Stephen Lovegrove appointed new permanent secretary of the UK’s Ministry of Defence

By on 09/03/2016 | Updated on 25/09/2020
Stephen Lovegrove takes over from Jon Thompson, who is taking up a new role at HMRC

UK energy and climate change permanent secretary Stephen Lovegrove has today been announced as the new civil servant leading the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

He will succeed Jon Thompson, who is taking up the post of chief executive of the UK tax authority HM Revenue and Customs.

Lovegrove has been in his current post of permanent secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) since February 2013.

The starting date for his new job will be confirmed shortly.

Prior to joining DECC, Lovegrove was chief executive of the Shareholder Executive and a director general at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills where he oversaw the development of strategies for the Royal Mail, the Met Office and Land Registry, and established the Green Investment Bank.

Before joining the civil service he was a managing director in the corporate finance department of Deutsche Bank where he worked for 11 years, and before that he was a strategy consultant. He also previously sat on the board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

He attends the National Security Council Officials meetings, is a member of the Civil Service Learning Board and a member of the Civil Service Management Board.

Lovegrove said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Ministry of Defence: keeping Britain safe and employing over 250,000 people all over the world in a hugely diverse variety of roles. I look forward to the getting to grips with its many different challenges, not least implementing last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

“It has been a great personal and professional privilege to lead DECC over the last three years, and it is a wrench to be leaving such a tremendous department and such expert and dedicated colleagues and friends.

“During my time here we have made lasting changes to transition to a low carbon energy system, and played a hugely influential role in the achievement of a global deal to combat climate change, and I am very proud to have been a part of that.

“Nevertheless, I am delighted to be given the opportunity to tackle new challenges at the Ministry of Defence with the excellent team there.”

Defence secretary Michael Fallon said: “I am delighted that Stephen Lovegrove is to be our new permanent secretary and bring his wealth of experience from DECC, the Shareholder Executive and the private sector.

“I look forward to working with him to implement the SDSR, to make defence more innovative, and to protect this country.”

Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd thanked Lovegrove “for the leadership he has shown in taking DECC forward in a new direction” and said that he has “played a crucial part in changing the department into one which is focused on putting consumers first, and making sure the country has secure, affordable and clean energy that our families and businesses can rely on now and in the future.”

Sir Jeremy Heywood, head of the civil service, said Lovegrove has “made a big contribution to the government’s energy and climate change agenda” and added that “his skills and experience leave him strongly placed to lead MoD’s vital and complex operations.”

The process to recruit Lovegrove’s replacement at DECC will start soon, with an acting permanent secretary likely to be appointed to cover the role in the short term.


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See also:

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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