U.K./E.E.A. nationals: Director General (Environment, Rural and Marine)

U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Various, , GB


Bristol, London, York

About the job


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy.

With other parts of government we are now working hard to help kick start the recovery from coronavirus, and to ensure that economic recovery is spread fairly across the country, resilient and ‘green’. Recovering growth while protecting and enhancing the environment and decarbonising the economy is the challenge of the next decade.

Job description

The role of Director General Environment, Rural and Marine is a key policy leadership role responsible for delivering a large part of this ambitious agenda. The role spans thought leadership on the overhaul of our approach to environmental protection, the leadership of major delivery programmes and lead responsibility for the government response to major flooding incidents and other natural threats. You will have an unprecedented opportunity to make a contribution to issues that profoundly impact people’s lives, from the air we breathe to the water we drink.


You will maintain strong relationships with Defra’s arms-length bodies and other key delivery partners. You will be an expert convener of networks, across Whitehall and beyond, with the ability to galvanise groups to support Defra achieve its ambitious goals. The scope of the role is truly enormous with the opportunity to influence on a global stage.

Defra is strongly committed to being an organisation in which fairness, respect and equality of opportunity is central to our relationships with employees and to the communities we serve and we expect our senior leaders to role model inclusive leadership and undertake actions to support our inclusive and diverse workforce.

There is no better time to join Defra, as we work to deliver our strategic priorities to secure and restore our natural environment, support our food, farming and fisheries industries, foster rural communities, and protect against flooding, animal diseases, and other natural threats.

If you are a brilliant thinker and a confident leader, with strong values and a total commitment to diversity and inclusion and you are excited by this role, we invite you to apply.

Please view the candidate information pack for more information about the role and essential criteria.


Please view the candidate information pack.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application process by clicking on the “Apply” button and uploading the two documents outlined in the candidate information pack. This should be completed no later 23:55 on Monday 3 August 2020.

The expected timetable is as follows:

Closing Date: 23:55 on 3 August 2020
Short List Meeting: 13 August 2020
Assessments: w/c 24 August and 31 August 2020
Interviews: w/c 14 September 2020

The role of Director General, Environment, Rural and Marine has similarities with the Director General, Strategy and Change role currently being advertised under reference 60125. If you are interested in both roles, you will need to apply for each campaign individually. If you are shortlisted for both roles and as the selection process is the same, we will streamline the process so that you undergo a single set of assessments and one panel interview.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name : Sanjita Kalakheti
Email : [email protected]
Recruitment team :
Email : [email protected]


2020-07-11 DG Environment, Rural and Marine – Candidate information pack Opens in new window (pdf, 2350kB)




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