Permanent Secretary and Board member

Sarah Healey CB CVO


Sarah Healey was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) on 7 February 2023.

Prior to this, she was Permanent Secretary of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) from 2019 and before that worked in the Cabinet Office where she was the Director General overseeing the development and implementation of economic and domestic policy following two and a half years working on negotiations and preparations for the UK to leave the EU. Previously, Sarah was Director General in DCMS, where she led on integrating all digital responsibilities into the organisation, Director of Private Pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions and Director of Education Funding and of Strategy at the Department for Education.

Sarah joined the civil service in 2001 to work in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. She has degrees from Magdalen College, Oxford, and the LSE.

Permanent Secretary

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 Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Board, which advises and supervises on strategic clarity, commercial sense, talented people, management information and delivering results.

She also attends the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Board member

Civil Service Board

Previous roles in government

  • Permanent Secretary
  • Director General
  • Director General for Culture, Sport and Civil Society (Jobshare)