The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is an Executive Agency of the UK Statistics Authority. It is led by the National Statistician and reports into the UK Statistics Authority Board.
Sir Ian Diamond – National Statistician and Permanent Secretary
Sir Ian is the UK's National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority. He provides overall leadership for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the statistics profession across government. Sir Ian advises ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and senior officials on the production, dissemination and use of statistics across government.
Professor Sir Ian David Diamond, FBA, FRSE, FAcSS is the former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen. His previous roles include Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton and Chairman of the Social Security Advisory Committee.
Sam Beckett - Second Permanent Secretary
Sam is Second Permanent Secretary and Deputy CEO of the UK Statistics Authority and Joint Head of the Government Economics Service, a role she shares with Clare Lombardelli, Chief Economist at HM Treasury. In assisting with the overall leadership of the Office for National Statistics, Sam has responsibility for Economic Statistics, People and Business Services, Communications and Security and Information Management.
Sam was previously at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) where she served as Acting Permanent Secretary. Prior to that Sam worked in the Cabinet Office where she was Director of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat. Before that she was Director of Fiscal Group in HM Treasury leading the fiscal policy response to the financial crisis and the government's engagement with the credit rating agencies on the UK's sovereign rating. Sam has 25 years' experience in BEIS, Cabinet Office and HM Treasury in roles spanning micro and macro-economics, strategy, policy and corporate services delivery.
Jonathan Athow - Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Economic Statistics
Jonathan is responsible for the production and transformation of economic statistics and analysis at the ONS, as well as leadership across the wider GSS. This includes important statistics on the national accounts, inflation, trade, employment and unemployment, wages, productivity, and various other measures of the wealth of the UK.
Jonathan joined the ONS in June 2015, leading the production and transformation of economic statistics. Before joining the ONS, Jonathan worked at HM Treasury for 14 years on a range of economic and policy issues, including changes to the tax and benefits system, NHS and social care, and the fiscal and macroeconomic policy framework. Jonathan was also Departmental Chief Economist at HM Revenue and Customs.
Grant Fitzner – Chief Economist and Director, Macroeconomic Statistics and Analysis
Grant oversees the production and analysis of ONS economic statistics, including prices, public sector, trade and balance of payments. He also advises the National Statistician on economic matters.
Grant is an experienced economist who has held a range of public and private sector roles, including economic adviser to the Australian Government and chief economist at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Darren Morgan – Director of Economic Statistics Development
Darren is responsible for the delivery of the Economic Statistics Transformation Programme. The programme aims to use improved methods and new data sources to produce more detailed, accurate and timely economic statistics.
Darren has led the development and production of various economic outputs, such as gross domestic product, inflation and balance of payments.
Population and Public Policy
Iain Bell – Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Population and Public Policy
Iain has responsibility for ONS’s social and public policy statistics including crime, health, the environment, population and migration and ensuring these maximise benefits for all users from the citizen to the heart of government. His responsibilities include the Census and Data Collection Transformation Programme, which will deliver the 2021 Census, provide more population estimates on a routine basis and transform our data collection activities.
Prior to his role in ONS, Iain was the Chief Data Officer and Head of Profession for statistics in the Department for Education. Iain’s career in government statistics has spanned labour market, government finance, transport, justice, work, pensions and education statistics. Throughout his career he has specialised in exploiting the power of longitudinal, administrative data alongside surveys to improve decision-making.
Pete Benton – Director of Population and Public Policy Operations
Pete leads delivery of our data collection operations, collecting vital information about the UK’s economy and society. Pete is also responsible for the delivery of Census 2021.
Pete has experience in data, major programme delivery and operations management. He has held several senior roles at ONS, including Interim Deputy National Statistician and Director of Data Collection.
Liz McKeown – Director of Public Policy Analysis (job share)
Liz leads the development of ONS public policy statistics and analysis alongside Emma Rourke. Liz’s brief covers statistics on population, migration, crime, living standards and cross-cutting policy issues.
Before joining ONS, Liz held senior roles in government, including Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office.
Emma Rourke – Director of Public Policy Analysis (job share)
Emma leads the development of ONS public policy statistics and analysis alongside Liz McKeown. Emma’s brief covers statistics on health, life events, sustainability, inequalities and housing.
Before joining ONS, Emma held senior roles in the health sector, including Director of Intelligence at the Care Quality Commission.
Nicola Tyson-Payne – Director of Transformation, Population and Public Policy
Nicola is responsible for transforming the collection and production of all population and public policy statistics, including population and migration, crime, health and the census.
Nicola has led a series of prominent business transformation programmes for the University of Reading, Hampshire County Council and as Programme Director for the Census and Data Collection Transformation Programme at ONS.
Alison Pritchard - Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability
Alison is leading the transformation in data usage which will see ever more integrated data put to effective and safe use across the private and public sectors. She ensures ONS has the right technology and skills to meet its ambitious goals in data analytics and data science and champions safe and secure data sharing for the public good in ONS and beyond.
Before joining ONS, Alison was Director General of the Government Digital Service leading the organisation through a busy and critical period. And before that, she was Director of Transformation at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She began her Civil Service career in 1987 and has worked across a range of departments including the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Sarah Henry – Director of Methods, Data and Research
Sarah oversees the statistical methods and techniques that underpin our surveys and statistics. She ensures our statistics are of the highest possible quality, using the best mixture of data sources.
Sarah has a wealth of experience in analysis and statistical methods. She was previously Head of Intelligence and Performance at Manchester City Council.
Simon Sandford-Taylor – Director of Digital Services and Technology
Simon leads our Digital and Technology Services function. He is responsible for all of the systems, devices and technology that supports ONS.
Simon has held senior IT roles in both the public and private sector. His previous roles include Chief Technology Officer at the Intellectual Property Office and Group Applications Manager at Heath Lambert Group.
Tom Smith – Managing Director, Data Science Campus
Tom leads the Data Science Campus, a UK and international hub to gain practical advantage from the increased investment in data science capability.
With a background in physics, artificial intelligence and robotics, Tom has 20 years’ experience using data and analysis to improve public and community services. He is vice-chair of the Royal Statistical Society Official Statistics section.
Nick Bateson – Director of Finance, Planning and Performance
Nick leads the organisation in financial management, planning and performance, so that public money is safeguarded and used appropriately and efficiently.
Nick has over five years’ experience as a director, setting the strategy for and leading the delivery of a range of audit and assurance projects across central government, including the Whole of Government Accounts.
Philippa Bonay – Director of People and Business Services
Philippa leads the People and Business Services directorate, which is responsible for human resources (HR), estates, facilities management, H&S, business services and the customer contact centre. She is also the HR Director for the Government Analysis Function, People Lead for the Government Statistical Service and a member of the Civil Service HR Executive.
Philippa has extensive experience across the whole HR remit, infrastructure, commercial and business services in both the private and public sectors.
Owen Brace – Director of Policy, Communications and Digital Publishing
Owen leads the communications, digital publishing and policy teams to uphold the reputation of ONS and promote evidence-based policymaking and public debate.
Owen previously led communications teams at the Department for Work and Pensions and, before joining the Civil Service, worked for nearly 10 years as a journalist.
- UK Statistics Authority organisation chart, August 2021 (182.0 kB pdf)