Derek Jones has been selected for the role following the retirement of Dame Gill Morgan at the end of August.
The announcement was made today by the Head of the UK Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, with the agreement of the First Minister Carwyn Jones.
The First Minister, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, said:
“I am very pleased that Derek Jones has been appointed Permanent Secretary to the Welsh Government. Wales needs an effective civil service to support Ministers in delivering for the people of Wales. Derek will bring a huge range of skills and experience to this critical role and I am delighted that we will have someone of his calibre leading the organisation to deliver the Programme for Government and our ambitious legislative programme.”
Sir Bob Kerslake said:
“I am delighted that Derek Jones will be returning to the UK Civil Service. Derek brings with him a wealth of experience and I am very much looking forward to working with him.”
Lord Rowe-Beddoe said:
“Economic development is the top priority and Derek’s skills and experience make him ideally suited to lead the organisation at this crucial time.”
Commenting on his appointment, Derek Jones said:
“I am very proud to be taking over leadership of the Welsh Government Civil Service at this point in the devolution story. The organisation faces some major opportunities and challenges but I have every confidence that I will be leading a team that can rise to them. Jobs and the economy are the Welsh Government’s top priority and they will therefore be my top priority. My watchwords for the Civil Service will be excellence and delivery. People in Wales deserve no less.”
Both the First Minister and Sir Bob Kerslake paid tribute to Derek’s predecessor Gill Morgan and send their best wishes on her retirement.
The Prime Minister’s role in making senior Civil Service appointments in the devolved administrations has been delegated to the Head of the Civil Service.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that the only political input into senior Welsh civil service appointments should come from the First Minister.
The selection panel for this appointment was chaired by Sir David Normington, First Civil Service Commissioner & Commissioner for Public Appointments. Panel members were Sir Bob Kerslake, Professor Sir Adrian Webb, Lord David Rowe-Beddoe and Baroness Ilora Finlay.
Derek Jones CB
Derek Jones has been working with Cardiff University as the Director of Business & Strategic Partnerships since April 2008. His role was to identify opportunities for long-term partnerships within the business sector, in Wales and beyond; to share expertise and improve the commercialisation of the University’s knowledge and research. Working closely with the Welsh Government, this has built on Cardiff's strengths and delivered academic and commercial value to the University and economic benefit to Wales. During his tenure, he has been responsible for the signing of agreements with blue-chip commercial partners including Ford UK, GE Healthcare, Scottish & Southern Energy, Welsh Water and Mott MacDonald.
Additionally, he worked with the Wales Governance Centre to help develop the University’s strengths in areas associated with governance and devolution.
Outside the University, he is currently Chairman of the South East Wales Economic Forum; Chairman of the Membership Selection Panel of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water; a Board Member of the EADS Foundation Wales; and a member of the Advisory Board of the Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology & Science.
Derek has over 30 years’ experience in government, with his early civil service career spent mainly in Whitehall in a series of fast-stream appointments at the Treasury and the Department of Trade & Industry. He returned to Wales in 1989, joining the Welsh Office as Head of Industrial Policy; and subsequently Head of Finance Programmes, Director of the Industry & Training department, and Director of Economic Affairs. Following the creation of the National Assembly in 1999, as Senior Director, he has been a central figure in the operation of devolved government in Wales.
Derek is a Cardiff graduate having read Philosophy, with a particular interest in ethics and political theory. He is an Honorary Professor of the University. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2009 New Year’s honours list.
Dame Gill Morgan DBE
Dame Gill was appointed Permanent Secretary in May 2008.
Gill was instrumental in leading the Welsh Government through a period of significant downsizing while remaining focused on the Programme for Government.
Prior to becoming Permanent Secretary, Gill’s career was mainly been in healthcare, both in medicine and management. She worked as a doctor in hospitals, general practice and public health medicine working both as a consultant and as the Director of Public Health for Leicestershire. From 2000, Gill was the Chief Executive of the North & East Devon Health Authority and then from 2002 to 2008, Gill was the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation.