Helen Edwards (civil servant)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Helen Edwards

Born (1953-08-02) 2 August 1953 (age 69)
OccupationCivil servant

Helen Edwards CB CBE (born 2 August 1953) is a British civil servant, currently serving as the Director-General for Localism in the Department for Communities and Local Government.[1][2]


Having originally trained and worked as a social worker for East Sussex County Council, Edwards worked for the Save the Children Fund in the London Borough of Lambeth from 1980 to 1983.[3] She then spent 18 years working at Nacro, the national crime reduction charity, where she undertook a variety of roles, ending up as Chief Executive.[2]

Edwards joined the Home Office in 2002 as Director of the Active Communities Directorate. From January 2004, she was promoted to the post of Director-General of the Communities Group where she was responsible for the Home Office's work on volunteering, the voluntary and community sector, race equality, faith, community cohesion and civil renewal. She took over as Chief Executive of National Offender Management Service (NOMS) on 10 November 2005, following the resignation of Martin Narey. During this period, NOMS transferred from the Home Office to the Ministry of Justice, as part of a government reorganisation. On 1 April 2008, she became Director-General of Criminal Justice, with Phil Wheatley taking on the role of Director-General of NOMS.[4] She left this role in 2013, and was replaced by Antonia Romeo.

Edwards took up her role as Director General for Localism for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 7 May 2013, replacing David Prout.[5]

As of 2015, Edwards was paid a salary of between £165,000 and £169,999 by DCLG, making her one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[6]

In April 2016, Edwards took up the role of Chair of a new group of charities called Recovery Focus, which brings together a coalition of mental health and substance use charities such as Richmond Fellowship and Aquarius.[7]

On 12 November 2019, she was appointed a non-executive director of South London NHS Foundation Trust and began work in March 2020.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Edwards has a BA in social science from the University of Sussex and an MA and CQSW from the University of Warwick,[2] and an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University. She has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1997, and a Trustee of the Washington-based Eisenhower Foundation since 2000. She married David John Rounds in 1987, with whom she has three sons.[3]

Edwards was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours and Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2012 Birthday Honours.[9][10]

Offices held[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Communities Group
Home Office

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Executive
National Offender
Management Service

Succeeded by
Phil Wheatley
As Director-General,
National Offender
Management Service
Preceded by
Justice Policy
Ministry of Justice

Succeeded by
Preceded by Director-General, Localism
Department for Communities
and Local Government

Succeeded by


  1. ^ "Helen Edwards CBE". Gov.uk. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Ministry of Justice. "Helen Edwards biography". Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b Who's Who 2015: EDWARDS, Helen. Who's Who. A & C Black, Oxford University Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0-19-957215-1. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  4. ^ National Offender Management Service (29 January 2008). "Ministry of Justice organisational review - copy of letter to NOMS and HMPS staff". Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  5. ^ Crane, Helen (10 April 2013). "Helen Edwards gets top localism role". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 - GOV.UK". Gov.uk. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Recovery Focus appoints new chair - Recovery Focus | Mental Health Charity Group". Archived from the original on 6 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Helen Edwards CB CBE appointed as Non-Executive Director". Slam.nhs.uk. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  9. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 2.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)