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Civil Service

Sir Mark Sedwill

Sir Mark Sedwill was appointed Cabinet Secretary in 2018. He is also Head of the Civil Service and National Security Adviser.

Prior to this, Mark was the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office (2013-17), FCO Political Director (2012-13), NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan (2010-11), HM Ambassador to Afghanistan (2009-10) and Director of UKvisas (2006-8). He joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1989, serving in Egypt, Iraq, Cyprus and Pakistan.

Mark was educated at the University of St Andrews and the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and President of the Special Forces Club. He is married with one daughter.


As Cabinet Secretary, Mark is the Government’s most senior adviser on strategy, policy and implementation. He is Secretary to the Cabinet and the National Security Council, responsible to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the propriety and effectiveness of Cabinet governance. As Head of the UK Civil Service, he leads over 400,000 civil servants in HM Government and the Devolved Administrations, over 90% of whom are involved in the delivery of public services to the citizen.

Last chance to nominate for the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Awards

With a week to go before nominations close for this year's Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Awards, Mark Sedwill explains why the awards are so important and encourages civil servants to take part.