Emily Miles

Group Director, Strategy at Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

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Group Director, Strategy, Defra
Policy Fellow Alum, Centre for Science and Policy

Emily Miles became Group Director, Strategy in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2015. In this role, Emily is responsible for the overarching strategy for Defra and its arm’s-length bodies, and is also the Senior Responsible Officer for Defra’s Data Programme.

Prior to this, she was Director, Projects, Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, where her role was to ensure that the most cutting-edge technology and disruptive thinking docks successfully into policy making, and to undertake cross-cutting policy projects. In this role, Emily led a Government-wide process preparing advice for an incoming Prime Minister on immigration policy, and input into the development of the Home Office’s extremism strategy. She also looked at local and national agencies’ efforts to reduce illegal working and exploitation of migrant labour.

Earlier in her career she was Director of Policing at the Home Office, where, along with being responsible for policy issues like Police and Crime Commissioners, public order, the future of police use of data, and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, she sponsored national bodies like HMIC, IPCC and the College of Policing, and led the work on the Home Office’s response to a number of high profile police integrity issues, including Plebgate, Hillsborough, and revelations about undercover policing.

Previous roles include:

  • Programme Director for the closedown of the National Policing Improvement Agency, and the establishment of the College of Policing (the first professional body for police in the world)
  • Leading the programme to clear the UK’s historic asylum casework backlog
  • Team leader of the health team in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit
  • Policy adviser on home affairs for Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the Downing Street Policy Directorate (responsible in particular for immigration, asylum, identity cards and criminal justice issues)
  • Private Secretary to Home Secretary David Blunkett, where she led support on international and European issues, drugs, organised crime and counter-terrorism.

She was a Winston Churchill Fellow in 2010-11, travelling to the USA, Canada and India. She published her research as an InsideOut report, Collaborative Working, for the Institute for Government, where she was a Whitehall Fellow in 2011. She holds a Masters in the international law of armed conflict and international criminal justice from Nottingham University (LLM with Distinction), and her first degree was at the University of Cambridge, in English.

  • 28 June 2018, 9am

    Expertise, trust and public policy

    Expertise, trust and public policy. The 2018 CSaP Annual Conference will be held at the Royal Society on 28 June.

  • 14 November 2017, 5:30pm

    Can you handle the truth? Facts, figures and communicating uncertainty

    Chaired and hosted by Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, guest speakers include: Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority; and Amanda Farnsworth, Head of Visual and Data Journalism, BBC News.