Matthew Taylor is a British former political strategist and current Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in the United Kingdom since 2006. In 2005, he was appointed by incumbent Prime Minister Tony Blair as head of the Number 10 Policy Unit.
Between 1998 and 2003 Taylor was the Director of the left of centre think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, and in 2003 the Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed him head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, giving him the task of drawing up the Labour Party’s manifesto for the May 2005 general election. Following the re-election of the Labour government he became Chief Adviser on Strategy to the Prime Minister. Taylor was involved in several initiatives to engage the public with the political process, and played a key role in developing the Labour Party’s “Big Conversation” discussion forums.
He left in 2006 to become Chief Executive of the charity, the RSA, an enlightenment, apolitical organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.
Taylor has been awarded honorary degrees from the universities of Brighton, Northampton and Warwick, and is a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University. He has sat on a number of Governmental committees and inquiries on topics including higher education in Wales, the role of elected councillors, innovation in children’s services and spinning out public services as social enterprises.
He is a regular panellist on Radio 4’s Moral Maze, devised and presents the discussion programme, Agree to Differ, which was first broadcast in 2014, and is an occasional presenter of Analysis. His opinions pieces have been published in several national newspapers, he has a monthly column with the Local Government Chronicle, writes occasional book reviews for Management Today and has contributed extended essays to publications such as Political Quarterly and written pamphlets and chapters for a number of books.