April 25th 2018 |


John Manzoni

Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary Cabinet Office

John Manzoni became Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office in August 2015. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Civil Service in October 2014 and continues in this role also. He joined the Cabinet Office in February 2014 as Chief Executive of the Major Projects Authority.

John was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy Inc. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the private sector. In his 24 years at BP, he contributed to its global growth and held senior strategic and operational leadership roles at global, regional and local level. Between 2002 and 2007, he was Chief Executive, Refining and Marketing, spanning 6 different businesses across more than 100 countries and he was a member of the BP plc main board from 2003 to 2007.

Alex Aiken

Executive Director, Government Communications

Alex Aiken is the Executive Director for Government Communications. He was appointed in December 2012 and has been responsible for creating the Government Communications Service and developing cross-government campaigns.

Between 2000 and 2012 he was Director of Communications and Strategy for Westminster City Council, leading the policy, member services and communications teams. He served as part of the group that oversaw the implementation of the Tri-Borough Shared Services programme and established the Westco communications consultancy which works for public and private sector clients around the UK.

He has been National Secretary of LGcommunications and Vice Chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association Council. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).

Before joining Westminster he worked in Parliament and for Conservative Central Office, leading the party’s Campaigns Unit and the Press Office. He has trained and advised politicians and officials in countries and states around the world in the practice of government and communications.

Alex was educated at the London School of Economics and Dame Alice Owen’s School.

He lives in Pimlico, London with his wife and children. In his spare time he is Chairman of an amateur football club, Westminster Wanderers FC and serves on the advisory Board for Hotel Future.

Alex Chisholm

Permanent Secretary, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Alex Chisholm became Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in September 2016. Prior to that he was Joint Permanent Secretary for BEIS.

He is also:

  • Trustee and Deputy Chair at the international charity Breadline Africa

Previous career highlights include:

  • Permanent Secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
  • Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • Chairperson and Commissioner of Ireland’s communications regulatory agency, ComReg
  • Chair of the Economic Regulators Network in Ireland
  • senior executive positions in the media, technology and e-commerce industries, with Pearson plc, Financial Times Group, eCountries Inc and Ecceleration Ltd

Kevin Cunnington

Director General, Government Digital Service

Kevin became the Director General of the Government Digital Service in August 2016.

Kevin has led a variety of large scale, and global, digital transformation programmes. He spent his early career in programming and IT consultancy. More recently he was the Global Head of Online for Vodafone Group and Business Transformation Group Director General at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Melanie Dawes CB

Permanent Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government

Melanie Dawes took up her role as Permanent Secretary for DCLG on 1 March 2015. She is also gender champion for the Civil Service and sits on the Civil Service Board and Senior Leadership Committee.

Melanie was Director General of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat (EDS) at the Cabinet Office from October 2011, responsible for overseeing the system of Cabinet decision-making.

Between 2006 and 2011 she was at HMRC, including as one of the department’s Commissioners. She was Director General for Business Tax from November 2007, which involved responsibility for all the business taxes and duties as well as leadership of the department’s relationships with big business. From 2009, she also led the development of HMRC’s overall strategy as a department.

Before joining HMRC, Melanie spent 15 years at the Treasury, including as Europe Director from 2002 to 2006. She started her career as an economist and has worked on public spending, tax and tax credit policy, macroeconomics, monetary policy and the euro.

Leslie Evans

Permanent Secretary, Scottish Government

Leslie Evans was appointed as Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government on July 1, 2015. In this role, Leslie is the principal policy adviser to the First Minister and Secretary to the Scottish Cabinet.

She is also the Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Government with personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of Government finance and for economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.

Leslie is the senior Civil Servant in Scotland and leads more than 5,000 civil servants working for the Scottish Government, supporting development, implementation and communication of government policies, in accordance with the Civil Service Code.

Leslie joined the Scottish Government in September 2000, having spent 20 years working for local authorities in Scotland (City of Edinburgh Council and Stirling Council) and England (London Borough of Greenwich and Sheffield City Council).

