About us

The Government Geography Profession was established in 2018 to support geographical expertise across the public sector.

Our Members

We are made up of over 1,500 professional geographers which include various job roles in the Analytical Function career framework, and those with a background in geography who apply geographic principles in wider roles. Our expertise covers the full breadth of our discipline and our members are located across the UK.

We welcome people to join who are involved in analytical, scientific, policy and operational delivery roles. Examples of the work of some of our members is available at the Royal Geographic Society (with IBG) site ‘I am a geographer’.

Now more than ever, geographers are combining increasing quantities of geospatial information with advances in technology to drive new insights on our place in the world. The profession is leading the way in government and the public sector, recognising and encouraging the use of geography and geographical sciences within and across government.

Our Vision

To create and grow a high-profile, proud and effective geography profession that attracts fresh talent and has a secure place at the heart of decision making.

To do that we have 3 key pillars:

  1. Creating the environment for geographers to have maximum impact in government
  2. Professionalising geography within the profession
  3. Growing the community of geographers within the profession

To help achieve our vision we have created beneficial initiatives for our members, supported outreach activity in schools and universities and championed and showcased the importance of geography in policy design and delivery.

Our Governance

The Government Geography Profession is based at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology with the Geospatial Commission and will continue to grow the support we can provide around geospatial skills, guidance and awareness.

The Geospatial Commission was established in 2018 as an independent, expert committee, within the Cabinet Office, responsible for setting the UK’s geospatial strategy and coordinating public sector geospatial activity.

In February 2023, following a machinery of government change, the Geospatial Commission moved from the Cabinet Office to the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

The Government Geography Profession is one of seven professions that make up the Analytical Function. Geography is a crucial part of the multi-disciplinary approach we will need to take as the Analysis Function to tackle the big issues faced by society. The aim of the Analysis Function is to act as the go-to hub for best practice research and analysis services within Government. It is a federative collaboration between a number of analytical professions who deliver research, evidence and advice to a consistent, professional standard.

The Government Geography Profession will continue to be an inclusive and welcoming profession for all those in the public sector who consider themselves geographers, recognising that whilst a lot of our members clearly align to the Analysis Function, there will be a other geographers in wider roles across the public sector who the profession will continue to support.

Our Leadership

Our leadership team are made up of a group of passionate geographers from across the public sector. We come together and each spend 1-2 days a month on top of our day jobs growing and developing our profession.

  • David Wood (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) – Head of Government Geography Profession
  • Patrick Rickles (North Sea Transition Authority) - Deputy Head of Digital strategy and engagement and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Chris Gale (Office for National Statistics) - Deputy Head of Professional Guidance and Engagement
  • Madeleine Hann (Ministry of Defence) - Deputy Head of Outreach and Talent Pipelines
  • Claire Edwards (Natural England) and Carolyn Shears (Ministry of Defence) - Jointly Deputy Head of Skills, Training and Professional Accreditation.
  • Alistair Edwardes – Head of Profession at Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
  • Olive Powell – Head of Profession at Office for National Statistics
  • Ian Spencer – Head of Profession at Ministry of Defence
  • Brian Vinall – Head of Profession at Environment Agency
  • David Roberts – Head of Profession at Welsh Government
  • Rollo Home – Head of Community at Ordnance Survey
  • Ian Coady – Head of Community at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Niamh Jefford (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) - Government Geography Profession Manager

Join us

If you are a civil, crown or public servant, and a geographer, find out more about our benefits and how to join us.

If you’re not a civil, crown or public servant, but would be interested in a role within one of our organisations and becoming part of the Government Geography Profession, please see our Jobs in Government page for more information.

Contact us

For more information please contact us on communications@geography.gov.uk

Corporate information

Jobs and contracts