Karen Wheeler CBE


Karen Wheeler CBE joined the Board of RWM as an Independent Non-Executive Director in September 2018 before being appointed as RWM CEO from 1 February 2020.

From July 2017 to July 2019, Karen established and led, as Director General, the cross-government Border Delivery Group, specifically to manage and deliver the work across government, private sector and industry, which would prepare for and ensure a functioning border, in preparation for EU exit.

Previous roles in government have included NHS England’s National Director for Transformation and Corporate Operations from 2014-17, responsible for NHSE corporate services, and for transforming NHSE into a higher performing commissioning organisation.

Between 2010 and 2014, Karen worked in the Department for Health, managing the work to implement radical NHS and Public Health reforms, and as Director General she led DH’s Informatics, Change and Operations Directorate.

Karen joined the Civil Service in 2003, to lead a number of major change and infrastructure projects in the Ministry of Justice, and then worked for a year in the Cabinet Office, launching cross government work to promote Digital services.

After graduating with a Physics degree from Durham, Karen worked for a number of years in management consultancy in the private sector, advising and helping organisations such as Guinness, British Steel, North West Water to manage and deliver major projects and programmes.

Previous roles in government

  • Deputy CEO and Major Capital Programmes Director
  • Chief Executive
  • Director General, Borders
  • Chief Operating Officer and Director General for Group Operations