Number 10's head of news to join Sport England in November

Alison Donnelly will lead a newly created directorate

18 July 2019 News

The Prime Minister’s head of news and deputy official spokesperson has been appointed as our new executive director of digital, marketing and communications.

Alison Donnelly will join us in November in the newly created role that will see her bring together our existing digital, marketing, campaigns, communications and external affairs teams – including the staff responsible for our flagship This Girl Can campaign.

She will work closely with chief executive Tim Hollingsworth to raise the public profile of our mission to enable everyone to benefit from sport and physical activity.

“I am thrilled to be joining Sport England later this year and am looking forward to being part of a great team at such an exciting time under Tim’s leadership,” she said.

“I have long believed in the power of sport and physical activity to change people's lives and hope to play a key role in helping Sport England to deliver against its ambitious vision.”

Prior to joining Number 10, where she speaks to the world’s media on a daily basis on behalf of the Prime Minister, Alison worked at HM Treasury, holding positions including head of news and head of strategic communications.

I am looking forward to being part of a great team at such an exciting time

Alison Donnelly, newly appointed executive director for digital, marketing and communications

She also worked as head of communications at Premiership Rugby club Wasps and indulges her passion for the game by running the award-winning website scrumqueens.com.

And Tim is now excited to see Alison employ that passion for sport combined with her communications skills.

“I am absolutely delighted that Ali will be joining us this autumn,” he said. “This is a new and crucial leadership role for the organisation as we continue to actively and passionately make the case for sport and physical activity for all.

“Ali came through a highly competitive process with a strong field of highly qualified candidates and brings a huge amount of relevant experience, coupled with a genuine passion for sport and its transformative power. I look forward to welcoming her later this year.”