Lord Richard Wilson

Former Chairman at Policy Leaders Fellowship

Former Cabinet Secretary; Former Master, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Former Chair of the CSaP Policy Leaders Fellowship

Richard Wilson was born in Glamorgan and educated at Radley (1956-60) and Clare College Cambridge (1961-65). He was called to the Bar but, rather than practice, entered the Civil Service as an assistant principal in the Board of Trade in 1966.

He subsequently served in a number of departments including 12 years in the Department of Energy where his responsibilities included nuclear power policy, the privatisation of Britoil, personnel and finance. He headed the Economic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office under Mrs Thatcher from 1987-90 and after two years in the Treasury was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Environment in 1992. He became Permanent Under Secretary of the Home Office in 1994 and Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service in January 1998. On his retirement in September 2002 he became Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, stepping down in 2012.

He remains actively interested in the contribution of academic research to policy making, an interest which led him to take a leading role in the Cambridge University Government Policy Programme which preceded the foundation of CSaP.

  • In news articles

    How Should a Government Be? The New Levers of State Power

    Last month, the Centre for Science and Policy hosted an online event to celebrate the launch of How Should a Government Be? The New Levers of State Power, the new book by Professor Jaideep Prabhu - Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise at Cambridge Judge Business School, and an Associate Fellow of CSaP.

  • In news articles

    Humanities at the heart of government: What does policy making stand to gain?

    This discussion covered the role of the humanities in shaping public policy from the view of a civil servant, the toxic and complex issue of the free movement of workers, and the humanities and policy making in a hyperconnected world.