The Food Standards Agency has appointed Defra’s Emily Miles as its new CEO, replacing Jason Feeney, who retired last month.
Miles, who joins the FSA in September, boasts a civil service career spanning almost 20 years, and is currently the acting director general for Defra’s Brexit delivery group.
She joined Defra in November 2015 as its group director of strategy, and has co-ordinated work on the domestic consequences of Brexit for Defra since the referendum in 2016.
Prior to her work with Defra, Miles largely specialised in home affairs at the Home Office, Downing Street and Cabinet Office.
Her roles have included director of policing at the Home Office; the programme director for the programme to clear the UK’s historic asylum caseload backlog in the UK Border Agency; and the programme director for the close of the National Policing Improvement Agency and the establishment of the College of Policing.
She was also a policy advisor on home affairs to prime minister Tony Blair from 2002 to 2005.
Miles brought “an impressive track record in developing strategy and excellent outcomes across government, in Defra, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office”, said FSA chair Heather Hancock.
“She joins us at a pivotal moment in food regulation, as we implement our new regulatory regime outside the EU, manage the short-term impacts of leaving the EU, and drive forward our modernisation plans,” she added. “I am in no doubt that Emily’s strategic vision and leadership will be highly effective at FSA and I very much look forward to working with her.”
Miles was “delighted” to be joining the FSA and said she was looking forward to “leading the department as it faces the challenges of EU exit while delivering its ambitious programme of regulatory transformation”.
She added: “As an organisation that attracts high levels of public trust, I am honoured to take up the role of FSA chief executive and to play my part in driving forward its mission of protecting consumers by ensuring food is safe and what it says it is.
“I look forward to getting to know the talented team there as well as working with colleagues across national and local government, and in industry, to deliver safe food for consumers as we face new challenges and new opportunities.”