Press release

New Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade

Antonia Romeo appointed as new Permanent Secretary at DIT.

Antonia Romeo has been appointed as the Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade (DIT), following the creation of the department to promote British trade across the world and lead, coordinate and deliver a new trade and investment policy for the UK.

Antonia is currently Her Majesty’s Consul General and Director General Economic and Commercial Affairs US, where she is responsible for the economic and trade relationship between the UK and North America. Previously she was Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office. Her appointment follows an open international competition. She will take up post on 27 March, based partly in the US until the summer.

This appointment has been made by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, and in agreement with the Secretary of State for International Trade, The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP.

To support the establishment of a world-class trade negotiation function and lead this new profession within the Civil Service, a new expert Second Permanent Secretary post will also be established in the Department for International Trade, reporting to the Permanent Secretary. The global search for an international trade negotiating expert to fill this post will open soon.

The Secretary of State The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP said:

Across the world my department continues to bang the drum for the UK as an attractive place to trade and do business with, and the Permanent Secretary has a vital role in leading the department to deliver the UK’s trade agenda at home and abroad.

We are harnessing the very best of homegrown and international talent and I’m delighted to welcome Antonia who brings with her extensive leadership and policy expertise that will help the UK to take advantage of the many global trading opportunities before us.

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said:

I would like to congratulate Antonia on her appointment to the Department for International Trade. Antonia has done an excellent job in a number of roles across government and will bring a strong blend of leadership and Whitehall skills at an exciting time for the department. I am very much looking forward to working with her.

Commenting on her new role, Antonia said:

It is a privilege to have been appointed to lead the department as we work to promote the UK as an outward-facing, free-trading global nation. International trade and investment are central to UK prosperity and growth as we exit the European Union. I look forward to working with the Secretary of State, Ministers and staff of the department as well as colleagues across Whitehall, on this challenging agenda.

Notes to editors

Antonia Romeo

Antonia Romeo is Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York, and Director-General Economic and Commercial Affairs USA.

As Director-General Economic and Commercial Affairs USA, Antonia directs the trade, business and prosperity work of the UK Government across the United States, including oversight of the North American operations of the Department for International Trade, the foreign commercial arm of the UK government. As Consul General, she is responsible for promoting the UK’s economic profile, foreign policy, and national security priorities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut’s Fairfield County. She is also the Government’s Special Envoy to the US technology companies.

Previously, Antonia was Director-General and Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, responsible for coordinating policy advice to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and for the operation of the Implementation Task Forces to deliver the Prime Minister’s top policy priorities.

Antonia began her career in the private sector, at strategy consultancy firm Oliver Wyman. She joined the Civil Service in 2000 as an economist. She has held many high-ranking posts in Her Majesty’s Government, including:

  • Director-General, Criminal Justice at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), responsible for all criminal justice policy and major programmes
  • Director-General, Transformation at MoJ, responsible for reform and savings programmes, strategy, digital services, communications, Group HR and Group estates
  • Executive Director, Enterprise and Reform at Cabinet Office, responsible for reforming the government’s governance and board model, working with businesses
  • Director (Policy) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Principal Private Secretary to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice at MoJ

Antonia holds an MA (PPE) from Oxford University, an MSc (Economics) from the London School of Economics, and an Advanced Management diploma from Columbia Business School. She is a member of the BritishAmerican Business International Advisory Board.