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. She is also gender champion for the Civil Service and sits on the Civil Service Board and Senior Leadership Committee.

Melanie was Director General of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat (EDS) at the Cabinet Office from October 2011, responsible for overseeing the system of Cabinet decision-making.

Between 2006 and 2011 she was at HMRC, 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:

  • Head of the Department, responsible for its overall leadership and effective day-to-day running
  • Chief Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State and the ministerial team, supporting them to develop and achieve their priorities
  • Principal Accounting Officer, responsible and accountable to Parliament for the stewardship of the department’s budget and for ensuring value for money

The Permanent Secretary is a member of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Board, which advises and supervises on strategic clarity, commercial sense, talented people, management information and delivering results.

She also attends the Nominations and Governance and Audit, Risk and Assurance Committees.

Previous roles in government

  1. Director General, Economic and Domestic Secretariat

    • 2011 to 2015