National Statistician, UK Government
Wednesday 19 November 2008 18.00-20.30
Karen Dunnell started her career as a health care researcher and lecturer. She joined the civil service in 1974 to work on social surveys in OPCS – one of the departments that merged to form ONS in 1996. She carried out several bench mark surveys in the health and demography fields before promotion to manage a large portfolio of surveys. This included the GHS, the 1985 series of disability surveys and OPCS’s programme for the Department of Health. In 1990 she moved to run health statistics – which was expanded to include demography when ONS was formed. In 1999 she moved to the centre of ONS leading the Division that supported the ONS executive, prepared and launched National Statistics in 2000 and paved the way for Len Cook the first National Statistician. Late in 2000 she was promoted to look after a wide range of social statistics including health and labour market. In 2002 she was appointed to the ONS executive to lead the creation of the new “Sources” directorate which brought together all the household and business survey work, the infrastructure register and classification work. She also started and led the Statistical Modernisation Programme in ONS. In September 2005 she was appointed National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales to succeed Len Cook.
She has recently been elected to a visiting fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University.