Penny Mordaunt was appointed Secretary of State for International Development on 9 November 2017. She was appointed Minister for Women and Equalities on 30 April 2018. She was Minister of State for Department for Work and Pensions from 15 July 2016 to 9 November 2017. She was elected Conservative MP for Portsmouth North in 2010.
She was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School and at Reading University where she read Philosophy.
Penny worked for Conservative Central Office, becoming Head of Broadcasting under William Hague. In 2000 she served as Head of Foreign Press for George W. Bush’s presidential election campaign.
In Parliament, Penny served on the European Scrutiny Committee, Defence Select Committee, and as chairman of the APPGs for Life Science and for Ageing and Older People. In autumn 2013 she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP. She served as Minister of State for the Armed Forces from May 2015 until July 2016.
Career outside politics
Penny worked as an aid worker in post-revolutionary Romania before and during university. She was director of communications at Kensington & Chelsea Council and the Freight Transport Association and was a director of Diabetes UK, the Community Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. In 2004 Penny founded a media company, which she sold in 2010.
Secretary of State for International Development
The Secretary of State leads the DFID ministerial team, sets the overall strategy and direction of the department.
- Cabinet and Cabinet Committees
- National Security Council
- All major spending decisions and overall delivery and management of 0.7%
- Africa strategy and overview
- Humanitarian response and reform
- Global Britain and European Union exit
- ODA reform
- UN reform
- World Bank, IMF and other IFIs
- Economic Development (including CDC, trade policy and private sector)
- Modern Slavery
Minister for Women and Equalities
The Minister for Women and Equalities has overall responsibility for:
- policy on women
- policy on sexual orientation and transgender equality
- cross-government equality strategy and legislation
Previous roles in government
- UK response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, DRC
- New UK aid package will improve the quality of education in every primary and lower secondary school in Tanzania
- UK launches largest tax partnership programme to help Ethiopia transition from aid
- Global Disability Summit 2018: Summary of Commitments
- 100% of UK employers publish gender pay gap data
- UK aid support for those at risk from drought in Afghanistan
- UK aid helps Welsh charity to train Ethiopian beekeepers
- UK aid helps end Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo - potentially preventing it “reaching our shores”
- Penny Mordaunt closing speech at the Global Disability Summit
- Global Disability Summit sparks 170 commitments to tackle stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities