Last updated - 10th January 2009
I became Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on its creation in June 2007, and see my primary role as helping ensure that DBERR fulfils the remit set for it by the Prime Minister - to be the voice for business in Government. I also chair both the Professional Skills for Government Programme Board of Government Skills and the National School of Government Board.
I spent my early civil service career in policy posts in DTI, UKRep Brussels and then, in the 90s, in the European Secretariat of the Cabinet Office (culminating in being the EU adviser to the Prime Minister between 1994 and 1998). My first Permanent Secretary post was at the Cabinet Office (1999), and, since then, I have held that position at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (2000/01), DEFRA (2001/05) and DTI (2005/07).
Before I joined the civil service I did a PhD in Physics.
It was a huge privilege being asked, in effect, to create a new Department - which is what happened when, immediately after the 2001 Election, the Prime Minister brought together the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, parts of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions and a few staff from the Home Office to create DEFRA.
My aim in the period ahead is to ensure that DBERR is seen to be an effective voice for business in Government - creating the conditions for business success.