DCMS perm sec Sue Owen among Whitehall recipients in Queen’s birthday honours

Read the full list of civil servants honoured

Credit: Louise Haywood-Schiefer

By Richard Johnstone

11 Jun 2018

Sue Owen, the permanent secretary at the Department for Digital, Media and Sport has been made a dame in the Queen’s birthday honours, while other senior figures recognised include government finance profession chief Mike Driver and Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee chair Bernard Jenkin.

The honours, which were announced yesterday, recognise a total of 1,057 people.

Owen, who as well as being the top official at DCMS is also the civil service champion for diversity and inclusion, is recognised for public service.

She was congratulated on her damehood by culture secretary Matt Hancock, who said that she provided “first rate leadership of our cultural and digital life” as the department’s permanent secretary and was “a joy to work with”.


Huge congratulations to Dame Sue Owen, recognised for a life dedicated to public service, and first rate leadership of our cultural and digital life as Permanent Secretary at @DCMS. And a joy to work with!

— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 9, 2018


Driver, who is the chief financial officer at the Ministry of Justice as well as being the head of the government finance profession, is named a companion of the Order of Bath. Although this order confers no title, it allows recipients to use of the letters CB after their name and is the highest-ranking order of chivalry whose membership comes on the advice of the government.

Driver is recognised for his public services, and is one of eight recipients of the order from public services. Others include Lucy Chadwick, latterly the director general of international security and environment at the Department for Transport, and Matthew Coffey, the chief operating officer at Ofsted.

Karen Gosden, a Universal Credit area director for the Department for Work and Pensions, receives the honour for her work on welfare reform, while Lowri Khan, the director of financial stability in the Treasury is recognised for public service. Professor John Loughhead, the chief scientific adviser for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy receives the honour for services to research and development in the energy sector, while two civil servants focused on legislative issues are also recognised.

George Gray, who was recently head of the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Northern Ireland, and Hayley Rogers, the parliamentary counsel, are both made companion of the Order of Bath.

Jenkin, who has been chair of PACAC and its successor committees since 2010 scrutinising how the civil service works, is knighted for political and public service.

Former Serious Fraud Office director David Green is also knighted for services to the criminal justice system. While David Anderson QC, who acted as the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation from 2011 to 2017, is knighted for services to national security and civil liberties. A knighthood is also awarded to James Raymond, who as first Treasury counsel acts for the government in litigation.


Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, known as CBEs, have been awarded to a number of civil servants, including David Havelock, most recently director of the credit risk group at the UK Export Finance arm of the Department for International Trade, for services to the economy, and Nicholas Houghton, the deputy director of international tax policy and structure at HM Revenue and Customs.

Timothy Read, the Universal Credit delivery manager within the business transformation group at DWP receives a CBE for services to welfare reform, while Richard Riley, a director at the Home Office, is recognised for services to national security. Jayne Ripley from the Ministry of Defence is recognised for services to defence, while Mark Russell, the chief executive of UK Government Investment is recognised for services to business and the economy.

Jan Thirlaway, the transformation and planning lead at DWP receives a CBE for pensions operations.


Officers of the Order of the British Empire, known as OBEs, are awarded to MoD civil servants James Allan and Dr Michael Baker as well as Paul Caseley, a senior fellow in cyber and information systems at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, who also receives the award for services to defence.

Paula Assheton, the head of operational assurance at Border Force, the Home Office, is recognised for services to border security, while Larissa Chase, the deputy head of information communication and technology at 10 Downing Street receives an OBE for public service.

An OBE is also given to Patricia Fernon, the deputy head of commercial for land equipment at the Ministry of Defence, for her services to defence procurement, while Thomas Gardiner, an assistant director at HMRC, receives an award for both his services to revenue protection and to youth sport.

Stephen Hall, the head of rural statistics at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, receives an OBE for his voluntary and charitable service, while Keith Jarret, a devolution spending control analyst at the Treasury, is recognised for his work on devolution and the public finances.

Jeremy Lee, lately deputy director of Border Force in the Home Office, receives an OBE for services to Border Security, while Rowena Limb, an area director for the East and South East Midlands for the cross-government Cities and Local Growth Unit is recognised for her services to the economy.

Marlize Palmer, a departmental records officer at the Welsh Government is recognised for services to information management, while Cathleen Reeves, a deputy director for road user licensing insurance and safety at the Department for Transport is recognised for services to local sustainable transport.

Professor Carol Tannahill, director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and chief social policy adviser to the Scottish Government, becomes an OBE for services to public health, while Catherine Webster, the deputy head of the devolution settlements division of the Cabinet Office, is recognised for services to the constitution.

Katherine Yates, an administrative officer for personal tax at HMRC, receives the award for services to vulnerable customers.


  • Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBs) are awarded to a number of civil servants. The full list is:
  • Peter Agnew, senior executive officer, Ministry of Defence (for public service)
  • Gillian Barclay, head, Dementia Innovation Team, Scottish Government (services to dementia care and public safety)
  • Christopher Batten, latterly HR casework legacy manager, Department for Transport (for services to public administration)
  • Hannah Bingham, administrative Officer, Ministry of Defence (for services to defence)
  • Deborah Blanchard-Tobin, higher executive officer, work coach manager, DWP.(for services to Welfare and voluntary service in Merseyside)
  • Rachelle Freeguard, higher officer, Border Force, Gatwick Airport (for services to the Prevention of Trafficking and Border Security)
  • Gillian Garlington, senior commercial officer, vehicle support team, MoD (for services to military procurement)
  • Gary Hansman, estimates advisor, Treasury (for public and voluntary service)
  • Deborah Hayman, assistant director, HMRC fraud investigation service (for services to raising awareness of women's health in the workplace)
  • David Kendrick, head of airline licensing, Civil Aviation Authority (for services to aviation)
  • Oswald Lattray, higher officer, HMRC (for services to diversity and equality)
  • Gareth Ledbetter, lately head of screening and research team, Home Office (for services to border security)
  • Zoe Murphy, Border Force officer, Heathrow Airport (for services to border security and humanitarian operations)
  • Gargi Patel, immigration officer, immigration enforcement, Home Office (for services to community engagement and immigration)
  • Nigel Porter, senior executive officer, MoD (for services to Defence)
  • Mohammed Raj, senior executive officer, Home Office (for services to race equality and diversity and inclusion)
  • Mark Stirling, senior investigation officer, National Crime Agency (for services to law enforcement and the investigation of serious and organised crime)
  • Marie Sweeney, front line manager, HMRC (for services to the deaf and hard of hearing)
  • Maxine Walton, assistant director, EU Turkey Agreement liaison, Home Office (for services to border security)
  • Ann Wells. World War One commemorations officer, Scottish Government (for services to the history of World War One in Scotland)

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

  • Sharon, Davis, senior executive assistant, Health and Social Services Department, Welsh Government (for public service)
  • Kenneth McChlery, administrative assistant, Border Force (for public service and to the community in Glasgow)
  • Martin Perry, services officer, Intellectual Property Office (for services to intellectual property and to charity)

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