Top DfT official named Department for International Trade perm sec

Gareth Davies will take helm at Old Admiralty Building in the new year

By Jim Dunton

15 Dec 2022

Department for Transport second permanent secretary Gareth Davies is to leave his post to become permanent secretary at the Department for International Trade. 

Davies will be the permanent replacement for James Bowler, who became the top civil servant at the Treasury following Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s decision to sack Sir Tom Scholar in September. 

He became second perm sec at DfT in January this year, after a stint as director general for aviation, maritime, international and security.  

DIT said Davies will take the helm at the Old Admiralty Building, where the department is based, early in the new year. Chief trade negotiation adviser Crawford Falconer has been serving as interim perm sec at DIT since Bowler’s departure in October. 

International trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said Davies’ experience in both government and business – he spent more than a decade working in the private sector earlier in his career – will help the UK win more investment, boost exports and secure world-class trade deals. 

“He will also lead the department’s work with international partners to confront threats to the global market and show the UK as a beacon of free trade,” she said. 

Cabinet secretary Simon Case said Davies will join DIT “at a critical time for UK trade” and will bring “a wealth of experience from a variety of roles” to the department. 

Before joining DfT in 2019, Davies was a director general at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Earlier in his government career he led the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and worked in 10 Downing Street. 

Davies started his career at the PriceWaterhouseCoopers consultancy, where he worked across central and Eastern Europe. He subsequently worked for life-insurance firm AIA in Hong Kong. 

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