HM Treasury appoints first Chief Data Officer

HM Treasury has appointed John Kelly as the department’s first Chief Data Officer (CDO) to improve the Treasury’s internal data capabilities to provide economic analysis and policy advice.

Kelly joins from North Yorkshire County Council, where he spent 16 years focusing on regional transformation through effective data strategies. In his last role as Head of Data and Intelligence at the local authority, he led a team of 30 staff delivering data services to 6,000 employees in the organisation. John Kelly sq 

Speaking on his previous experience as technology and change leader within local government, Kelly said that his responsibilities were similar to those he will carry out at HM Treasury: establishing a data culture, working with partners to develop data capabilities and transforming how the council worked.

“I am proud to say that the people of North Yorkshire are safer, healthier and better supported because of that work,” Kelly told Government Transformation magazine. “I get unreasonably excited when thinking about the value added through opportunities of modern practice, cross-department collaboration and working smarter - because at the heart of it, I’m a nerdy data science enthusiast and really looking forward to putting that energy into the Treasury!”

In his job as HM Treasury’s inaugural CDO, Kelly will build on the work done in the department with the establishment of a data science hub. His initial focus will be pulling together a data strategy that enhances the Treasury’s ability to provide economic analysis and policy advice.

Kelly, who started in post last week, will be based at the Darlington Economic Campus, a shared government hub for six government departments. The Campus supports the wider Places for Growth programme, which aims to move 22,000 civil service positions out of London and the South East by 2030. It has been housing Treasury staff since 2021. 

“The role is based in Darlington which is not only a great reflection of the commitment to investing in the Darlington Economic Campus, but also great for me as I’ve lived here over a decade now! I’ll be making sure that the focus in developing data science capability does so by engaging and investing in the fantastic local talent in the area, building strong links to London.”Government Data Forum

Also Read