Meet our people


Jonathan Slater

FED Council Member: Jonathan Slater was the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education from 2016-2020, serving Nicky Morgan, Justine Greening, Damian Hinds and Gavin Williamson.

His career started in operational research, before Jonathan moved into local government, first at Newham and then 10 years in Islington, where he ended up as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Education.

In 2001 Jonathan joined the civil service, working at first in the Office of Public Service Reform within the Cabinet Office, helping Tony Blair to develop his reform agenda. After a spell in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Jonathan moved to the Home Office, as Director of Performance and Improvement for Prisons and Probation.

Jonathan was subsequently appointed Chief Executive of the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, reporting jointly to the Home Secretary, Justice Secretary and Attorney General. He was then promoted to the new post of Director General for Transforming Justice, under first Jack Straw and then – after the 2010 election – Ken Clarke.

In 2011 Jonathan was asked to oversee the transformation of the Ministry of Defence (the ‘Levene review’). Following the completion of this work, Jonathan moved back to the Cabinet Office as Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in 2015, before his final promotion to DfE Permanent Secretary. Alongside this role Jonathan was the civil service LGBT+ champion and head of the policy profession.

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