DfE digital chief and GDS co-founder Mark O’Neill to leave civil service

Long-serving digital government professional departing at the end of the month to pursue new opportunities


PA

By Sam Trendall

05 Sep 2018

Photo: PA

Mark O’Neill, chief digital officer at the Department for Education – and a co-founder of the Government Digital Service – is to leave the civil service at the end of the month.

O’Neill announced his imminent departure on Twitter. He added that he will be “taking time to think about what [to do] next” and will also be taking a non-executive director post at Mind of My Own, a company specialising in apps for use in caring for young people. 

“I have had amazing opportunities to lead and deliver business and digital transformation at huge scale but now is the right moment to move on,” O’Neill added.


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He has served as chief digital officer at the Department for Education for the last 18 months, prior to which he held a post as director of digital services and data at the then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Before that, he spent over four years at GDS – from its inception in 2011 until 2015, his LinkedIn profile indicates. He held a role as head of innovation and delivery at the central digital agency.

O’Neill tweeted that he has “had the good fortune to work with some amazing colleagues” during his time in Whitehall. 

I have had amazing opportunities to lead and deliver business and digital transformation at huge scale but now is the right moment to move on.

— Mark O'Neill (@marxculture) September 4, 2018

“In the past few years, I have been able to deliver the world's largest sporting event, strengthen democratic engagement, launch the world's first government skunkworks, establish the first-ever GovTech incubator, rethink the criminal justice system, and reform apprenticeships,” he added.

CSW's sister title PublicTechnology had contacted the DfE requesting comment and information on if, when, and by whom O’Neill might be replaced as chief digital officer and was awaiting response at time of going to press.

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