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Change at the top for Defra officials

Defra is to have a new permanent secretary.

Clare Moriarty, currently director-general at the Rail Executive in the Department for Transport, will take up the post during the summer and replace Bronwyn Hill, above, left.

Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood said: “Her track record of leadership and delivering transformational change in the public sector make her an ideal choice for the role. I am very much looking forward to working with her.

“I would also like to thank Bronwyn for her dedicated public service over the past three decades. She has been an exemplary public servant and I wish her all the very best for the future.”

The environment secretary Liz Truss said Moriarty brought a wealth of experience in delivering major projects and leadership.

“I am looking forward to working with her on unleashing the potential of food and farming, nature and the countryside, on championing the environment and protecting us from natural threats and hazards,” she said.

Clare Moriarty Defra permanent secretary

Moriarty, left, said Defra had a big role to play on important issues.

“I welcome the chance to work with Liz Truss and her ministerial team on a fascinating agenda for the years ahead. I am looking forward to meeting colleagues in Defra and its partner bodies, and the many people and organisations that have an interest in the work of the department.

“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to build on the work that Bronwyn has taken forward at Defra, and wish her all the best for the future.”

Defra’s factfile on Moriarty

Clare is a qualified accountant and her career has encompassed leadership roles in complex policy and finance, corporate support functions and operational areas in a number of government departments including the Department of Health, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Transport.

She was appointed Director General for Rail in January 2013. In this industry-facing role she is responsible for delivery of the Government’s objectives in relation to rail, from developing strategy through franchise procurement and management to major infrastructure projects. She is responsible for the £3bn rail budget and leads commercial relationships with a wide range of private sector partners.

She has a long-standing interest in leadership, organisational development and change. She is board champion for gender at DfT and supports the development of women leaders across the Civil Service.

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