Friday 23 September 2005

New Permanent Secretaries announced

23 September 2005

The Prime Minister, with the agreement of the Deputy Prime Minister has approved the appointment of Peter Housden, currently Director General, Schools at the Department for Education and Skills, to be Permanent Secretary of the ODPM.

The Prime Minister has also, with the agreement of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, approved the appointment of Jonathan Phillips, currently Political Director of the Northern Ireland Office, to be Permanent Secretary of the Department.

Note for Editors

Peter Housden was born in 1950 and educated at Grove Comprehensive School, Market Drayton, Shropshire and at the University of Essex where he took a BA in Sociology. He is married with two children.

He spent the early part of his career as a secondary school teacher in Shropshire before making the transition into Local Government. Working with various local authorities he became Director of Education at Nottinghamshire County Council in 1991 with responsibility for 540 schools. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Council in 1994 and managed the Council through local government review and a subsequent wide-ranging programme of modernisation. In September 2000 he was seconded to the Audit Commission for six months to lead their work on the NHS National Plan.

In 2001, he was appointed as Director General, Schools at the DfES as a result of an external open competition with responsibility for raising standards in England’s 27,000 schools.

Jonathan Phillips was born in 1952 and educated at Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall, and St John’s College, Cambridge, where he took a BA and PhD in History. He is married with two sons.

He joined the Department of Trade and Industry in1977 and has also had substantial experience outside that Department. In 1982 he was seconded to the Confederation of British Industry. In 1986 he acted as secretary to the Neill Committee of Inquiry into Regulatory Arrangements at Lloyd’s. In 1989 he became head of the DTI’s International Telecommunications Policy Division, leading work on regulatory reform for that sector in the European Union, the International Telecommunication Union and elsewhere. From 1993-96 he headed the Executive Agencies Directorate of the Department for Transport.

From 1996-98 he was responsible for the DTI’s investigations and prosecutions functions, then becoming the Department’s Director of Finance and Resource Management. In 2000 he was promoted to Director General, Resources and Services with responsibility for the Department’s internal services.

In 2002, following a short secondment to BAE Systems plc, he joined Northern Ireland Office as Political Director, working closely with the Prime Minister and three Secretaries of State in the ongoing search for political agreement.


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