Alun Evans, former Director of the Scotland Office, has today (17 July 2015) taken up his new post as Chief Executive of the British Academy – the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences.
In his previous role Alun headed the Whitehall department which made the case for Scotland to remain part of the UK in the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014. On 16 September 2015 Alun will present an inaugural lecture at the British Academy: Getting ahead of the curve: How to stop playing catch up on Scotland, in which he will reflect on the Scottish Referendum and consider how the UK Government and others can build a stronger United Kingdom which manages to reflect the will of the Scottish people.
On his appointment as Chief Executive, Alun Evans said:
"The British Academy provides a vital national forum for the humanities and social sciences. These subjects make a fundamental contribution to our understanding of identity, humanity and community – and it is essential that the UK continues to recognise the competitive advantage this wealth of knowledge and expertise gives the country.
"As part of that process, the Academy will continue to engage with government and others to contribute to debate and the shaping of public policy.
"I see my role as helping to ensure that the social sciences and humanities continue to prosper as a central part of Britain’s world-class research base and that their voice is heard clearly and strongly on the national stage."
Alun is an Associate at the Institute for Government where he has contributed to a range of Institute projects, including on government transitions, policy making and communication. He is a Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College London. He is currently working towards a PhD in Modern Political History at Queen Mary, University of London.
Before taking up his role as head of the Scotland Office, Alun was Secretary of the Detainee Inquiry from 2010 to 2012, and prior to that, Head of Strategy at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Director-General in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and Director-General (Transformation) in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). He has also been Principal Private Secretary to three Secretaries of State and worked as Head of Strategic Communications at 10 Downing Street and as Director of Communications to the former Deputy Prime Minister.