Jil Matheson took up post as National Statistician on 1 September 2009, succeeding Dame Karen Dunnell.
On being appointed, Jil said:
"I am delighted to be taking up this leading position in UK official statistics. I am really looking forward to working with all the highly skilled and committed people who produce official statistics. Statistics are very important to the life of the nation, and it will be a real privilege to be at the forefront of ensuring that they meet the diverse needs of the UK public."
Jil joined the Office for Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) in 1975. Jil subsequently worked as a researcher, analyst and project manager for a number of social surveys, including the General Household Survey and the Family Expenditure Survey, and later became a member of a European Union working group and a World Health Organisation panel on measuring socio-economic inequalities in health.
Promoted to be a Deputy Director in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 1998, Jil Matheson helped to develop the vision for the Neighbourhood Statistics service and to the Social Focus series of topic-based analytical statistical reports. From 2002, she led the final preparations for the introduction of the National Statistics Code of Practice, and managed relations between the ONS and wider Government Statistical Service. In 2003, she moved to the ONS Census Division to lead the project to evaluate the 2001 Census, and to plan the design of the next Census in 2011.
In 2003 Jil became the ONS Director with responsibility for Neighbourhood Statistics, population and demography, health and care, and regional and local statistics. Between 2004 and 2008, she was the Director of Census, Demographic and Regional Statistics.
Jil became Director General for Statistics Delivery at the ONS in 2008 with responsibility for the delivery of all ONS statistical operations and outputs, and for the development of the ONS’ statistical portfolio in consultation with users.
Jil was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Learned Societies in Social Science in 2001, and she is also a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a member of the Social Research Association.
In January 2014 it was announced that Jil would be retiring in Summer 2014.