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Katharine Purser

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Katharine brings people, funding and data together to help leaders meet challenges and overcome barriers to their strategic goals.

Having worked in private, public and third sector organisations in policy, operations and digital, Katharine brings a varied background and a fresh perspective. She is a skilled facilitator, negotiator and strategist able to rapidly understand new problems and connect people. She uses these skills to build strategic frameworks for decision-making and deliver solutions that achieve buy-in from key stakeholders. 

Influential work

  • Established the Chief Data Office for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), reducing data risks through strengthened policy, process, decision-making and governance  
  • Developed the first-ever data strategy for DWP, identifying and driving key projects that developed the data capabilities needed to meet the department's business objectives 
  • Led the development of the Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan, including introducing the first collection and publication of diversity data on more than 5,000 current appointees 
  • Played key role securing devolution of the adult skills budget to London, including developing an overarching skills strategy for London underpinned by analysis of large, complex data sets, and designing the skills commissioning function 
  • Established and managed the award-winning multi-agency Welfare Reform Task Force, which designed and delivered data-led policy interventions to support vulnerable people into more stable circumstances and reduced annual costs from £2 million to £500,000. 

Outside of Nous

Katharine has over 20 years of experience working in government strategy and policy analysis across education and skills, social welfare and social enterprise at local and national levels. Katharine has held senior roles driving reform, including running the Centre for Public Appointments, developing the strategy for cross-government shared services, and leading capability reviews of government departments on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary. 

She is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

In her spare time...

Katharine loves taking her two children for walks in the countryside, going on bike rides, and visiting art galleries and the theatre. She is convinced they will one day love these things as much as she does. 

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