Treasury’s top economic adviser to leave for OECD

Clare Lombardelli will become OECD chief economist in spring, after 18 years in the civil service
Clare Lombardelli. Photo: James Shaw

By Tevye Markson

13 Jan 2023

The Treasury’s chief economic adviser will leave her post to become chief economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This will mean further upheaval of the Treasury leadership after James Bowler replaced the ousted Sir Tom Scholar as permanent secretary and two second perm secs were appointed to replace Sir Charles Roxburgh in October.

Clare Lombardelli has worked in government since 2005, after starting her career as an economist at the Bank of England.

During this time, her positions have included principal private secretary to the chancellor and private secretary for economic affairs to the prime minister. She has also worked as a technical adviser for the International Monetary Fund.

“I have loved my time in the civil service and the Treasury – it has been a huge privilege to work with such talented, dedicated and supportive colleagues as we’ve tackled the UK’s biggest economic challenges,” Lombardelli said.

Lombardelli will step down from here director general role at the Treasury after the Spring Budget on 15 March and start her new role on 2 May.

Congratulating her on the appointment, chancellor Jeremy Hunt described Lombardelli as an ”exceptional civil servant”.

“Throughout her time in government she has always delivered clear and level-headed advice,” he said.

“It’s great to have a Brit in the role and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

As OECD chief economist, Lombardelli will work with OECD member countries, including the UK, and partners to confront difficult macroeconomic and structural challenges, leading on economic work.

Bowler, the Treasury’s permanent secretary, said he is “delighted” Lombardelli is being appointed to such a key international role.

“With her proven economic experience and leadership over almost 20 years in government, she fits the job very well,” he said.

“Clare has been an exceptional chief economic adviser and colleague at the Treasury, making a huge contribution under successive governments and I wish her all the best.”

Lombardelli will replace France’s Laurence Boone, who has held the post since 2018.

“I look forward to taking up my new role, leading the OECD’s economic work to improve policies to benefit people around the world,” Lombardelli said.

The Treasury said it will set out a recruitment process for Lombardelli’s replacement “shortly”.

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