Dr Jo Foreman & Dr Sarah Steiner

Head of Science Networks, Systems and Capability (Jobshare) at Government Office for Science (GO-Science)


Head of Science Networks, Systems and Capability (Jobshare), Government Office for Science

Policy Fellows, Centre for Science and Policy

Jo and Sarah are experienced civil servants. They make the most of their complementary skills and backgrounds within their jobshare – Jo with a science background and PhD in evolutionary ecology and Sarah with an analytical background and PhD in Computer Science – to create a strong partnership focused on identifying and truly understanding the problems at hand and then delivering practical solutions.

They joined the Government Office for Science in 2021 to lead on the implementation of the Science Capability Review to realise the ambition of embedding Science in Government. They have reinvigorated the programme management while raising the profile of SCR and updating its relevance since the impact of COVID. This includes working with the network of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers and their teams, looking at how the science systems in government can be improved and considering ways to increase academic engagement.

Prior to this Jo worked on a variety of science, strategy and policy roles in Defra. These roles include leading the development of a set of outcome indicators for the 25 Year Environment Plan, working on a pilot Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment, leading the Science Advisory Council secretariat, reviewing scientific advisory committees and developing a mechanism to deliver cross organisation science strategy. She has also had roles in the Royal Commission for Environmental Pollution and the FCDO Science and Innovation Network.

Sarah gained her experience from working in a variety of analytical, strategy and policy roles across Defra, Department for Exiting the EU and Ministry of Justice. These roles ranged from coordinating department and programme-level input to Spending Reviews and Budgets; using management information to support Ministers and Executive Committees in making investment and prioritisation decisions; solving problems using analytical techniques (e.g. simulation modelling of the Criminal Justice System); and leading on the policy for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).