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Management Committee

The department’s Permanent Secretary (our most senior civil servant), a number of other senior civil servants and some non-executive members make up the management team to oversee the day to day running of the department and give corporate strategic leadership.

In the interests of transparency we regularly publish notes of meetings and details of expenses, hospitality etc (see below).


Peter UnwinPeter Unwin
Acting Permanent Secretary
Chair of Management Committee

The appointment of Bronwyn Hill as the new Permanent Secretary was announced on 3 March 2011 – she will take up her post on 28 March 2011.

Bill StowBill Stow
Director General
Chair of the Central Approvals Panel

Mike AndersonMike Anderson
Director General
Strategy and Evidence Group

Katrina WilliamsKatrina Williams
Director General
Food and Farming Group

Sonia PhippardSonia Phippard
Acting Director General
Environment and Rural Group

Robert WatsonProfessor Robert Watson
Chief Scientific Adviser

Non-executive members

Iain FergusonIain Ferguson
Iain Ferguson is the Chairman of Wilton Park (FCO Agency), a Non–Executive Director on the Boards of Balfour Beatty plc, Davis Service Group plc and Gregg’s plc, and a Member of the PWC (UK llp) Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Foresight Global Food and Farming project, the Better Regulation Strategy Group and the Honorary Vice-President of the British Nutrition Foundation. He was CEO of Tate & Lyle plc from May 2003 until the end of 2009 and had previously been with Unilever for 26 years. He is the lead non-executive for the Department.

Alexis ClevelandAlexis Cleveland
Alexis had a short academic career before joining the Department of Health and Social Security. She has worked in Departments across Whitehall and is currently the Director General for Transformational Government and Head of Cabinet Office Management at the Cabinet Office.

Bill GriffithsBill Griffiths
Bill Griffiths previously had a career in finance and general management in Unilever and later ICI and INEOS, he now has a portfolio career which includes being a Non-Executive Director of the Department for International Development, and Chair of its Audit and Finance Committee.


The Management Committee (formerly the Management Board) generally meets monthly, and summary notes are published:

Details of meetings prior to May 2010 are available on the National Archives website.

Business costs and hospitality

Business costs for the most senior civil servants (directors general and above) and non-executive directors of the management board and Agency Chief Executives in Defra are, from 1 April 2009, published and updated quarterly. The following is available:

The Government agreed to publish an annual list of hospitality received by members of departmental boards by calendar year. The first such list, including information for the main government departments for the period January to December 2007, was published in February 2009 on the Cabinet Office’s website. The register below covers the period from January 2008 to end March 2009. From 1 April 2009 onwards this information is published alongside the business costs information set out above.

Permanent Secretary’s meetings with external organisations

Details of the Permanent Secretary’s meetings with external organizations are now published on a quarterly basis, reflecting the civil service’s commitment to transparency.

Page last modified: 10 March 2011