DCMS names former DG as new permanent secretary

Susannah Storey returns to the newly-refocused DCMS as its top civil servant after short stint at DSIT
New perm sec Susannah Storey. Photo: DCMS

By Tevye Markson

22 Jun 2023

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has appointed its first permanent secretary following its rebrand in February.

Susannah Storey, a former director general at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – as the department was known until February – will become the refocused department’s top civil servant.

Machinery of government changes in February, saw DCMS lose "digital" from its brief, reverting to its former title from 2017.

Storey, who was DG for digital and media, said she is “delighted” to return to the “outstanding” department as perm sec. 

She returns after a brief stint as DG for digital technologies and telecoms at the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology – one of three departments to split out from the former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy during the MOG changes.

Storey said the newly-refocused ministry has “really hit the ground running over the last few months” and she is “looking forward to working with the secretary of state and ministers to continue the important work of DCMS in driving growth and enriching lives in the UK”.

The reformed department has been temporarily run by Polly Payne and Ruth Hannant – job-share directors general for culture, sport and civil society – while it searched for a new perm sec following Sarah Healey’s departure in February.

Healey, who spent four years in the job, left to become perm sec at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as part of the departmental restructure.

Announcing Storey's appointment today, cabinet secretary Simon Case said: “DCMS has a critical role in driving growth and enriching the lives of people and communities up and down the country and Susannah’s wealth of experience from across the public and private sectors make her excellently suited to lead this department.”

Case also thanked Payne and Hannant “for their excellent leadership of the department over the last few months, including the delivery of the Coronation”.

Before her roles at DSIT and DCMS, Storey was a DG at the now-defunct Department for Exiting the European Union and also held a number of director roles at BEIS; its predecessor, the Department of Energy and Climate Change; and UK Government Investments.

Culture secretary Lucy Frazer said Storey’s “extensive knowledge, insight and experience” will help DCMS “press ahead with maximising the potential of our sectors, creating opportunities for young people across the UK, and upholding media freedom”.

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