Tamara Finkelstein

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

Permanent Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Head, Government Policy Profession
Policy Leaders Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy
Member of CSaP Advisory Council

Tamara Finkelstein is Permanent Secretary at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, having previously led the department’s work on EU Exit Delivery. Before that she led the Building Safety Programme in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Much of her career has been at HM Treasury where she started as an economist, and her roles included private secretary and speechwriter to the Chancellor, and leading on public services expenditure (including health, education and housing). She has worked in a number of other government departments on policy and delivery in health and children’s services, including as Deputy Head of Sure Start, and as Director General for Community Care at the Department of Health and Social Care, with responsibility for social care and community services.

Her board experience includes roles on the boards of NS&I, the Debt Management Office and the UK Border Agency. She was Secretary to Lord Hutton’s Independent Public Service Pensions Commission.

She is head of the Government Policy Profession and senior sponsor of the Civil Service Jewish Network.