New Permanent Secretary for Department of Education

Date published: 17 February 2021

The Department of Education has announced that Mark Browne is to be the new Permanent Secretary.

Mark Browne has 36 years’ experience in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.  Since 2013 he has served as Deputy Secretary in The Executive Office; prior to this he was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Agriculture from 2009. 

He will take up post in the Department of Education on 1 March 2021.

Education Minister, Peter Weir, said: “I want to congratulate Mark on his success in the recent competition to appoint a new Permanent Secretary for my Department.  He brings with him an extensive range of skills and experience that are essential in such a key post. 

“Mark is joining the Department at a time when we continue to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector. 

“I look forward to working with Mark in tackling the significant strategic challenges facing the education sector in the months and years ahead.”

Paying tribute to former Permanent Secretary, Derek Baker, the Minister said:

“I want to thank Derek Baker for his hard work, dedication and contribution to the Department and the wider education sector.  He was widely respected by his colleagues and held many senior positions during his 40 years in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. I wish him all the very best in his retirement.” 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Mark Browne was born and educated in Belfast.  He graduated from Queen’s University in 1980 and was awarded his doctorate from Queen’s in 1989.  His civil service career started in 1985 as a statistician in the Department of Finance.  He has held senior positions in a number of departments including Education, Agriculture and the Executive Office.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.


Share this page

Back to top