DCMS announces new permanent secretary

Sue Owen, currently director general of strategy at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has been appointed the new permanent secretary of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

By Winnie.Agbonlahor

04 Sep 2013


Owen (pictured above) will take up the post next month. Her appointment follows Jonathan Stephens’ departure in July.

She joined DWP in 2009 as director general of the welfare and wellbeing group, before assuming her most recent role in 2011.

Before her time at DWP Owen was director general for corporate performance and acting permanent secretary at the Department for International Development. She has also held various Treasury posts including director of operations, and deputy director of EU co-ordination and strategy.

She was seconded to the prime minister's policy unit for a year in 1998 to work as special adviser on work  and family life policy, and from 1999 to 2002 she worked in the British embassy in Washington DC as counsellor economic and head of economics section.

Owen was educated at the Lady Eleanor Holles school in Hampton, Middlesex, Cambridge University, where she obtained an MA in economics and Cardiff University where she graduated with an MSc in the same subject in 1977.

She said: “It is a great honour to be asked to lead DCMS. The department has a big and exciting agenda to help Britain’s arts, sport, media, creative and tourism industries contribute to economic growth and the quality of life, boosted by its responsibility for a society tolerant of diversity.

“I look forward to working with customers, industry and investors as well as the talented team at the department.”

Head of the civil service Sir Bob Kerslake said he believes Owen’s “vast experience” will provide “strong leadership” and secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Maria Miller MP, described Owen as having a “distinguished record of achievement across a wide range of areas”.

Owen’s appointment means the number of female senior official with perm sec grading is now six, compared to 33 male senior officials with the same grade.


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