UK Space Agency Director joins Connected Places Catapult as Chief Operating Officer to deliver operational change across the organisation

Rachel Gardner-Poole joined Connected Places Catapult on 1st December as Chief Operating Officer.


Rachel joins us from the UK Space Agency where she was on a secondment from the Civil Aviation Authority. As Director of Organisation Design and Development, she led work to transform the Agency’s core responsibilities and ways of working, through a series of major change programmes.


Rachel brings a wealth of experience delivering complex programmes and improving operational effectiveness through people, process and technology. She has a strong background in the aviation, science and technology sectors and in 2020 was awarded the AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award in recognition for her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.


Outside of work, Rachel is involved in several church activities and charities, including a charity she co-founded to deliver projects to help people in South Sudan.

Nicola Yates OBE, CEO of Connected Places Catapult said, “Rachel brings a huge amount of experience with her
background working across a wide variety of innovation sectors, and we are excited for her to be joining
our senior management team. Her knowledge of working with the private and public sectors across
innovation will be pivotal to Connected Places Catapult in the years to come.”

Rachel said, “I’m delighted to be joining Connected Places Catapult and am passionate about using
innovation and technology to create a positive impact on people’s lives.” She continued on to say, “with
the focus on Levelling up, net zero and recovery post-pandemic, this is an exciting time to be joining the
team and it will be an immense privilege to work alongside the dedicated, professional colleagues at
Connected Places Catapult and many partner organisations as we collectively address the challenges and
opportunities that lie ahead.”