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Katharine Purser

Head of Data Strategy - Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
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Katharine is Head of Data Strategy at the Department for Work and Pensions. Katharine has spent time in private sector consultancy, local authorities, and the Cabinet Office prior to stepping in to this role at DWP. She started her career coding for the National Insurance Records Service in Newcastle before taking time out to study a Master’s in Public Policy Formulation at UCL and moving into government strategy and policy roles, first and consultant, then at the Cabinet Office. She then spent five years working at the local authority level in London, wrangling big data sets to develop strategy and policy on both welfare reform and skills devolution. Katharine is equally happy mining a spreadsheet or coalescing a group of individuals around a table to hammer out a solution to a difficult problem. It was the love of these two things that led her to take on this role at DWP – where she brings people together to help the department make progress on achieving its vision to use data as a strategic asset to continuously improve the way we serve customers within and beyond DWP.