Engagement at GDS. Emily previously worked at Number 10 as Senior Policy Adviser for Welfare, Employment and Pensions.

Emily will be responsible for strengthening the organisation’s role in policy. As we start to work more with departments to deliver transformation, we need to bridge the gap between policy and delivery. In addition, Emily will lead on how we engage with and better understand the priorities of other parts of Whitehall.

Beyond Whitehall, Emily will work to maintain the UK government’s reputation internationally as a leader in digital government.

Emily’s first day at GDS will be 7 November. She will work full-time until the new year, when the position will become a job share. We will be advertising for someone to share the role shortly.

Both Arif and Emily are here to ensure that GDS can work effectively with other departments to transform government together.

Our priority is to transform the relationship between citizen and the state. Our success depends on getting the right people in the team. We want to hire the best people, wherever they’re from, who can support, enable and assure departments as we undertake digital transformation.

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