Her previous post within the Scottish Government was Director General Learning and Justice. Previous positions include Head of Local Government Constitution & Governance Division, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Head of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Director of Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.

Married with one son, Leslie was born in Northern Ireland and has lived in Scotland since 1985. She attended High Storrs School in Sheffield and studied Music at the University of Liverpool.

Crawford Falconer

Second Permanent Secretary and Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser

Crawford Falconer is Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser and Second Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade. He also heads the trade negotiation profession within the Civil Service.

Crawford has spent over 25 years working on trade policy and trade negotiations both inside and outside government. He has worked in a number of high-profile positions including as the New Zealand Chief Negotiator and Adviser. He most recently served as Professor of Global Value Chains and Trade at Lincoln University, New Zealand.

Crawford’s previous roles include:

  • Deputy Secretary (Vice Minister) in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • New Zealand Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Geneva
  • Chair of the WTO DOHA round negotiations on agriculture and cotton
  • Trade strategy coordinator and WTO senior official for the New Zealand Foreign and Trade Ministry
  • Leading trade projects at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on services and trade value added
  • Director of Multilateral trade in the New Zealand Trade Ministry
  • Fellow at the New Zealand Institute of Policy Studies

Crawford studied at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and the London School of Economics. In a personal capacity, he is a past Chair of the OECD Trade Committee, the WTO Subsidies Committee and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council National Committee. He has been a judge on over 15 international trade disputes brought before the WTO, including recently on long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute. Crawford has written several publications, including (with Sir Frank Holmes) “Open Regionalism, NAFTA, CER and a Pacific Basin Initiative”.

Crawford is a dual-national UK and New Zealand citizen.

Dr David Halpern

Chief Executive, Behavioural Insights Team

Dr Halpern’s 3-year appointment will take effect from October 2016. He has been What Works National Adviser since 2013 and is Chief Executive of Behavioural Insights Team.

He was the founding Director of the Institute for Government, and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Before entering government, Dr Halpern held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard.

He co-authored the MINDSPACE report and has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and wellbeing, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), and most recently a book about the team entitled Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference.

Richard Heaton

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice

Richard Heaton has been Permanent Secretary for MOJ since August 2015. Before that he was Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office (from August 2012).

Richard started his career as a barrister, and joined the Home Office as a legal adviser in 1991. He then worked in legal teams across government, focusing particularly on criminal law, the constitution, and human rights law.

His recent legal and non-legal posts have been:

  • Director of legal services at Department for Constitutional Affairs (now Ministry of Justice)
  • Head of law and governance at Department for Work and Pensions
  • Director General for pensions and ageing society, Department for Work and Pensions

He was also First Parliamentary Counsel from 2012 to 2015.

In April 2014 Richard became the Civil Service Race Champion.

Bernadette Kelly CB

Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport

Bernadette Kelly became Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport on 18 April 2017.

From September 2015 to April 2017, Bernadette Kelly was Director General, Rail Group in DfT. Prior to that she was a Director General at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) from April 2010.

Bernadette joined the Civil Service after graduating. She has spent most of her career working on public policy in relation to business and the economy. She has led work in government to reform the planning regime for major infrastructure; boost housing supply; establish the Competition and Markets Authority; strengthen utility regulation; reform corporate governance; and on industrial strategy and local growth and devolution.

In addition to DfT and BIS, Bernadette has worked in the Department for Communities and Local Government, HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit; as well as on secondment to ICI plc.

Bernadette was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2010.

Stephen Lovegrove

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence 

Stephen became Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in April 2016.

Prior to MOD he was Permanent Secretary for Department of Energy & Climate Change.

Stephen spent 9 years at the Shareholder Executive and was appointed Chief Executive in June 2007. Before that he spent 10 years at Deutsche Bank, where he was the head of the European media team working on a wide range of capital raisings, acquisitions and divestments in all the sub-sectors of the media industry. Before the City, Stephen spent 5 years as a strategic consultant.

