Marks to succeed Leslie Evans as top civil servant

John Paul Marks

John Paul Marks has been appointed to the role of top civil servant at the Scottish Government, succeeding the controversial Leslie Evans.

Marks has been appointed Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government and will take up post on January 5, 2022, with Evans leaving the civil service as planned upon completion of her year term.

Marks joins the Scottish Government from the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) where he was Director General, Work and Health Services.

His other previous roles include Operations Director, Universal Credit Programme and Work Services Director at DWP, and Head of Corporate, International Relations at the UK Pensions Regulator.

The job was advertised by the Scottish Government in August, offering a salary of up between £162,500 and £180,000 a year for the right candidate.

This appointment has been made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with the agreement of the UK Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case.

As chief official policy adviser, the Permanent Secretary works closely with the First Minister across the full range of responsibilities, including major strategic and policy issues, and is Secretary to the Scottish Cabinet.

Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to agree the appointment of John Paul Marks as Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government.

“John Paul brings a wealth of experience to this senior leadership role from his career in the civil service working across a range of policy and delivery priorities.

“I look forward to working with him over the years ahead as we recover from COVID-19 and deliver on the government’s ambition to build a fairer, greener Scotland.”

UK Cabinet Secretary Simon Case said: “I would like to congratulate John Paul on his appointment.

“His experience at Senior Civil Service level in building teams, delivering complex system reforms, major projects and improving services at scale in the public sector will be invaluable in his new role.

“I very much look forward to working with him as part of the senior leadership of the UK Civil Service.”

Marks said: “I am delighted to take up the role of Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government.

“I am grateful to the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for this exciting opportunity.

“I would like to thank all the teams at the Department for Work & Pensions for their support and public service over the years.

“I look forward to joining the team in Scotland in the New Year as we do our very best for Scotland in these important years ahead.”

As the principal accountable officer for the Scottish Government, the Permanent Secretary is personally responsible to the Scottish Parliament for the exercise of their responsibilities.

This includes the management of the Scottish Government’s budget and the economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.