Ian Watmore has resigned from his dual role at the Cabinet Office, where he is both permanent secretary and head of the Efficiency and Reform Group. He has run the ERG since June 2010, and took on the perm sec’s role in January. The Cabinet Office said that he has left to “focus on non-executive and spousal roles in charity, sports, academic and church activities.”
Melanie Dawes will take on Watmore’s role until a successor can be found. She is currently the director general of the Cabinet Office’s Economic and Domestic Secretariat, one of the three cabinet secretariats that support collective cabinet decision-making across government. Dawes joined the Cabinet Office in October 2011, after a five-year stint as director general for business tax in HMRC.
Meanwhile, Tim Kelsey has quit as the executive director of transparency and open data at the Cabinet Office. Kelsey – who previously designed NHS Choices, the health information service – is to move back to the NHS, where he is to be the national director for patients and information. News of his departure came just a day after the government announced plans to create an Open Data Institute (see news, p3).
Ministry of Justice permanent secretary Sir Suma Chakrabarti has been selected as the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a financial institution that helps countries in central Europe and Asia become open, market economies. He will hold the position until 2016.
Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission, is to stand down in July after six years in the part-time post. She is unable to continue in the role, having completed two terms of office. Her previous roles include chairing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the School Food Trust and an NHS Trust. It has not yet been announced what she’s doing next or who will replace her.