Treasury launches hunt for next chief economic adviser

Department offers up to £125k a year for Clare Lombardelli’s successor

By Jim Dunton

23 Jan 2023

HM Treasury has begun the recruitment process to find a successor for chief economic adviser Clare Lombardelli, who is set to leave the department to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Lombardelli is due to finish work at the Treasury on 15 March, after chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget. She will start at as chief economist at the OECD in early May.

The department’s campaign to find its next chief economist – which is a director general-level role – is offering £125,000 a year to the successful candidate: a cut on the £140,000-£145,000 salary bracket indicated for Lombardelli in the Treasury’s 2021-22 annual report and accounts.

The outgoing chief economist also earned bonuses of between £15,000 and £20,000 last year, according to the document.

Lombardelli’s departure follows a turbulent period for the Treasury, during which permanent secretary Sir Tom Scholar was sacked by short-lived PM Liz Truss and her even-shorter-lived chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng. The department also lost second-perm sec Charles Roxburgh.

In a foreword to the candidate pack for the recruitment process, new Treasury perm sec James Bowler said the director general for economics and chief economic adviser provides overall leadership of the department’s macroeconomic policy.

Bowler said the successful candidate will be responsible for “engaging and motivating two Treasury groups” – the economic group and the fiscal group – and supporting ministers to deliver their policy objectives, including sustainable economic growth.

“We are looking for someone with an outstanding track record in economic policy, and with excellent leadership, influencing and communication skills,” he said.

“They must have the credibility to act as the principal policy adviser to the chancellor and the prime minister on economic policy, to command the respect of the Treasury’s staff, and to influence senior leaders across the economic policy-making community.”

Bowler added that the successful candidate will also be expected to play a strong leadership and corporate role in the department as part of its executive management board.

The advertisement for the SCS pay band 3 role says the successful candidate can be based in either Westminster or at the Treasury’s Darlington Economic Campus.

Consultancy Gatenby Sanderson is handling the recruitment process. The deadline for applications is 11:55pm on 13 February.

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