Hello! I’m Claire, and I recently joined Public Digital as Principal consultant. I work with Emily and Clement on international development, mostly with African countries. Although I am a French national, I am based in London where I have been living for the past 3 years.
Prior to joining Public Digital, and after graduating from SciencesPo. in Paris, I worked for an early-stage tech company and a consulting firm. I then joined the public sector and worked as Digital Policy Advisor at the French Embassy in London. Now at Public Digital, I am making the most of these past experiences by helping governments build digital service teams and use technology to deliver better services to citizens.
Background and beliefs
I am grateful I had the opportunity to work both in the public and the private sector, although they are not that different in the sense that they share common challenges when it comes to digital transformation. In the end, it is always about building and empowering multidisciplinary teams.
This is what I found the most exciting when I started my career in a start-up company. As the very first employee, I helped the founders hire software and business developers, define the culture of the company, and set up agile ways of working.
But starting a company from scratch does not offer the same challenges as changing a large organisation with a long-existing organisation and processes. I had a taste of this at the French Embassy in London. There, I realised that technology is a small part of the solution, but that change management is key, and can take time.
However it’s hard to bring change from the inside, which is why I fully adhere to Public Digital’s mission to help organisations survive and thrive in the internet era. I even more agree with Public Digital’s mantra “Build a team, not an app” because eventually, public organisations have to own their own digital projects, and be empowered to do so.
I joined a week after the lockdown started in the UK. I received my computer by mail, and was onboarded completely remotely. Although I was completely amazed by the way Public Digital is organised, which makes it so easy to communicate and work together from different parts of the world, I just can’t wait to meet my colleagues for real.
Coronavirus didn’t only impact the way I started working, but also what I worked on. In March, we started to co-organise a series of fortnightly events with David Eaves and his team for Harvard Kennedy School. The events featured government digital service teams sharing the lessons they learned from the crisis. Tom has written about the first event here. These virtual convenings were open to all government officials working on coronavirus digital responses. As we received great feedback, we now look forward to broadening the topic and making this a regular event to give government digital service teams the opportunity of a closed group to share honest reflections on their work.
I am also eager to meet and work with our extended network of affiliates. I have already had the chance to work with David on agile procurement, and Sophie on user research in West and South African countries. Digital transformation is now at the top of the agenda of all African countries. It is an exciting era for governments there, and I am happy to be part of Public Digital to play my part in this.