Policy Fellowship for David Knight

Head of Supply Chains Hub, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (view profile)

David Knight currently heads the Data Economy team within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. David’s aim is to ensure HM Government’ high-profile decisions and actions to unlock the power of data in the UK economy and government, while building public confidence and trustworthiness in its use are prioritised to maximise positive impact, and are robust, informed and evidence-based.

David’s recent roles within DCMS include leading cross-government policy on emerging technologies and also work to ensure the UK public sector’s data resilience – always with a focus on:

• helping the UK digital sector remain at the forefront of global innovation;

• supporting government to deliver services effectively and efficiently; and

• maximising the benefit for all UK citizens.

David’s career has also included Senior Civil Service roles in the Department of Health leading on maternity policy, on IT and information policies, as well as writing the government’s 2012 information strategy for health and care, resolving data and public trust issues and coordinating the national response to the 2017 NHS WannaCry cyber incident.

Earlier in his government career, David took several pieces of legislation through Parliament and led international strategic patient safety activity and cooperation as a priority for the UK’s 2005 EU Presidency.


  • To gain as much insight and learning as possible into approaches to maximise both short and long term benefits from the data economy.
  • To focus thinking on the most effective government interventions to drive positive change.
  • To identify the most effective measures of success in this new area.


  • 1. How best can government act to ensure the UK’s international standing grows as a world-leading data environment - maximising the use of data to benefit the UK economy and UK citizens?
  • 2. How best to deliver a ‘win:win’ - balancing effective use of data with data ‘trustworthiness’ - across both public sector and wider UK economy?
  • 3. How best to incentivise major data organisations to be truly transparent about how data about, or inferred about individuals is used?
  • 4. How best to incentivise major data organisations to open up the data resources they hold to others – eg. SMEs, public sector, third sector?
  • 5. Approaches to ensure the ongoing availability of evidence to drive this agenda? (eg. to the economic value of data, to value of data ‘trustworthiness’, ‘government observatory’, etc.)
  • 6. What are the most effective ways to measure success - eg. where traditional metrics may no longer be appropriate to the data economy?
  • 7. What lessons are there for data management in the public and private sectors post-COVID?
  • 8. How can data best be used to re-energise the UK economy post-COVID?