The Home Office has appointed Tricia Hayes as its new second permanent secretary. She replaces Shona Dunn, who moved to the Department of Health and Social Care earlier this year.
Hayes is being tasked with overseeing the “transformation of the department’s capabilities, with a core focus on instilling operational delivery excellence”, the Home Office said.
Hayes joined the Home Office last year from the Department for Transport, where she has spent most of her career in government, latterly as director general for roads, places and environment.
Her promotion to second perm sec at the Home Office comes barely more than two months since she was appointed director general of the public safety group.
Home secretary Priti Patel said Hayes had “made an incredible impact” since joining the department, including leading on public-safety and work on police enforcement measures during lockdown.
“I look forward to her taking up her new role and using her wealth of experience to transform operational delivery across the whole department,” she said.
Home Office perm sec Matthew Rycroft said he knew everyone at the department would be delighted to hear Hayes had been promoted to the No.2 role.
“I would also like to thank her for all her hard work leading the public safety group which has made such a difference during a challenging time for policing during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Hayes said she was “honoured” to become second perm sec at Marsham Street.
“Since I joined the Home Office last year I’ve been inspired every day by the people who work here,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to working across our huge agenda to make sure we are delivering our absolute best for the public we serve.”
Hayes’ predecessor Shona Dunn left the Home Office to become second perm sec at DHSC in March. Dunn was acting perm sec at the Home Office after Sir Philip Rutnam’s high-profile resignation in February last year, which prompted the harassment probe that found Patel had “inadvertently” bullied staff in her department. Rycroft was appointed as the department’s perm sec in March 2020.
Hayes joinned DfT in 1987 and has spent most of her civil service career there, aside from a three-year loan to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to run the transport desk at the British Embassy in Washington DC and two years at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. From 2013 to 2016 she was the UK’s director of aviation, responsible for all aspects of domestic and international aviation policy, including aviation security.
Hayes moved to the Home Office in February last year and was originally director general of the crime, policing and fire group.