Moira Wallace

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Moira Wallace OBE is a former British civil servant and the current Provost of Oriel College, Oxford.[1] Until October 2012 she was the first Permanent Secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, having moved from her role as Director General of the Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group the Home Office in November 2008.


Wallace was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 13 November 2008. Before that Wallace had undertaken 10 years in HM Treasury, including three years as Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson and John Major when each was Chancellor of the Exchequer. She was Economic Affairs Private Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1995 to 1997. She established and led the Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Unit from 1997 to 2002, and joined the Home Office in 2002. From 2002 to 2005 she ran the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, a joint venture between the three criminal justice departments. From 2005 she was Home Office Director General for Crime and Policing.[2]

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1997 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours in August 1997.

She announced her resignation from the DECC on 19 July 2012.[3] It was rumoured that her departure was prompted by the conflicting views of various politicians in charge of the DECC, especially over subsidies for renewable energy, and promoting the continued use of gas (most controversially from fracking).[citation needed] She was given a 'golden goodbye' of almost £500,000, thought to be the most ever paid to a civil servant to quit early.[4]

On 25 February 2013 it was announced that Wallace would be the first female Provost of Oriel College, Oxford University. She took up the post in September 2013.[5] In January 2016 there was criticism that there had been a lack of proper leadership over the handling of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign demanding the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, Oriel College's most important benefactor and supporter. It was reported that donors might withhold some £100m in anger at the suggestion that the College might give in to the campaign, and the chair of the Commons Select Committee on Education said that she should consider her position, as the College had allowed the issue to spiral out of control.[6] There have been calls from academics for her to resign.[7] It was also reported that the College might have to make staff redundant as a result of the loss of donor income.[8]


  1. ^ "Ms Moira Wallace OBE | Oriel College". Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  2. ^ This article contains OGL licensed text One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text published under the British Open Government Licence: "Moira Wallace Permanent Secretary". Department of Energy and Climate Change. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Energy department shaken by resignation of top civil servant". The Guardian. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Provost of Oriel College faces calls to quit over Cecil Rhodes statue fiasco". Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  5. ^ "New Provost announced". Oriel College. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ 'The Times', 2 February 2016
  8. ^ "Provost of Oriel College faces calls to quit over Cecil Rhodes statue fiasco". Retrieved 2016-03-19. 

Offices held[edit]

Government offices
New office Permanent Secretary of the Department
for Energy and Climate Change

Stephen Lovegrove
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Derek Morris
Provost of Oriel College, Oxford