Permanent Secretary

Current role holder: Leslie Evans

Leslie Evans

Leslie Evans was appointed as Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government on July 1, 2015.


The Permanent Secretary is the principal policy adviser to the First Minister and Secretary to the Scottish Cabinet.

The Permanent Secretary is also the principal accountable officer for the Scottish Government with personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of government finance and for economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.

As the senior civil servant in Scotland, the Permanent Secretary leads more than 5,000 civil servants working for the Scottish Government, supporting development, implementation and communication of government policies, in accordance with the Civil Service Code. At a UK level, the Permanent Secretary is a member of the Civil Service Board.

The role of Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government is appointed on merit by the First Civil Service Commissioner in accordance with the Civil Service’s recruitment principles. The First Minister is invited to choose between those candidates deemed suitable for appointment.

Permanent Secretary objectives 2016 to 2017


Leslie joined the Scottish Government in September 2000, having spent 20 years working for local authorities in Scotland (City of Edinburgh Council and Stirling Council) and England (London Borough of Greenwich and Sheffield City Council).

Her previous post within the Scottish Government was Director General Learning and Justice. Previous positions include Head of Local Government Constitution and Governance Division, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Head of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Director of Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.

Married with one son, Leslie was born in Northern Ireland and has lived in Scotland since 1985. She attended High Storrs School in Sheffield and studied Music at the University of Liverpool.