Permanent Secretary

Martin Donnelly


Martin Donnelly is the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills. He was appointed in October 2010.

Martin has extensive economic and international experience, he:

  • joined the FCO Board in 2004 as Director General, Europe and Globalisation, where he was G8 foreign affairs sherpa
  • was the Deputy Head of the Cabinet Office European Secretariat, leading work on European economic reform for the government between 1998 and 2003
  • has been a member of the personal staff of Leon Brittan, then European Commission Vice President, and been on secondment to the French Finance Ministry

Martin has worked on policy across Whitehall. He was Policy Director of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at the Home Office and led the Treasury team controlling defence spending and managing European monetary issues. He also served as Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Permanent Secretary

The Permanent Secretary is the permanent head of the department

The role bears responsibility for overseeing the workings of the department, officials’ conduct and, as the accounting officer, the financial propriety of BIS.


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  1. The Positive Neutrality of Civil Servants

    • 16 October 2014
    • Speech