DfID names Nick Dyer as interim replacement for perm sec Lowcock

Department's director general for policy and global programmes Nick Dyer will step up to top job


By Richard Johnstone

01 Jun 2017

Photo: The UN Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative

Nick Dyer, the current director general for policy and global programmes at the Department for International Development, has been confirmed as the ministry’s interim permanent secretary following the announcement of Mark Lowcock’s departure.

Dyer has been at DfID since 1998 and has held a number of positions including head of DfID Malawi and head of its European Union department.

He will take up the interim post once Lowcock leaves to be the UN’s under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, heading up its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a DfID spokesman confirmed to Civil Service World.


Lowcock's UN move was confirmed on 12 May, but the DfID spokesman was unable to say when Lowcock would leave the department, when Dyer would take on the acting responsibilities, or how long the acting promotion would last due to general election purdah rules. Further details of the process to replace Lowcock would be set out following the vote on 8 June, he said.

Lowcock is still shown as permanent secretary on the DfID website.

Dyer has held the role of DfID director general for policy and global programmes since November 2013, before which he was director of the department’s policy division from 2009 to 2013, and head of DfID Malawi from 2006 to 2009.

He served as head of DfID’s European Union Department from 2002 to 2006, which followed his initial role in the department as senior economic adviser for East Africa, based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Confirming his move, Lowcock said it has been “an enormous privilege” to lead DfID since 2011 and he that was looking forward to building on Stephen O’Brien’s legacy in “ensuring OCHA does the best it possibly can to relieve the suffering of people whose lives continue to be devastated by humanitarian crises across the world”.

Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood said he was delighted that Lowcock has been appointed to the UN post. “Mark has been an outstanding permanent secretary of DfID and a great colleague,” he said. “With humanitarian crises right now affecting so many parts of the world, Mark will bring long-standing practical expertise and British know-how to this important international position.”

International development secretary Priti Patel said she “wished Mark Lowcock every success in the future in his role as under-secretary-general for OCHA".

She added: “I would like to thank him for his long standing service to the civil service and his work to deliver DfID’s commitments to the poorest people in the world.”

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