Permanent Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Melanie Dawes CB


Melanie Dawes took up her role as Permanent Secretary for DCLG on 1 March 2015. On this date she also became the Civil Service Gender Champion.

Before that Melanie was Director General of the Economic & Domestic Affairs Secretariat (EDS) at the Cabinet Office from October 2011.

Prior to this, Melanie was at HMRC for 5 years, including as one of the department’s Commissioners. She was Director General for Business Tax from November 2007, which involved responsibility for all the business taxes and duties as well as leadership of the department’s relationships with big business. From 2009, she also led the development of HMRC’s overall strategy as a department.

Before joining HMRC, Melanie spent 15 years at the Treasury, including as Europe Director from 2002 to 2006. She started her career as an economist and has worked on public spending, tax and tax credit policy, macroeconomics, monetary policy and the euro.

Permanent Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

The Permanent Secretary is responsible for the day-to-day running of the department, in particular its spending.

They also head the department’s leadership team and serve on the DCLG executive management board, which advises on and supervises:

  • strategic clarity - ensuring all the department’s activities are aligned and consistent
  • commercial sense - advising on the sign-off of large operational projects or programmes and ensuring there is sound financial management and risk management
  • talented people - ensuring the department has the capability to deliver and to plan to meet current and future needs
  • results focus - agreeing the operational business plan and keeping a check on the department’s sponsored bodies
  • management information - ensuring that clear, consistent, comparable performance information is used to drive improvements

Previous roles in government

  1. Director General, Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat

    • 2011 to 2015