Steve McCarthy


Steve McCarthy was appointed Minister (Defence Materiel) at the British Embassy in Washington in September 2014. Jointly with the Defence Attachė, he is responsible for all aspects of the UK-US defence relationship.

In his previous role, from February 2011, he was Director International Security Policy in the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), responsible for UK international defence policy, including NATO, EU, UN and bilateral defence relations with nations in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Formerly Chief of Staff of the MOD Defence Equipment and Support organisation (DE&S), responsible for corporate governance, planning, performance management, communications and change, from 2008 –2010 he led the delivery of a major change programme which delivered over £250m of savings, and a reduction of 7,000 DE&S posts.

In 2007, Steve led the UK MOD contribution to the successful negotiation of a Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty with the US Government.

From July 2006 he became Joint Programme Manager for the programme to merge the DPA with the Defence Logistics Organisation and launch DE&S, bringing together of 29,000 people into a single organisation, having previously been Secretary DPA for four years, supporting the Agency Executive Board in developing and managing the Agency and promoting their external relations, including with Parliament and the media.

Steve previously served in the British Embassy in Washington from 1998 - 2002, when he was responsible for supporting US/UK defence equipment and defence industrial co-operation.

In his earlier career, Steve filled a range of other posts since joining the UK MOD in 1977, mostly relating to international affairs or acquisition policy. He has also worked in the Private Offices of the Defence Secretary and of the Chief of Defence Procurement.

Steve was born in Surrey is married to Dawn. His interests include military history, palaeontology, gardening and (watching) sport.

Previous roles in government

  • Minister Counsellor Defence, USA