David Sterling

Part of: About the Executive Office

David Sterling took up his post as interim Head of the Civil Service on 3 July 2017.

Interim Head of Civil Service David Sterling
Interim Head of Civil Service David Sterling

Role and responsibilities of the Head of the Civil Service

David Sterling is Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) and leads around 23,500 civil servants. He is also Permanent Secretary of the Executive Office and Secretary to the Northern Ireland Executive. In these roles, he is the most senior adviser to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister.

As Head of the Civil Service David Sterling has primary leadership responsibility for creating, developing and sustaining the NICS as an organisation which serves the devolved administration, the institutions of government and the people of Northern Ireland through the provision of high quality, cost effective services.

David's main duties and responsibilities are:

  • Guiding the strategic direction of the NICS as an organisation
  • Overseeing delivery of the Executive’s Programme for Government
  • Representing NI at the highest level across the UK and abroad
  • Chair of the Permanent Secretary Group and the NICS Board
  • Secretary to the Executive
  • Principal policy adviser to the First Minister and deputy First Minister across the full range of government issues
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