Julie Harrison named as new Northern Ireland Office perm sec

Secretary of state and cabinet secretary hail “wealth of experience and knowledge” Harrison brings to NIO from role in Northern Ireland Civil Service
Northern Ireland Office. Photo: Stephen Barnes/Northern Ireland News / Alamy Stoc

By Tim Gibson

08 Aug 2023

The new permanent secretary of the Northern Ireland Office is to be Julie Harrison, who moves from her current post as permanent secretary of the Department for Infrastructure in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Harrison replaces Madeleine Alessandri, who left the NIO in July to become chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee and head of the Joint Intelligence Unit.

Announcing the appointment, Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris MP described Harrison as an “outstanding civil servant” with a “passion for [Northern Ireland]” who will bring “a wealth of experience and knowledge to the post”.

Cabinet secretary Simon Case added: “I would like to congratulate Julie on her appointment. Julie brings a wealth of experience from her time in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and I look forward to working with [her].”

Harrison, who has also served as deputy secretary in the Department of Justice in the NI Civil Service, said: “I am looking forward to working with the secretary of state, the team in the NIO and a wide range of community, business and political voices to create solutions that enable Northern Ireland and the people who live here to prosper.”

She starts her role in September.

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