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05 April 2011

HM Treasury appoints new head of the Government Finance Profession

HM Treasury has appointed Richard Douglas as Head of the Government Finance Profession. He will combine this post with his current role as Director General Policy, Strategy and Finance at the Department of Health. He will take up this post with immediate effect.

Richard Douglas will replace Jon Thompson, Director General Finance at the Ministry of Defence, who is stepping down after three years in the role.

Nick Macpherson, Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury, said:

"I am incredibly pleased that Richard Douglas is taking on this important role. The profession will benefit from his wealth of experience and expertise.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jon Thompson for his leadership of the profession over the last three years.”

Richard Douglas said:

“I am delighted to be taking on this role at such a pivotal time in central Government.”

Notes for Editors

1. Richard Douglas is the Director General responsible for Policy, Strategy and Finance in the Department of Health.  He is the longest standing Director General of Finance in central Government and has been a board member at the department since 2001.

2. He started his finance career with the National Audit Office (NAO) and this is his third post with the department following a secondment from the NAO between 1990 and 1992 and three years as Deputy Director of Finance from 1996.

Immediately prior to his return to the Department, he was Finance Director for National Savings & Investments.  From July until November 2010 he was the Department's Acting Permanent Secretary.  After a successful period of guiding the Department in the interim, a long-term successor was found, and in November 2010 he returned to take up his role as the Director General of Finance, with the added responsibility of leading on Policy & Strategy.

Richard Douglas is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a Companion of the Order of the Bath and a member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of York.  He is a graduate of Hull University and is married with three children and one grandchild. His interests include football, reading and walking on the North Moors.

3. He will take on this role alongside his current responsibilities. He will be supported at HM Treasury by Ken Beeton, Director of Financial Management Reporting and Nick Jackson, Head of Finance Professionalism.

4. Jon Thompson started in April 2008, following Dame Mary Keegan’s retirement. The decision to have a part-time Head of the Government Finance Profession followed the significant growth in the capacity and capability of the senior finance community in Government. 

5. The appointment of Richard Douglas was completed through a competitive process and continues to emphasise the confidence of HM Treasury in senior Finance Director’s across Government and the work they lead.

6. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Press office on 020 7270 5238

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on 020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to

This Press Release and other Treasury publications are available on the HM Treasury website

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Media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Press Office on 020 7270 5238.

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