Stephen also sat on the board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and is a trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation.

Sir Simon McDonald

Permanent Under Secretary, Head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Sir Simon McDonald is the Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Before taking up the role of PUS, Sir Simon served as the British Ambassador to Berlin from 2010 to 2015, the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser and Head of Foreign and Defence Policy in the Cabinet Office from 2007 to 2010. From 2003 to 2006 he was British Ambassador to Israel.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2014.

Rupert McNeil

Chief People Officer

Rupert McNeil was appointed Chief People Officer at the Cabinet Office in January 2016.

Rupert joined the Civil Service from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was the Group HR Director. He began his career at the Confederation of British Industry before becoming a partner in Deloitte and Arthur Anderson. Since then he has worked for Barclays Bank plc, first as Executive Management Director and then as the HR Director for Global, Retail and Commercial Banking, and at Aviva where he was HR Director and then HR Centre of Expertise Director.

Rupert attended secondary school in Aberdeen, and graduated in Politics and Philosophy from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. During his undergraduate degree he spent a semester as an intern at the US Senate. He attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 2010.

Tony Meggs

Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Projects Authority

Tony Meggs is the Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. He was previously the Chief Executive of the Major Projects Authority.

He is a senior executive with significant experience as a functional leader in the private sector and has led collaborations with several businesses and universities. Tony set up the BP project leadership programme that was the inspiration for the Major Projects Leadership Academy. He also co-chaired a major study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dame Shan Morgan

Permanent Secretary, Welsh Government

Shan’s early career focussed on employment and social affairs policy. After graduating in French from Kent University in 1977, she joined the Employment Department, working on youth and adult employment policy and on vocational education and training programmes in the Manpower Services Commission. Shan was seconded to the European Commission in Brussels (DG Employment & Social Affairs) from 1984 – 1987 to work on long term unemployment policy and local economic development (the LEDA programme). On return to the UK, she held a variety of posts in the Employment Department, dealing with labour market policy, including in the National Training Task Force and the Government Office for London. She was also Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary. From 1994-97 Shan was the UK Government delegate to the International Labour Organisation’s Governing Body.

In 1997, Shan was seconded to the British Embassy in Paris as Labour and Social Affairs Attaché, before taking up her first appointment to the UK Representation in Brussels as the Counsellor responsible for Social, Environmental and Regional affairs.

On return to London in 2006 after the UK Presidency of the EU, Shan transferred to the Diplomatic Service as Director European Union in the Foreign Office, responsible for negotiations on the Lisbon Treaty and management of the UK parliamentary process of ratification.

Shan was HM Ambassador to Argentina and Paraguay from 2008-2012. During this period she was appointed to the Foreign Office’s Board of Management, and was awarded the CMG. Shan returned to UKRep, Brussels, as Deputy Permanent Representative in July 2012, representing the UK on the Committee of Representatives of the Member States (Coreper I) in the Council. She was responsible for leading negotiations across a wide range of subject areas including climate change, environment, energy, fisheries, social affairs, health, transport, and other Single Market issues.

Shan took up post as Welsh Government Permanent Secretary in February 2017.

Sue Owen

Permanent Secretary, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Sue was appointed Permanent Secretary for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (formerly known as Department for Culture, Media and Sport) in September 2013. In July 2014 Sue became the Civil Service LGB&T (straight ally) Champion, and overall Diversity and Inclusion Champion in July 2015. She Chairs the Charity for Civil Servants. Career highlights include:

● Director General of Strategy, Department for Work and Pensions, 2011-2013

● Director General, Welfare and Wellbeing, Department for Work and Pensions, 2009-2011

● Director General for Corporate Performance, Department for International Development, 2006-2009

● Director, EMU Policy, Euro Preparations and Debt Management, HM Treasury, 2002-2005

