London mayor Sadiq Khan appoints the capital's first chief digital officer

Caitlin Morrison
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The new chief digital officer will push digital transformation of public services (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed the capital's first ever chief digital officer, in a bid to "drive the digital transformation of public services".

Theo Blackwell, who previously worked at the government-backed accelerator Public Group, and before that was head of policy and public affairs at the the video games industry’s trade body, Ukie, takes on the role that was first laid out in Khan's election manifesto.

The mayor's office said Blackwell will have three key responsibilties:

  • To provide strategic leadership on the digital transformation agenda for London’s public services, across the Greater London Assembaly group and the wider public sector;
  • To convene on behalf of the mayor, across London local government, to build support for and take-up of innovative, technology and data-led approaches to service delivery and public engagement;
  • To develop and promote partnership between the public, private and community sectors to enable and support the development of new public service oriented technology and innovation.

"I am determined to make London the world’s leading ‘smart city’ with digital technology and data at the heart of making our capital a better place to live, work and visit," Khan said today.

We already lead in digital technology, data science and innovation and I want us to make full use of this in transforming our public services for Londoners and the millions of visitors to our great city.

Blackwell said his new job is "an amazing opportunity to make our capital even more open to innovation, support jobs and investment and make our public services more effective".

"The pace of change over the next decade requires public services to develop a stronger relationship with the tech sector," he added.

"Our purpose is to fully harness London's world-class potential to make our public services faster and more reliable at doing things we expect online, but also adaptable enough to overcome the capital's most complex challenges."

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