London mayor appoints the capital's first chief digital officer

Gem Sofianos

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London mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed the capitals first ever chief digital officer (CDO), it was announced Friday.

The role that was first outlined in Khan’s election manifesto will be taken up by Theo Blackwell in a bid ‘drive the digital transformation of public services’ to ‘make London the world’s smartest city.’

Blackwell previously worked at the government backed accelerator Public Group and before that was Head of Policy & Public Affairs for the video games industry’s trade body, Ukie.

As the CDO Blackwell will be responsible for:

In a statement Khan said: “I am determined to make London the world’s leading ‘smart city’ with digital technology and data at the heart of making our capital a better place to live, work and visit.

“We already lead in digital technology, data science and innovation and I want us to make full use of this in transforming our public services for Londoners and the millions of visitors to our great city.”

Of his appointment Blackwell said his new position was ‘an amazing opportunity to make our capital even more open to innovation, support jobs and investment and make our public services more effective’

“The pace of change over the next decade requires public services to develop a stronger relationship with the tech sector,” he added.

Our purpose is to fully harness London’s world-class potential to make our public services faster and more reliable at doing things we expect online, but also adaptable enough to overcome the capital’s most complex challenges.

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