Clare Moriarty

Permanent Secretary at Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Permanent Secretary, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
Policy Leaders Fellow Alum, Centre for Science and Policy

Clare Moriarty CB became Permanent Secretary of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs in 2015. Before that she was Director General of Rail, in which role she was responsible for all rail-related activities undertaken by the Department for Transport. Her main areas of responsibility were:

  • the government’s response to the recommendations proposed by Sir Roy McNulty and subsequent proposals for the reform of the rail industry
  • delivery of major rail investment projects, involving cross industry leadership
  • ensuring rail passenger franchises deliver customer benefits and that financial and other risks are effectively managed
  • sponsorship of Directly Operated Rail and the British Transport Police.

Her previous role (from 2009) was as Director General, Corporate Group; following the 2010 General Election she led the Spending Review negotiations and restructuring of the central Department, and between January and March 2012 was Acting Permanent Secretary.

Clare’s early career was in policy roles in the Department of Health and the NHS, including three years as Principal Private Secretary to both Conservative and Labour Secretaries of State for Health. She piloted NHS Foundation Trust policy from legislation to implementation and developed a network leadership role for Portsmouth & South East Hampshire health and social care community. From 2005 to 2008 she was Constitution Director at the Ministry of Justice, with responsibility for information rights, human rights, electoral policy and the constitutional settlement.

Clare is board champion for gender at DfT and supports the development of women leaders across the civil service. She became a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours 2016, for services to transport.

To read about Clare's experience as a Policy Leaders Fellow click here.

  • In news articles

    CSaP Annual Reception 2016: building bridges between science and policy

    Clare Moriarty, a CSaP Policy Leaders Fellow, described experiences throughout her career which had reinforced the value of strong communication between policy and research, before going on to explain why she had enjoyed the PLF programme as one of its first members.