Tom Steinberg

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Tom Steinberg, 2009

Tom Steinberg is a nonprofit leader and author, with a career history mainly in public interest technology, and in the profession of grantmaking. He is the co-author of the book 'Modern Grantmaking: A Guide for Funders Who Believe Better is Possible'[1] and is a co-director and founding editor of Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age,[2] an open access education project.

He is the founder and a former director of mySociety, a British-based international NGO that develops civic tech tools including TheyWorkForYou, Alaveteli and FixMyStreet.[3][4][5] Steinberg worked in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit from 2001 to 2003.[6]


Steinberg co-authored Open source methods and their future potential which argued that the principles of the open source model could have radical implications for governments, citizens and businesses.[7]

The Power of Information: An Independent Review by Ed Mayo and Tom Steinberg was published in 2007;[8][9] as was the official government response to it.[10]

In May 2010, it was announced that Steinberg would be part of the UK Government's new Transparency Board, which was to be established to promote "greater transparency across Government".[11][12] He resigned in the second quarter of 2012.[13]

Steinberg describes himself as 'a left-of-centre moderate'.[13] In November 2012, at the request of Tom Watson MP, he published the policy papers he had written for both Labour and Conservative MPs, Ministers and party staff.[13] In doing so, he wrote:[13]

I regret that I seem to have allowed the impression to arise that I must myself be a conservative, who was trying to get the Tories elected. I'm not, and was not. I've never voted for a conservative party either in the UK or the US. I am a left-of-centre moderate who doesn't talk much about his personal politics because I don't enjoy the abuse you get when you do. Plus, the great majority of the technological advice I give is equally valid for governments of the left and right.

In March 2015, Steinberg announced his decision to stand down as the head of mySociety while, in his words, "we’ve got a good map, a solid car, and we’ve got enough money for fuel".[14] In 2019, he co-authored with World Bank political scientist Tiago C. Peixoto the report Citizen Engagement : Emerging Digital Technologies Create New Risks and Value.[15] In 2020 Steinberg co-founded Teaching Public Services in the Digital Age, an initiative supported by the Harvard Kennedy School that aims to increase the number of public servants who have the skills needed to succeed in the digital era.[16]


  1. ^ "Modern Grantmaking: The Book". Modern Grantmaking. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age". Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  3. ^ The former insider who became an internet guerrilla Guardian, 23 October 2008
  4. ^ Tom Steinberg: Open house in Westminster Independent, 26 June 2009
  5. ^ "About mySociety". mySociety. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  6. ^ About Tom Steinberg, MySociety
  7. ^ "Wide Open". Demos. 20 April 2005. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  8. ^ "The Power of Information". Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  9. ^ Steinberg, Tom; Mayo, Ed (2007). "The Power of Information: An Independent Review". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. ^ "The Government's Response to the Power of Information: An Independent Review by Ed Mayo and Tom Steinberg" (PDF). UK Government. June 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  11. ^ "PM's transparency letter". 31 May 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information : The National Archives". Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  13. ^ a b c d "Publishing policy papers I wrote for politicians & advisors, some regrets, and a statement about my personal politics". Tom Steinberg. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  14. ^ Steinberg, Tom (2 March 2015). "mySociety's Director Tom Steinberg to step down – new leadership position will be advertised soon / mySociety". mySociety. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  15. ^ Tiago, Peixoto; Tom, Steinberg (2019). "Citizen Engagement: Emerging Digital Technologies Create New Risks and Value". World Bank Report (Working Paper).
  16. ^ "Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age". Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age. Retrieved 20 November 2020.

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