SOAS, University of London Hosts Civil Service Guest Lecture with Mark Lowcock, Permanent Secretary, DFID

On Tuesday 18th November SOAS students were lucky enough to be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from Mark Lowcock, Permanent Secretary, DFID.

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This guest lecture gave students an insight into what a career in the Civil Service could offer them and it was a great opportunity for them to hear about the experiences of a senior leader.

SOAS DFID Event-Mak 2Mark spoke about his own personal experiences in the Civil Service and reflected on his own career path, as well as his defining moments.

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Mark began his career at DFID in 1985 as Private Secretary to Baroness Chalker, the then Minister for Overseas Development. Swiftly rising up the ranks he then took on a challenging role based in Harare as Deputy Head of the DFID Regional Office for Central Africa and was later promoted to the Head of this department. In 1997 Mark became the Head of European Union Department before returning to Africa as Head of the DFID Regional Office for East Africa. After succeeding in a series of other roles Mark was appointed as Permanent Secretary in June 2011.

SOAS DFID Event-25The evening was a huge success with over 135 students attending the presentation and a very lively, interesting and informative question and answer session brilliantly Chaired by SOAS’s very own Jonathan Goodhand, Professor in Conflict and Development Studies.

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Following the formal part of the evening we hosted a lovely networking and drinks reception, where SOAS students were able to find out more about the Civil Service Fast Stream from two current Fast Streamers; Michael who is based at BIS and Joanna who was a Masters student at SOAS. They were also privileged enough to have the opportunity to speak personally to Gillian Smith, the Deputy Director of Civil Service Resourcing and Head of the Fast Stream.

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If you didn’t get the chance to see the presentation live, don’t worry, we filmed the event and the video will be uploaded to the Careers Moodle for you to access when you wish.