The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is today announcing the appointment of two new Directors General.

Michael Keoghan joins as the new Deputy National Statistician for the Economic, Social and Environmental statistics Group (ESEG) and Pete Benton moves to become Deputy National Statistician for Health, Population and Methods (HPaM).

They will both be joining the ONS’s Senior Leadership Team at a crucial time for both the organisation and the country, with statistics on society and the economy in demand from decision-makers and the public as never before.

As well as continuing to measure the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the new Directors General will have to guide decisions on the future census recommendation in 2023, improvements to population estimates and the ways in which we measure environmental statistics to guide the government’s ambitions on net zero.

Michael Keoghan will join the ONS in the New Year from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) where until recently he was the Acting Director General for Business Sectors and was also Chief Economic Adviser.

Pete Benton will move from his current role at the ONS as Director of Transformation to his new role as Director General in the New Year. Pete has a wide variety of experience in census, population and health statistics and was responsible for the launch of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey and the delivery of the Census 2021 collection operation. He has also held several other senior roles during a 20-year career at the ONS, including Interim Deputy National Statistician, and prior to that, as an analyst in the NHS.

Commenting on the appointments the National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond, said:

“I am thrilled to announce both of our new Directors General who bring a valuable blend of experience and I have the utmost confidence in their ability to meet the challenges ahead of the ONS.

“This is an exciting time to strengthen our senior leadership team as we drive forward with our ambitions for 2022 and beyond in delivering our strategy of statistics for the public good.”

On his new appointment, Michael said:

“I am delighted to be joining ONS at a time when data and statistics have never been more important for shaping public policy. The past 12 to 18 months have shown how much the organisation can offer and how critical the work of the ONS is for the wider public and policy-makers alike.”

Second Permanent Secretary Sam Beckett said:

“I’m thrilled to be welcoming Michael and Pete into the senior team at the ONS and I’m looking forward to working closely with them both over the months to come. Michael has done fantastic work at BEIS and will bring a fresh perspective and strong experience in delivery with him. Pete has a wealth of experience within the ONS, which ensures consistency and excellent standards.”

Commenting on his move, Pete Benton said:

“It’s a huge privilege to be appointed as Director General and I look forward to working even more closely with other members of the ONS’ leadership team, as we bring together data to provide unique insight into the health and dynamics of our population.”

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