Permanent Secretary

Mark Lowcock


Mark Lowcock is Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development. He was appointed on 9 June 2011.

Mark began his career in DFID (formally the Overseas Development Administration) in 1985 and occupied the following roles:

  • Private Secretary to Baroness Chalker, Minister for Overseas Development from 1992 to 1994

  • Deputy Head and latterly Head of the DFID Regional Office for Central Africa (based in Harare) from 1994 to 1997

  • Head of European Union Department from 1997 to 1999, before returning to Africa as Head of the DFID Regional Office for East Africa (based in Nairobi)

  • Director, Finance and Corporate Performance, from 2001 to 2003 and Director General, Corporate Performance and Knowledge Sharing from 2003 to 2006

  • Director General, Policy and International from 2006 to 2008 and Director General, Country Programmes from 2008 to 2011

Mark is active on Twitter: @DFID_Mark

Permanent Secretary

The Permanent Secretary is the most senior Civil Servant in the department.

The Permanent Secretary is the accounting officer for the department, meaning that they are answerable to Parliament for how the department spends money, and chairs the Executive Management Committee, which provides strategic direction to the management of DFID’s operations, staff and financial resources.


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  1. Economic development: The good news from Ethiopia, and what might make it even better

    • 10 January 2014
    • Speech
  2. Modernising Development Finance: the future of Official Development Assistance (ODA)

    • 31 July 2013
    • Speech
  3. Mark Lowcock: How Britain is helping develop Africa’s infrastructure

    • 18 July 2013
    • Speech
  4. Mark Lowcock: A year on from the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan

    • 3 July 2013
    • Speech
  5. Development agencies and conflict: Good progress, but can do better

    • 17 June 2013
    • Speech
  6. Making mining work for development and how development agencies can help

    • 20 May 2013
    • Speech
  7. Economic growth - How to get some in a changing world

    • 19 February 2013
    • Speech
  8. Mark Lowcock: Prospects for Africa and the role of development assistance

    • 5 December 2012
    • Speech
  9. Mark Lowcock: The future of international development

    • 16 October 2012
    • Speech