Jim Gallagher (civil servant)

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For other people named Jim Gallagher, see Jim Gallagher (disambiguation).

James (Jim) D. Gallagher CB FRSE is a Scottish civil servant, professor and company director. He was Whitehall’s most senior civil servant concerned with devolution until he retired in June 2010, as Director-General for Devolution in the Cabinet Office the No 10 Policy Unit and Ministry of Justice.[1] He is now an academic heavily involved in the Scottish constitutional question, and a director in the commercial and charitable sectors.

Civil service[edit]

He was educated at St Aloysius College, Glasgow and then at Glasgow and Edinburgh universities and joined the Scottish Office in 1976 to work in the Home and Development departments as well as in several other posts. He was the Private Secretary to the Minister for Home Affairs in 1979-80, and to both Malcolm Rifkind and Ian Lang in their capacity as Secretary of State for Scotland from 1989 to 1991. From 1991 to 1996 he was a Director of the Scottish Prison Service.

He was appointed to the UK Cabinet Secretariat and then to the Prime Minister in 1999–2000 before being made Head of the Scottish Executive's Justice Department in September 2000.

Professor Gallagher was Director General for Devolution in the United Kingdom Government's Ministry of Justice,[2] from 2007 to 2010, and was responsible for devolution to Scotland and Wales.[3][4]

In 2008 he was appointed as Secretary of the Commission on Scottish Devolution established by the Scottish Parliament and the UK Government to discuss new proposals for reform of the constitution in Scotland and the powers of the Parliament and Scottish Government, including financial powers. It is commonly referred to as the Calman Commission. It published a final report "Serving Scotland Better" in June 2009, with recommendations to improve the fiscal accountability of the Scottish Parliament. The UK Coalition Government (2010-) announced its intention to legislate to implement those recommendations in its Coalition agreement in June 2010.


In 2005, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Government at Glasgow University. He has also been a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Public and Corporate Ethics at Glasgow Caledonian University. With other academics he founded the Scottish Policy Innovation Forum (www.scottishpolicyforum.org). Since 2010 he has been a research fellow in Nuffield College, Oxford. He is author of England and the Union, How and Why to Answer the West Lothian Question (IPPR 2012), and of Scotland's Choices, the Referendum and What Happens Afterwards, with Iain McLean and Guy Lodge, (Edinburgh University Press, 2013, second edition 2014).

He is a director of Reassure UK Ltd, and Admin Re UK Services, both ultimately owned by Swiss Re. He sits on the WIth Profits Committee of Royal London Insurance. He was also a non-executive director of Lothian and Borders Police, and is a Council Member of the Law Society of Scotland. SInce 2014 he has been a Director of the Scottish Catholic International AId Fund.

See also[edit]


  • Who's Who in Scotland 2006, Carrick Press
  • Scottish Executive