Mary has had a distinguished 40-year career in local government, culminating in her serving as Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Greenwich for 14 years during a period of major regeneration and service transformation in the borough, which won Council of the Year in 2013. She joined the DCLG Board as a Non-Executive Director in October 2016 and continued in this role for the MHCLG Board from January 2018.
Mary carried out the Review of the Governance and Transparency of LEPs (often known as the Ney Review), which was published in October 2017. The recommendations were accepted by the department and are being implemented.
In February 2015, Mary became one of five government commissioners at Rotherham metropolitan borough council, who assumed decision-making powers and were tasked with improving the council’s performance and helping rebuild the trust of local residents. Mary became Lead Commissioner in 2017 and oversaw the full restoration of powers back to the Council in 2018.
Mary is a board trustee of two charities. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List, for services to local government.