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Department for Work and Pensions

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About DWP



Senior management

This page contains biographies for DWP senior managers and the Departmental Board.

The Executive Team

The Executive Team is the Department’s principal corporate leadership and decision-making team. It is chaired by the Permanent Secretary and consists of Client Group Directors, Agency Chief Executives and the Corporate Directors.

Head of Department

Client Group Directors

Agencies Chief Executives

Corporate Directors

Contact the Executive Team

You can contact members of the Executive Team by writing to them via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA.

The Departmental Board

The role of the Departmental Board is to provide independent advice, support and challenge to the Permanent Secretary and the Executive Team. Members of the Departmental Board (including non-executives) are appointed by the Permanent Secretary. Executive members of the board are appointed to act in a corporate capacity.

* interim appointment

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Permanent Secretary

Leigh Lewis – Permanent Secretary

Leigh Lewis

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street,  London, SW1H 9NA

Responsibilities

The Permanent Secretary is the Head of the Department, responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of all aspects of the Department’s work in support of its Ministerially determined objectives and policies. The Permanent Secretary also carries the role of Principal Accounting Officer for the Department and is responsible for the propriety and regularity of the expenditure of the Department. The Permanent Secretary is also responsible for the leadership, management and staffing of the Department and for Departmental-wide procedures in financial and other matters.

The Head of Department has specific responsibility for:

The Departmental Board and Executive Team, support the Head of Department in discharging these accountabilities.

Biography

Having graduated in Hispanic studies from Liverpool University, Leigh Lewis joined the then Department of Employment as an Administrative Trainee in September 1973. Since then Leigh’s career has spanned the public and private sectors. He has been Principal Private Secretary to Lord Young, Minister without Portfolio and Secretary of State, in 1984 and in 1988 joined Cable and Wireless plc as group personnel director.  He was subsequently appointed Director of Finance at the Department of Employment and Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

In February 2003 Leigh Lewis was appointed to the Home Office as Permanent Secretary for Crime, Policing, Counter-Terrorism and Delivery. He was appointed to his present post in November 2005.

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Client Group Directors

Adam Sharples – Director General, Employment

Adam Sharples

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street,  London, SW1H 9NA

Role and Responsibilities

The Director General for Employment advises and supports Ministers and the Head of Department on employment policy, welfare to work programmes, skills, children and poverty. The Employment Group is also responsible for commissioning employment programmes such as the New Deal.

Biography

Adam has been the Director General for Work, Welfare and Equality since September 2004. Before joining DWP Adam was the International Director of the Inland Revenue for a year. He had previously worked in the Treasury for 15 years where his positions included Director of Public Spending, and Head of the Tax and Budget Team.

Sue Owen – Director General, Welfare and Wellbeing

Sue Owen

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Role and responsibilities

The Director General of Welfare and Wellbeing advises and supports Ministers and the Head of Department in the formulation of Government policy relating to benefit strategy and performance; health, work and wellbeing; disability rights and international issues.

Biography

Sue joined the Department in April 2009 as Director General of Welfare and Wellbeing. She was previously Director General for Corporate Performance at the Department for International Development. Sue has also served in the Number 10 Policy Unit, advising on family policy, and at the Treasury where she was Director in charge of EMU policy and national debt.

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Agency Chief Executives

Mel Groves – Acting Chief Executive, Jobcentre Plus

Mel Groves

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street,  London, SW1H 9NA

Responsibility

The Jobcentre Plus Chief Executive is responsible for the efficient delivery of an integrated and work-focused service. Helping unemployed and economically inactive people of working age compete effectively for work, while providing appropriate help and support for those unable to do so. Jobcentre Plus currently employs approximately 68,000 staff and it’s services are delivered through a national network of contact centres, Jobcentre Plus offices and benefit delivery centres. Jobcentre Plus has an annual operating budget of over £2.6 billion per annum.

Biography

Since November 2008 Mel has been Acting Chief Executive for Jobcentre Plus. Prior to that, Mel was the Chief Operating Officer for a number of years and the Director for Jobcentre Plus in the East Midlands following the merger of the Employment Service and the Benefits Agency in 2002. Previous posts have also included secondment to HMT and leading an organisational review of the structure of Jobcentre Plus in 2004. 

Mel has worked at all levels and in different parts of the public employment and training services.

Terry Moran – Chief Executive, Pension, Disability and Carers Service

Terry Moran, Chief Executive, Disability & Carers Service

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Roles and Responsibilities

The Pension, Disability and Carers Service Chief Executive is responsible for the secure and efficient delivery of pensions and benefits to approximately 15 million customers amounting to around £85 billion every year across Great Britain. The service employs around 16,500 staff located across the country in large contact and processing centres.

Biography

Terry was appointed the Chief Executive of The Pension, Disability and Carers Service on 1 April 2008. He had previously been the Acting Chief Executive of The Pension Service since 23 July 2007 and prior to that was the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service (June 2004 – June 2007).

He joined the Department in 1977 straight from school as a clerical assistant and spent his first 12 years working in local offices in Yorkshire and London. Terry’s career has included time as Head of Benefits Management, Yorkshire Area Director in the Benefits Agency and Jobcentre Plus Field Director for the North West.

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Corporate Directors

John Codling – Finance Director General

John Codling

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street,  London, SW1H 9NA

Role and Responsibilities

The Finance Director General is the Principal Finance Officer of the Department and Head of Profession for the Department’s finance staff. John has responsibility for planning, finance and performance management, procurement, estates provision, risk and assurance across the Department.

Biography

John joined the Benefits Agency as Finance Director in April 1998. He was subsequently appointed Finance Director for the Department for Social Security in May 2000 and was appointed to his current post following an external competition in December 2001.

