Ex-NHSX head Gould tipped as next top dog for London Zoo

Reports have claimed the long-time civil servant will shortly be unveiled as the director general of ZSL
An emperor tamarin monkey at London Zoo. Photo: PxHere

By Sam Trendall

01 Sep 2022

The senior official who led NHSX throughout its brief existence is set to be unveiled as the next leader of London Zoo.

Matthew Gould was appointed as the inaugural chief executive of NHSX agency in April 2019, shortly after the creation of the technology unit had been announced by then-health secretary Matt Hancock. Gould remained at the helm of the organisation until it was formally merged into NHS England in February of this year, at which point the NHSX name was retired. 

Following the closure of the tech unit – which was understood to have about 500 employees – the former CEO initially took a role as national director of digital transformation for NHS England, but announced several months later that he was stepping down.

A report in the Sunday Times has claimed that Gould will shortly be announced as the new director general of the Zoological Society of London, the charity which runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo. 

“ZSL has made an offer to a candidate to join,” a spokesperson for ZSL told the newspaper.

Before departing his NHS role, Gould spent almost 30 years in the civil service, during a government career which took in stints at the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet Office, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 

He during his time at the FCO he was posted to roles in Islamabad, Tehran, and Washington DC, as well spending five years in Tel Aviv as the British ambassador to Israel.

Gould also held several tech-focused positions, including a as director of cybersecurity at the Cabinet Office, and director general for digital and media at DCMS.

His appointment as the next London Zoo chief is subject to approval by government’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments watchdog.

Sam Trendall is editor of CSW's sister title PublicTechnology, where this story first appeared.

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