Whitehall hotshot Grant wins top Defra media job

The government department responsible for environmental policy has secured one of Whitehall's rising stars to head its media operation.

Rachel Grant is to join the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) after just 18 months as head of news at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Grant will join Defra in two weeks' time and will report directly to director of comms Yasmin Diamond.

She takes over from Jean Ward who has joined the Cabinet Office in the high-profile role of director of the Government Communication Network (PRWeek, 7 March).

Grant will lead a team of 25. Currently acting in the head of news role at Defra is its chief press officer for animal health and welfare, food and farming, Jane Stevens.

‘Climate change is increasingly important. Defra also has a large crisis ­management system for ­issues such as bird flu,' said Grant of her new role.

Before the DWP, Grant worked at Number 10 as a senior press officer for two years. Prior to that, she worked for the Department for Education and Skills.

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