Thalia Baldwin named as new director of Geospatial Commission

Geospatial CommissionImage: UK government appoints Thalia Baldwin as new director of Geospatial Commission. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.

The UK government will elevate Thalia Baldwin, the current deputy director for policy of the Geospatial Commission, as the organisation’s new director.

Thalia Baldwin, who bagged the position following an open competition, will take over the role from 1 August 2019, said John Manzoni, the Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary.

She will be taking over the reins of Geospatial Commission from outgoing director William Priest.

Manzoni said: “Under William’s leadership the Commission has established a strong team of functional expertise, delivered the first outputs to unlock an estimated £11bn of economic value and begun to assemble the evidence it needs to develop a long term geospatial strategy for the UK.

“I would like to thank William for the energetic and dynamic approach he has taken to setting up the Commission from scratch and forming the basis for a significant new national capability.”

Thalia Baldwin, in the past, served the HM Treasury as head of digital policy. In that role, she oversaw the approach to public spending on digital technology and infrastructure.

Geospatial Commission chair Andrew Dilnot said: “I am delighted to welcome Thalia to this role. The intelligent use of data presents a huge opportunity to enrich our society, strengthen our economy and tackle the issues of the future.

“The potential of new technology in the geospatial domain is huge, and questions about how best to facilitate the use of data are important and fascinating. I look forward to working with Thalia to address these questions.”

The Geospatial Commission was formed in November 2017 with an objective to maximise the value of all UK government data associated with location, and to generate jobs and growth in a modern economy.

In April 2019, the Commission announced plans to bring together the existing data on underground pipes and cables and digitally map them to develop a national register of underground utility assets.