The Prime Minister, with the agreement of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and in consultation with the Deputy Prime Minister, has approved the appointment of Sir Jonathan Stephens as the Permanent Secretary for the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). Sir Jonathan will replace Julian King, Director General Northern Ireland Office, who is taking up the post of Director General Economic and Consular at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office later in June.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers said:
I welcome this appointment at Permanent Secretary level, a change which reflects the importance the Prime Minister and I attach to the work the government is doing to support the Northern Ireland Executive and to help build a peaceful, stable and prosperous Northern Ireland. I look forward to working closely with Jonathan as we take that work forward.
Sir Jonathan Stephens said:
I am delighted to return to the NIO. I look forward to working closely with the Secretary of State and NIO colleagues. Much has changed in the 14 years since I left. But continuing to help the people of Northern Ireland and their leaders make progress remains as vital as ever.
Notes to editors
Sir Jonathan Stephens has 7 years experience as a Permanent Secretary, most recently leading the successful delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Over a civil service career spanning 30 years, Sir Jonathan has gained experience in both frontline departments and the centre of government, particularly the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. He has 15 years experience in handling the complex and sensitive issues of Northern Ireland in 2 previous periods in senior roles in the Northern Ireland Office.