Melanie Dawes has been appointed as the new Permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government, following Sir Bob Kerslake’s announcement of his retirement at the end of February.
Melanie, who is currently the Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, was chosen following an open competition.
Her appointment has been made by the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State, under the new arrangements announced by the Civil Service Commission in October.
These arrangements provide that for the most senior roles in the Civil Service, the Prime Minister will be given a choice of candidates assessed as appointable by an independent panel, chaired by the First Civil Service Commissioner.
Melanie will take up post on 1 March 2015. Sir Bob will take up the role of Chair for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in June 2015. (Further announcements on Sir Bob’s other future roles will follow shortly.)
The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said:
I would like to congratulate Melanie on her appointment to the Department for Communities and Local Government. With her strong track record in cross-government working and stakeholder engagement, as well as her extensive experience working at the centre of government, she will be an excellent leader of this department. I am very much looking forward to working with her in her new role. I also wish Bob all the very best in his retirement.
Commenting on her new role, Melanie said:
I am delighted to be joining the Department for Communities and Local Government as its Permanent Secretary. I look forward to working with the department’s staff, ministers and partners in local government and the business community to deliver on the challenges ahead.
The Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, said:
Melanie has a wealth of government experience and expertise which will be invaluable to the department. I have worked with her on many important issues in the past and look forward to doing so again.
I would like to thank Sir Bob for his excellent stewardship of the department over the last 4 years. He is a great reformer and has made a massive contribution to local government. On behalf of the department we wish him the very best for the future.
Melanie has been Director General of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat at the Cabinet Office since October 2011.
Before that she was at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for 5 years, 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.
Prior to 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.