Four Independent Commissioners will join the Board of the Geospatial Commission alongside its Chair, Sir Andrew Dilnot, and Deputy Chair, Nigel Clifford.
Dame Kate Barker, Kru Desai, Edwina Dunn and Steve Unger have been appointed by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP, in consultation with the Chair of the Commission.
The Chair of the Geospatial Commission, Sir Andrew Dilnot, said: “I am pleased to welcome Kate, Kru, Edwina and Steve to the Geospatial Commission. Their combined expertise and experience will be invaluable to the Commission’s goal to unlock the potential of geospatial data and improve the UK’s social, natural and economic environment.”
The Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden added:
“I’m looking forward to working with the new Commissioners and seeing the Geospatial Commission benefit from their expertise, which will help to ensure the UK remains a geospatial world leader.”
The Commissioners will be responsible for providing expert, impartial advice to the government on geospatial data, including on strategic priorities and value for money, to inform the UK’s Geospatial Strategy. The Board of Commissioners will meet formally up to nine times per year.
About the Commissioners:
● Dame Kate Barker served three terms on the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. She was previously Chief Economist at Ford of Europe and Chief Economic Adviser at the CBI. She currently holds a number of private sector roles and is a member of the National Infrastructure Commission. Her appointment will help ensure the Geospatial Commission has a strong basis to approach the fundamental economic questions about the value of data and the wider economic benefits to the UK.
● Kru Desai has spent her career leading large and complex transformation programmes. She began in the public sector at Westminster City Council and went on to have a successful private sector career. Most recently she was a senior partner and Head of Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare at KPMG. Her experience will help the Commission shape workable solutions in a complex cross-sector context.
● Edwina Dunn OBE is an experienced leader, entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of data science and customer-centric business transformation. She is co-founder of dunnhumby, the company behind Tesco’s Clubcard and other loyalty programmes around the world. She is now CEO at Starcount, a data science consultancy working with some of the UK's leading brands. Her strong background in commercial data analysis will add significantly to the Commission’s strategy for accessing and providing insight from data.
● Dr Steve Unger was until recently a board member of Ofcom where he was responsible for setting regulatory strategy for the UK, representing the UK in international negotiations and leading Ofcom's technology programme. Previously, Steve spent several years in the private sector, working for Silicon Fen startups whose focus was the commercial exploitation of new wireless technologies. His regulatory experience will be of immediate use in the Commission’s National Underground Assets Register programme and for longer term consideration of the regulation of data markets.
The Geospatial Commission was created in April 2018 in the centre of government, as an independent, expert committee. It aims to unlock the significant economic opportunities offered by geospatial data and to reinforce the UK’s geospatial expertise on the global stage.
It has been set up to:
● advise independently, making recommendations on how best to coordinate or adapt existing geospatial activities and structures; and
● deliver beneficial changes in partnership with others where there is evidence of value
The Geospatial Commission has nine Commissioners:
● Sir Andrew Dilnot (Chair)
● Nigel Clifford (Deputy Chair)
● Dame Kate Barker (Independent Commissioner)
● Kru Desai (Independent Commissioner)
● Edwina Dunn (Independent Commissioner)
● Steve Unger (Independent Commissioner)
● Thalia Baldwin (Director of the Commission, from 1 August 2019)
● Michael Mire and Steve Blair are the two commissioners nominated by the six Partner Bodies who will represent them.
The Independent Commissioners were appointed through an open competition. They will commence appointment on 25 July 2019.