GDS names Christine Bellamy as new chief executive

Following the recent departure of Tom Read, the Government Digital Service has confirmed the former GOV.UK head as interim leader, just as she and her colleagues prepare to move department

The Government Digital Service has named Christine Bellamy as its new chief executive.

Bellamy, who joined GDS in 2022, takes over on an interim basis, according to her biography on GOV.UK. Her tenure as CEO seems to have followed on immediately from the departure of former chief Tom Read, who announced two months ago that, after over a decade largely spent in government and more than three years leading GDS, he was leaving the civil service having “decided that now is the time for me to move on to a new challenge”.

Bellamy (pictured above) replaces him in the top job having spent two years as director of GOV.UK – a role in which she was “responsible for the product, setting the strategy and vision, and making sure all the 200-strong GOV.UK team at GDS delivers for the millions of users” of government’s website.

In her new brief, she will take on overall responsibility for “the strategic direction, and operational excellence of GDS”.

“The CEO… ensures the delivery of world-class digital services that transform the way citizens interact with the government,” her biography adds.

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Prior to joining government, Bellamy spent over a decade in senior roles at the BBC, latterly holding the position of head of product for news and sport. Earlier in her career, she served as managing director of Johnston Media.

Announcing his departure, Read said that “GDS is in very safe hands with the dream team of Natalie Jones OBE, Erin Robinson, Christine Bellamy, Jonathan Mundy and all of our brilliant, diverse teams”.

Jones holds the post of GDS’s director of digital identity, Robinson is chief operating officer, and Mundy is director of platforms and services.

Bellamy takes charge of GDS as the organisation prepares to move from the Cabinet Office – where it has resided since its creation in 2011 – to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Sister agency the Central Digital and Data Office and the Incubator for Artificial Intelligence will be making the same move, as part of the new Labour administration’s plan to “launch DSIT as the digital centre of government”.

“DSIT will become the partner and standard bearer for government departments as it supports them to use technology across areas like energy, health, policing, and education”, said a press release from the department issued yesterday. “It will help to upskill civil servants so they are better at using digital and AI in their frontline work, as well as ensure the government has the right infrastructure and regulation to become more digital.”

Sam Trendall

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