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5 quickfire questions with Fiona Dawe

Natasha Bance

This feature is part of our Analysis in Government Month 2023 series. You can find more articles and resources on our Analysis in Government Month hub.

Fiona Dawe, Deputy Director of the Population Health, Strategy and Operations division at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), answers our 5 quickfire questions about her career so far.

What is the best thing about your job?

Working collaboratively with people across professions to deliver an outcome. Over the last couple of years I was responsible for a number of different Coronavirus (COVID-19) related surveys. We were able to successfully set these up, run them and deliver data and insight at pace because as a team we supported each other and recognised and respected the different skills we each brought to the project.

What motivates you?

Knowing that the projects that I work on will provide decision makers with the insight and evidence they need to make considered decisions.

What does “making an impact” mean to you?

Leaving a positive impression that has made a difference, whether this be on the people I have worked with or through the output of a project I have worked on. Both are equally important.

What was your first job and what did it teach you?

My first job was working in the Sampling Unit at ONS. This taught me how time consuming it is to draw a stratified random sample by hand using a calculator and computer printout! BUT the fundamentals I learnt about sampling have stayed with me throughout my career!

If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self just one piece of advice, what would it be?

You may be introverted and shy, but don’t be afraid to speak up. Your opinion is valid and will be valued by others!

Fiona Dawe
Natasha Bance
Fiona Dawe is Deputy Director of the Population Health, Strategy and Operations division, within the Health Analysis Pandemic and Insight Directorate at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Over the last few years, she has been responsible for the delivery of world-leading Coronavirus (COVID-19) surveys, including the COVID Infection Survey and schools-based COVID-19 surveillance studies, which informed government decision-making during the course of the pandemic. In addition, she leads the Strategic Development Hub for health research within ONS.

As a Government Social Researcher, Fiona has spent the majority of her career at ONS working in social statistics and has been responsible for designing and managing a number of ONS large scale social surveys and producing the analytical output. Fiona is Head of Profession for Government Social Research at ONS.