Sir Michael Bichard appointed the first Director of the Institute

Sir Michael Bichard appointed the first Director of the Institute

The Institute for Government has today appointed Sir Michael Bichard as its first Director. The Institute, which has charitable status, is dedicated to supporting the development of leadership skills within the highest levels of government, and conducting research and thought leadership on effective government.

Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the Chair of the Governors, warmly welcomed his appointment:

‘I am delighted at Sir Michael’s appointment. His strong background of leadership in local and central government, twinned with his energy and passion for making government work better, make him an outstanding appointment – and an excellent match for the role and activities of the Institute for Government.’

Sir Michael Bichard commented:

‘A focus on the quality and leadership of Government is a personal and driving passion for me. There are particular issues that play out at the top level of government – where politics and the great challenges of public administration meet – that are unique to the public sector. But there are lessons that can be drawn from across the public and private sectors to improve quality and leadership further.

This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for me, and an important new institution for Britain. I am looking forward to the new role immensely.’

Sir Michael will be joining the Institute full-time from September 2008.

Notes to Editors:

The Institute for Government is a registered charity, whose objects are:

The promotion of efficient public administration of government and public service in the UK by providing programmes of education, training, research and study for the public benefit and on a non party political basis.

The political impartiality of the Institute was reflected in the all-party nature of the Advisory Board that steered its creation, and will be reflected in the composition of its Board of Governors.  The Institute is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and is located just off Whitehall on Carlton House Terrace.

Sir Michael is currently Rector of the University of the Arts London, Chair of the Legal Services Commission and Chair of the Design Council. He was previously Chairman of the Soham (Bichard) Inquiry; Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education and Employment; and Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council and London Borough of Brent. Sir Michael will continue as Chair of the Design Council but will be giving up his other appointments.

Sir Michael will take up the post in September 2008.  Dr David Halpern, formerly Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, who has led the formation of the Institute, continues to direct the Institute’s current activities.