Robert Devereux (civil servant)

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Sir Robert Devereux
Sir Robert Devereux KCB.jpg
Permanent Secretary for the Department for Transport
In office
Prime Minister Gordon Brown (until May 2010)
David Cameron (from May 2010)
Minister Douglas Alexander (until 2007)
Ruth Kelly (2007–2008)
Geoff Hoon (2008–2009)
The Lord Adonis (2009–2010)
Philip Hammond (from May 2010)
Preceded by Sir David Rowlands
Succeeded by Dame Lin Homer
Permanent Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions
Assumed office
Prime Minister David Cameron (until July 2016)
Theresa May (from July 2016)
Minister Iain Duncan Smith (until March 2016)
Stephen Crabb (until July 2016)
Damian Green (from July 2016)
Preceded by Sir Leigh Lewis
Personal details
Born Robert John Devereux
(1957-01-15) 15 January 1957 (age 60)

Sir Robert John Devereux, KCB (born 15 January 1957) is a senior British civil servant who has served as Permanent Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions since 2011.[1][2]


Devereux arms

He was educated at St John's College, Oxford between 1975 and 1978, before studying for a Master's at the University of Edinburgh.


Devereux joined the Civil Service in 1979 and until 1983 he worked in the Overseas Development Administration, before working at HM Treasury until 1994. He was with the Department of Social Security between 1996 and 2001. From 2007 to 2011 Devereux was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport. He became Permanent Secretary at the DWP on 1 January 2011. As of 2015, Devereux was paid a salary of between £180,000 and £184,999 by the department, making him one of the 328th most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[3]

In 2013 it was reported that Sir Jeremy Heywood informed the Prime Minister that he was concerned about the “concerted political briefing campaign” against Devereux over failures in the Government’s Universal Credit programme. He is understood to have made clear that he did not believe Devereux should be singled out for blame for the project and that responsibility also lay with Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary. He is also said to have pointed out that the public undermining of a permanent secretary was harming Civil Service morale and was unfair because, as a Government official, Sir Robert was unable to defend himself.[4]


KCB insignia

Devereux was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to transport and welfare and for voluntary service in Kilburn, London.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A & C Black (2011). "DEVEREUX, Robert John". Who's Who 2011. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Department for Work and Pensions (27 September 2010). "New Permanent Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions". Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 - GOV.UK". 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2016-03-13. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61450. p. N3. 30 December 2015.
  6. ^ "New Year's Honours 2016 list" (pdf). GOV.UK. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir David Rowlands
Permanent Secretary of the
Department for Transport

Succeeded by
Dame Lin Homer
Preceded by
Sir Leigh Lewis
Permanent Secretary of the
Department for Work and Pensions