Wales politics

Diplomat to be new Welsh Government permanent secretary

Shan Morgan Image copyright Welsh Government

A diplomat representing the UK in Brussels is to be appointed Wales' top civil servant, ministers have said.

Shan Morgan, currently UK Deputy Permanent Representative at the EU, will take over from Permanent Secretary Sir Derek Jones.

Ms Morgan, previously British ambassador to Argentina and Paraguay, will start her new job early in 2017.

She said she was looking forward to the challenge of "promoting prosperity and opportunity for all in Wales".

"It has been a privilege to work for the Diplomatic Service in a variety of roles, and to play a part in developing the UK's relationship with the EU over the years," Ms Morgan said.

"Whilst I am sorry to leave so many good friends and colleagues in Brussels, I am very excited to be taking up the new role."

The recruitment process included a panel interview with the cabinet secretary and head of the UK civil service Sir Jeremy Heywood, and senior figures from inside and outside government.

The appointment was made by First Minister Carwyn Jones in agreement with Sir Jeremy.

Mr Jones said he was "delighted" to make the announcement.

"It is a pivotal role in delivering our ambitious programme on behalf of the people of Wales," he said.

"Getting the right leadership at the top of the civil service in Wales is critical, and I look forward to working closely with her on the long-term strategic agenda set out in Taking Wales Forward."

He added that Ms Morgan's experience in diplomacy and in Brussels would also be a "vital asset as we push to get the best possible deal for Wales during and after the UK's exit from the European Union".

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