A qualified Accountant and former member of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), John's career includes senior appointments in local government, a Regional Health Authority, and at the Funding Agency for Schools.

Sue Garrard – Director of Communications and Customer Champion

Sue Garrard

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street,  London, SW1H 9NA

Role and Responsibilities

The Director of Communications is responsible for ensuring a coherent communications strategy is developed and implemented for the Department and its Agencies, supporting the delivery of our main corporate objectives, helping customers navigate our services, and engaging with the media and external stakeholders. The role also extends to communication with staff in the Department and its agencies. The Director of Communications is Head of Profession for all the Department’s communications specialist staff.

The other part of the role is customer champion. This includes responsibility for the Department’s Customer Insight function, whose purpose is to provide deep insights into customers’ needs in order to help improve and inform policy making and delivery.

Biography

Sue started her career as a policy civil servant at the Department of Energy, where she worked on the privatisation of British Gas. She then worked at advertising agencies Young & Rubicam and subsequently at Abbott Mead Vickers where she ran major Government publicity campaigns, notably Road Safety.

Prior to joining DWP Sue spent five years at communications consultancy Fishburn Hedges. There she delivered the public information campaign to launch London’s Congestion Charge and established a public sector strategic consultancy unit.

Sue re-joined the Civil Service and was appointed to her current post in February 2007. 

Joe Harley – DWP IT Director General and Chief Information Officer

Joe Harley - DWP IT Director General and Chief Information Officer

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Role and Responsibilities

The Information Technology Director General is the Department’s Chief Information Officer with responsibility for ensuring the delivery of the Department’s modernisation programme through the procurement of effective, reliable and value for money information systems and services. The Chief Information Officer is also Head of Profession for programme and project management and for information systems.

Biography

Joe is the Director General of Corporate IT and the Department’s CIO. He was appointed in July 2004.

Previously, Joe was global CIO for ICI Paints based in London. He joined ICI in 2000 and was responsible for all aspects of IT across the 50 countries in which they operate.

Prior to joining ICI he was global IT Vice President for British Petroleum plc (BP), responsible for their worldwide Applications and Consultancy organisation.

Richard Heaton – Solicitor and Director General, The Legal Group

Richard Heaton

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Role and Responsibilities

Richard Heaton is DWP’s senior lawyer, heading the Legal Group. The Group provides a number of professional enabling services including the departmental security, business continuity and departmental records functions; and teams dealing with freedom of information and data protection, relations with the devolved administrations, and departmental governance. The Group also gives expert advice and guidance to decision-makers in the department’s delivery businesses.

Legal Group also includes DWP Legal Services, the department’s in-house lawyers – helping to turn policy into law, representing the department in court, prosecuting benefit fraud, and giving legal advice in many different areas.

Richard is also DWP’s Senior Information Risk Owner. In this role he is responsible for championing information security, and for providing assurance to the Permanent Secretary that information risks are being properly managed throughout the department. 

Biography

Richard Heaton is Solicitor both to DWP and to the Department of Health.
Richard is a barrister and has been a government lawyer since 1991, in a number of departments. He joined DWP in January 2007.

Chris Last – Group Human Resources Director General

Chris Last

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Role and Responsibilities

The Human Resources Director General is Head of Profession for the Department’s HR staff. He is responsible for delivering a coherent HR service to the Department’s employees and management.

Biography

Chris Last joined the Ford Motor Company in 1979 as a graduate trainee in Human Resources and rose to become HR Director for Ford Motor Company operations in Europe. Chris is a board trustee for the Careers Development Organisation. Chris took over as the Department's HR Director General on 2 January 2008.

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Non-Executive Directors

John Cross  - Non-executive Director

John Cross

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Biography

John's career spans some 35 years in the Oil and Technology industries, covering a wide variety of roles. Initially with Shell, in 1994, John became Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of BP. John subsequently set up a NASDAQ quoted internet advisory firm in the USA and is now serving on the Boards of a Boston high technology company and on a UK venture capital company. John joined the Department for Work and Pensions as a Non-Executive Director in May 2002.

Adrian Fawcett - Chief Executive, General Healthcare Group

Adrian Fawcett

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Biography

Adrian Fawcett is Chief Executive of General Healthcare Group (GHG) the UK’s largest private hospital and healthcare group. Previously Adrian has had a number of roles in the brewing and pub industry including: Chief Operating Officer for Punch Taverns Plc, Corporate Vice President of  Belgian brewer Interbrew and Group Managing Director of Bass Brewers Operating Companies. General management experience was gained at Mars and Ford. Adrian joined the Department for Work and Pensions as a Non-Executive Board member in 2006.

Mike Sommers - Non-executive director of the Departmental Board

Michael Sommers

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Biography

A career marketing man, Mike began work with J. Walter Thompson before moving over to the client side. He headed up the marketing operations successively for Best Foods, Woolworths, and TSB Bank. He was the founding managing director of Entertainment (UK) and MGM Cinemas before setting up his own marketing consultancy in the mid 1990’s. He has since worked with a wide range of companies in a wide range of markets including Sainsbury’s, Royal & Sun Alliance and Prudential and since 2003 has been a non-executive director of The Ordnance Survey. In May 2002, Mike joined the Department for Work and Pensions as a Non-Executive Director.

Helen Stevenson Non-Executive Director of the DWP Departmental Board

Helen Stevenson

Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Biography

Helen is Chief Marketing Officer at Yell Group UK and was previously Director of Group Marketing at Lloyds TSB. Prior to banking, Helen spent 19 years working for Mars Inc in a variety of roles including UK Marketing Director for Mars Confectionery UK and from 2001, European Marketing Director.

Helen was appointed to the DWP Departmental Board in January 2007.