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GDS appoints Christine Bellamy as CEO

The former head of Gov.uk has taken over as CEO of the Government Digital Service following the departure of Tom Read in June

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has named Christine Bellamy as chief executive as the organisation prepares to move from the Cabinet Office to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

Bellamy, who was previously the director of Gov.uk, was appointed CEO of GDS following the departure of previous CEO Tom Read in June 2024. Read left the organisation after 10 years in the civil service and more than three years at the helm of GDS.

In a statement on the GDS LinkedIn profile, Bellamy said she was excited to take on the role of CEO.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to lead GDS and our mission to design and deliver the user experience of digital government,” she said. “Millions of people use our products every week, and we remain committed to working across government and the wider public sector to deliver joined-up, proactive, secure digital services that are better for users and cheaper for the taxpayer.”

As the director of Gov.uk, Bellamy was in charge of moving the government’s website to a multi-channel approach and the development of the Gov.uk app.

She takes over amid several changes at GDS, as the new Labour government plans to unite digital transformation efforts under one umbrella, moving the organisation to DSIT.

This is a big move, as GDS has been under the Cabinet Office since its creation in 2011. Together with the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) and the Incubator for AI (iAI), GDS will become part of DSIT, which the government hopes will maximise the digital changes needed in public services.

This includes One Login, one of the most famous GDS products. One Login is the project to create a digital identity system which will be mandated for use across government departments.

The government has set out a core mission to create a modern digital government and wants DSIT to become the “partner and standard bearer for government departments as it supports them to use technology across areas like energy, health, policing and education”.

It hopes this will help to upskill civil servants and improve their skills in digital and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as ensuring the government has the right infrastructure and regulation to become more digital and remove more of the existing roadblocks to effective data sharing in the public sector.

In 2023, former Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude conducted a review of the civil service which called for GDS and CDDO to join forces, as keeping the two organisations separate has caused accountability and governance to become fragmented.

“The lack of a unified organisational structure degrades the strength of leadership that can be provided by the centre, and absorbs significant amounts of officials’ time in brokering internal coordination rather than delivery,” the review said.

The government plans for DSIT to be the digital centre for government.

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