Institute for Government nabs journalist Bronwen Maddox for new director

Think tank focusing on effectivess of government names Prospect editor as new director following departure of Peter Riddell

By Matt Foster

27 May 2016

Prospect magazine editor Bronwen Maddox has been named as the new director of the civil service-focused think tank, the Institute for Government.

Maddox is the former foreign editor of The Times newspaper, and has been editor and chief executive of Prospect, the centre-left political magazine, since 2010.

She will take up post in September, stepping into the role vacated by Peter Riddell — who is moving to become the Commissioner for Public Appointments, tasked with ensuring key public jobs are filled on merit.

Peter Riddell to step down as Institute for Government director
Public appointments watchdog will not be in thrall to ministers, says Peter Riddell, after warning from outgoing head Sir David Normington

The IfG’s chair Lord Sainsbury said Maddox was a “distingused journalist and thought leader”, and said the IfG — which looks at government effectiveness — would go “from strength to strength” under her leadership. 

He added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Riddell for being an outstanding director. He has been both an effective critic and a strong supporter of the civil service, and has earned the respect of both politicians and civil servants. The Institute will miss his intelligence, energy and integrity.”

Commenting on her new role, Maddox meanwhile said it was “crucial” that government “makes key decisions well and enacts them well”. 

She added: “So often, whether in deciding to build power stations, housing or transport for example, this fails to happen, for reasons that are nothing to do with political ideology. I look forward to working with the superb team and the Board at the Institute to shape a programme which looks at how the best decisions are made, in the UK and across the world, and helps our government learn from this.”

The IfG was recently sharply critical of Whitehall’s much-heralded new Single Departmental Plans, which were designed to match ministerial commitments with the tight spending settlements agreed with the Treasury last year. But the think tank’s deputy director Julian McCrae said they had ended up being “little more than a laundry list of nice-to-haves, giving no sense of ministerial priorities”.

Share this page