Department of Health comms director Sam Lister moving to Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Former Times health editor on the move to BIS

By Civil Service World

15 Mar 2016

The Department of Health's communications director Sam Lister is moving across Whitehall to lead comms at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Sam Lister – a former Times health editor – joined the DH in 2011 and has worked on campaigns including the UK response to the Ebola crisis, the Dementia Challenge, and the run-up to last year's general election, in which political rows over health service funding played a major role.

The department has announced that Lister will be joining BIS as group director of communications in the summer, a role Lister said he was "greatly looking forward to" after four "fantastic years" at the DH.

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"It is a great privilege to be joining the communications team at BIS and its wider network of organisations at such an important period for driving forward the government’s programme for the economy, job creation, EU reform and supporting innovation," he said. 

Alex Aiken – executive director of government communications at the Cabinet Office – welcomed the appointment, which comes after an open competition.

Aiken said: "The communications work of BIS is key to the government’s plans for this parliament, and I am very pleased that Sam is taking on this role, as well as continuing our vital wider work to enhance the government communications profession.

"His leadership and experience taking forward some of the most demanding communications in government over the last five years leaves him very strongly placed for these new challenges.”

Key BIS campaigns that Lister will now work on include promoting the government's drive to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020, as well as the roll-out of the higher national minimum wage.


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