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Cabinet Secretary in St Andrews

Distinguished alumnus Sir Mark Sedwill, Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary to the UK Government, visited the University last week (Friday 7 February).

During his visit Sir Mark gave a talk on the UK’s current challenges and fielded questions from staff and students at an event in the Arts Lecture Theatre chaired by Principal Professor Sally Mapstone.

Earlier he attended a seminar with staff and students from the School of International Relations and discussed a range of topical issues with postgraduate students from the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Sir-Mark-Sedwill-and-Professor-Sally-Mapstone
Principal Professor Sally Mapstone with Sir Mark Sedwill

To commemorate Sir Mark’s visit, Professor Mapstone announced the ‘Sir Mark Sedwill Handa CSPTV 25th Anniversary Dissertation Prize’.

Sir Mark graduated from the University of St Andrews with a Masters degree in Economics in the 1980s; he is now the UK Government’s most senior adviser on strategy, policy and implementation and also serves as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister. As the Head of the Civil Service, he leads more than 400,000 civil servants in HM Government.

Sir Mark’s career has been distinguished and celebrated. After completing undergraduate studies at St Andrews and undertaking postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and served in Egypt, Iraq, Cyprus and Pakistan.

He has since served as HM Ambassador to Afghanistan, the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Political Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Permanent Secretary at the Home Office. Sir Mark was appointed Cabinet Secretary in 2018.


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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