The Department of Social Security has appointed ex-Mirror
journalist Sheree Dodd to the newly created role of its head of media
Dodd joins the DSS at a time of great welfare reform following two years
in Belfast as deputy director of communications at the Northern Ireland
office. Before joining the civil service she was at the Daily Mirror for
12 years as a lobby correspondent.
Dodd will report to the director of communications at the DSS, Simon
MacDowall, in a role that has been upgraded from chief press officer
since the previous incumbent Sian Lewis, left to join the Health and
Safety Executive last autumn.
Dodd said: ’My husband is based in London so I always wanted to come
back. The Government has a strong welfare reform initiative and I look
forward to working on it.’
MacDowall said: ’I was looking for someone who could provide leadership
and management of the press office. It is a question of overseeing the
day-to-day liaison with the press, and advising ministers.’ MacDowall
said Dodd would be involved with implementing aspects of the ministerial
agenda, such as changes to the Child Support Agency, and the new pension
’The challenge is to get these new policies understood,’ he added. ’She
has a good understanding of journalism and the anatomy of a story and
that is the kind of person we need.’
In Belfast Dodd handled press surrounding the Good Friday agreement and
the referendum and worked for two secretaries of state.