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Reimagining Whitehall

To effectively reimagine the State itself, major change must occur in the behaviours, processes, and structures of central government. 

Both the first and second world wars led to a rewiring of some of the functions of the State, driven by an imperative to ‘build back better’ and an understanding that the effectiveness of the machinery of government would make or break that endeavour. After a decade of deep disruption – entrenching deep public disillusionment – we face a similar task.  

While successive administrations have attempted to modernise the civil service and improve the structure of Whitehall, the same problems recur.

Our research programme will prioritise short, impactful projects that are designed to tackle the pathologies that undermine change under three main research themes:

  • New mindsets
  • Rewiring the centre
  • Decentralising power

Read our launch essay, setting out the biases that trouble our system of government and hamper efforts to change it, as well as our blog, explaining why these three themes are essential to building a government that is really capable of delivering.

Steering Group

Dr Henry Kippin


Chief Executive of the North of Tyne Combined Authority

Sir Geoff Mulgan CBE


Former Head of Policy, Prime Minister's Office and former Director of the No. 10 Strategy Unit

Philip Rycroft CB


Former Permanent Secretary of the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU)

Professor Jonathan Slater


Former Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education

Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith


Former Home Secretary

Rachel Wolf


Founding Partner at Public First and Co-Author of the 2019 Conservative Manifesto