Jil Matheson served as National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority from 2009 until her retirement in 2014. As National Statistician, Jil was a member of the European Statistical System Committee. Jil’s career in statistics began in 1975 at the then Office of Population Census and Surveys, after graduating in Sociology from the University of Sussex. Jil subsequently worked as a researcher, analyst and project manager for a number of social surveys, and in 2003 moved to run the ONS Census Division. In 2004, she was appointed Executive Director of Census, Demographic and Regional Statistics, and in 2008 became Director General for Statistics Delivery at ONS. From 2012 until 2014 Jil was Chair of the OECD's Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy and in 2014 was elected Chair of the UN Statistical Commission.
Jil is currently a member of the OECD High Level Expert Group, chaired by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, on Measuring the Progress of Societies.
In 2015 she led a group for the British Academy on the need for improved quantitative skills in the UK, publishing “Count us in’. In 2015/16 Jil carried out a BBC Trust impartiality review of the BBC’s use and reporting of statistics, ‘Making Sense of Statistics,’ published in August 2016.
Jil is a Trustee of NatCen Social Research, the UK’s leading independent survey and social research organisation.
In 2001, Jil was elected fellow of the Academy of Learned Societies in Social Science, and was awarded a DCB (Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath) in 2014.