Wales politics

Derek Jones named Welsh government permanent secretary

Derek Jones
Image caption Derek Jones said jobs would be his top priority

A former Whitehall official is returning to the civil service as the Welsh government's permanent secretary.

Derek Jones has been appointed as the devolved administration's top civil servant after the retirement of Dame Gill Morgan in August.

Prof Jones, 59, leaves a senior job at Cardiff University to take up the post.

A former senior official at the Welsh assembly, he started his civil service career at the Treasury and Department of Trade and Industry.

His new job has a salary of £160,000. He starts work on 8 October.

He 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."

'Delivery'

Prof Jones added: "My watchwords for the civil service will be excellence and delivery. People in Wales deserve no less."

He was previously responsible for relations between Cardiff university and the private sector as the university's director of business and strategic partnerships.

He joined the Welsh Office in 1989 and following was a senior director at the National Assembly when it was created 10 years later.

With more than 30 years experience in government, the Welsh government described him as "a central figure in the operation of devolved government in Wales".

The appointment was announced by the head of the UK civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake, with the agreement of the First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The first minister said: "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 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."

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