● Counsellor Economic, British Embassy Washington, 1999-2002

● Adviser on family policy, Number 10 Policy Unit, 1998-99

● Assistant secretary EU Coordination & Strategy, HM Treasury, 1995-1998

● Economic adviser posts at HM Treasury (macro forecast, labour market, Germany), 1989-1995

● Research fellow then lecturer in economics, University College Cardiff, 1978-88

Gareth Rhys Williams

Government Chief Commercial Officer and Non – Executive Director, Crown Commercial Service

Gareth Rhys Williams was most recently Chief Executive Officer of PHS Group, a leading provider of outsourced workplace services in the UK. Gareth is an experienced CEO and Non-Executive Director, with a consistent record of reinvigorating and reinventing listed and private equity backed companies through creative growth strategies. He has a strong record of driving transformational change in large, complex and federated organisations.

Before joining PHS, Gareth was CEO of Charter International, the FTSE 250 engineering group, until its successful sale to Colfax Corporation in 2012. Prior to that, he was CEO of Capital Safety Group Ltd, since sold to KKR, and CEO of Vitec Group plc, the supplier of broadcast and photographic equipment and services

Philip Rutnam

Permanent Secretary, Home Office

Philip Rutnam joined the Home Office as Permanent Secretary in April 2017.

Prior to that Philip was the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport for 5 years.

In April 2015, Philip became the Civil Service Disability Champion.

Philip had previously been Director General, Business and Skills, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills where he was responsible for policy towards and industry and enterprise, including economic development across the regions and support for small business, and for further education policy including apprenticeships and the Skills Funding Agency.

Prior to BIS, Philip was at Ofcom where he helped to establish the organisation and then to lead its work on competition, economic regulation and use of the radio spectrum. He was a partner at Ofcom from 2003 and a member of the Ofcom Board from 2007 to 2009.

A former senior Treasury official, Philip Rutnam’s career also includes working in corporate finance at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, a period as Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary and responsibility for the Treasury’s interest in business and enterprise. He also previously represented the UK at the European Investment Bank.

He was educated at Cambridge and Harvard.

Matthew Rycroft

Permanent Secretary, Department for International Development

Matthew Rycroft CBE has been the Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Development since 22 January 2018.

Matthew was previously the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations from April 2015 to January 2018.

From March 2011, Matthew was the FCO’s Chief Operating Officer. In that role he oversaw the running of the FCO and its network of 270 posts around the world, including all the Human Resources, Finance, Estates, Security, Information Technology, Protocol, Procurement and Corporate Services. He deputised for the Permanent Under Secretary in his absence.

Matthew was born on 16 June 1968, and brought up in Southampton and Cambridge. He has a degree in maths and philosophy from Merton College, Oxford.

Matthew joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1989. After a few months at the UN in Geneva and then on the NATO desk in London, he spent four years in the British Embassy in Paris.

In 1995-96 Matthew was head of the political section of Eastern Adriatic Department in the FCO. In this role he was a member of the British delegation to the Dayton peace talks on Bosnia.

After two years in the FCO’s Policy Planning Staff covering European and trans-Atlantic issues and brief secondments to the US State Department and US Congress, Matthew joined the British Embassy in Washington, following US domestic politics from 1998 to 2002.

From 2002 to 2004, Matthew was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, covering all foreign, European, Northern Ireland and defence issues in No10. He received a CBE for this work.

He was British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2005 and the FCO Europe Director from 2008.

Matthew is married to Alison. They have three daughters, born in 1998, 2000 and 2005. Matthew speaks French and Bosnian, plays the double bass, and enjoys soccer and other sports.

Philip Rycroft

Head of UK Governance Group and Permanent Secretary (Department for Exiting the European Union)

Philip Rycroft was appointed as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union in October 2017. As Permanent Secretary, he will have responsibility for supporting the department in the negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Before taking up this role, he was Second Permanent Secretary at DExEU.

