FCDO to appoint new second perm sec

Role-holder will have different responsibilities to predecessor Tim Barrow
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Photo: Mark Phillips/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

10 Mar 2023

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will create a new second permanent under-secretary role, the department has announced.

The role will focus on delivering the government’s international development priorities and will report into FCDO permanent under-secretary Sir Philip Barton.

FCDO had a second perm sec, Sir Tim Barrow, until September, when he became National Security Adviser.

Whilst second perm sec, Barrow, who was also political director at FCDO, focused on strategic foreign policy advice and global engagement; and influencing partners on pressing global issues such as the Russia/Ukraine crisis.

The new second perm sec will not hold the political director job. The department recently recruited Christian Turner to that role.

Several other government departments – including the Cabinet Office, Home Office, Ministry of Defence,  HM Treasury and Department for Transport – already have more than one perm sec.

Recruitment for the new role will begin shortly, with the successful candidate expected to take up their post later this year, the FCDO said.

The FCDO is also currently recruiting a communications director, with applications closing today.

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