Former DCMS perm sec takes on UK Debt Management Office role

Sue Owen’s appointment as non-exec chair of advisory board marks return to DMO after 16 years
Dame Sue Owen. Photograph: Louise Haywood-Schiefer for CSW

By Jim Dunton

06 May 2022

Former Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport permanent secretary Dame Sue Owen has been appointed as non-executive chair of the UK Debt Management Office’s advisory board.

Owen, who was the top civil servant at DCMS from 2013 to 2019, worked on fiscal policy and debt management policy at HM Treasury earlier in her career – including with the DMO, between 2002 and 2006.

She will be the first non-exec chair of the DMO, which is responsible for delivering the government’s debt management and cash management requirements, lending to local authorities, and managing some public-sector funds. 

Creating the role was a recommendation included in a Tailored Review of the DMO that was published in June last year. Owen's appoinntment is for three years.

Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen said Owen’s extensive leadership and governance experience would be a “great asset” for guiding the DMO’s board in the coming years.

“Dame Sue’s appointment will help support the DMO to continue delivering its critical objectives, including meeting the government’s financing requirements, to the highest standards,” he said.

DMO chief executive Sir Robert Stheeman said Owen’s public and private-sector experience made her “exceptionally well placed” to be a “key component” of the organisation’s governance requirements.

Owen is currently a specialist partner at the Flint-Global consultancy, which was founded by former Foreign and Commonwealth Office perm sec Sir Simon Fraser, and a non-executive director at Pool Re, Pantheon International, and Serco. She is also chair of governors at the Royal Ballet.

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