Philip was appointed Second Permanent Secretary, Head of UK Governance Group in the Cabinet Office in June 2015, with responsibility for constitutional and devolution issues, and retains this role.

From 2012 to 2015 he was the Director General in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, supporting the Deputy Prime Minister across the full range of his policy interests. Prior to that, he was Corporate Affairs Director at Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) Ltd.

Previous roles have mainly been in government, including:

  • Director General, Innovation and Enterprise and Chief Executive of the Better Regulation Executive in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Director General, Education in the Scottish Government
  • Head of the Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department in the Scottish Executive.
  • Philip also spent time on secondment from government with Scottish & Newcastle plc and in the Cabinet of Vice-President Leon Brittan in the European Commission.

Alison Saunders

Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service

Alison Saunders is a barrister and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Early career: Alison joined the CPS as a barrister in 1986 - the year it was formed. She spent her early CPS career prosecuting in the CPS London south sector.

In 1991 she moved to the CPS Policy Directorate where she became an expert in issues involving child victims and witnesses.

Alison re-joined CPS London in 1997 and was promoted to Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor in 1999.

Chief Crown Prosecutor: In 2001, Alison became Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for Sussex, where she oversaw the prosecution of Roy Whiting for the abduction and murder of 8-year-old Sarah Payne.

She served as Deputy Legal Advisor to the Attorney General from 2003 before re-joining the CPS 2 years later to set up and head the Organised Crime Division.

In December 2009, Alison was appointed CCP for CPS London. While at CPS London, Alison was heavily involved in high profile cases such as the retrial in Stephen Lawrence’s murder case and the London disorder cases.

On 1 November 2013, Alison was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). She is the first DPP to be appointed from within the CPS.

Honours: In the 2013 New Year’s Honours, she was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) “for services to law and order, especially after the 2011 London riots”.

Antonia Romeo

Permanent Secretary, Department for International Trade

Antonia Romeo is Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade.

Previously, Antonia was Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York, and Director-General Economic and Commercial Affairs USA. In this role Antonia directed the trade, business and prosperity work of the UK Government across the United States, and led promotion of the UK’s economic profile, foreign policy, and national security priorities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut’s Fairfield County.

Antonia began her career in the private sector, at strategy consultancy firm Oliver Wyman. She joined the Civil Service in 2000 as an economist. 

Antonia holds an MA (PPE) from Oxford University, an MSc (Economics) from the London School of Economics, and an Advanced Management Programme diploma from Columbia Business School. She is a member of the British American Business International Advisory Board.

Peter Schofield

Permanent Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

Peter became the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions on 16 January 2018.

Previously he has worked:

  • as Director General for Finance at DWP from July 2016
  • as Director General for Housing and Planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government
  • as Director of the Enterprise and Growth Unit at HM Treasury
  • as a director in the Shareholder Executive
  • on secondment to 3i PLC
  • in a number of roles, including Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary, at HM Treasury

Jon Thompson

First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive, HM Revenue and Customs

Jon was appointed Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in April 2016 after more than three years as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

As Chief Executive, Jon is responsible for delivering the department’s strategy, including HMRC’s ambitious transformation programme, business objectives and customer service improvements.

Jon is HMRC’s Accounting Officer, accountable to Parliament for the department’s expenditure and performance.

He is also a Commissioner of Revenue and Customs, and a member of the HMRC Board.

A member of the Civil Service Board, Jon leads HMRC’s relationships with other government departments.

Jon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA).

He is married to Dawn, they have three sons and live in Cambridgeshire.

Tom Scholar

Permanent Secretary, Principal Accounting Officer 

Tom Scholar joined HM Treasury in 1992, rising to Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1997, serving Gordon Brown for four years until 2001. Following that posting, Scholar served as the British representative on the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, attached to the British Embassy in Washington as Minister for Economic Affairs for six years.

In March 2016 the government announced that Scholar would succeed Sir Nick Macpherson as Permanent Secretary to the Treasury in April 2016. 

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2017 Birthday Honours.