Posted on 10/07/2012
Dame Karen Dunnell
BSc Sociology, 1967 Bedford College
Dame Karen Dunnell was National Statistician, Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics and head of the Government Statistical Service until her retirement in 2009. She was also the Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority. Karen began her career as a health care researcher at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School, working on multi-disciplinary projects alongside doctors, social workers, statisticians and economist. She joined the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) in 1974, eventually moving from working with health surveys to medical statistics. When OPCS merged with the Central Statistical Office to form the ONS in 1996, she became Director of Demography and Health Statistics, working on general practice statistics and inequalities in health, She was promoted to Group Director in Social Statistics, managing health, demography, population, labour market and social reporting in the run-up to the 2001 census. A major reorganisation, which divided the activities of ONS into 'sources' and 'analysis', followed and Dunnell was given the job of setting up the new "Sources" Directorate, bringing together household and business surveys, the infrastructure that supported them, the statistical modernisation programme and planning for the 2011 Census. She now has a range of non-executive roles including membership of Pricewaterhouse Coopers Public Interest Body, Trustee of National Heart Forum, member of the Court of Governors, University of Westminster.