E.ON head of UK comms Clare Harbord takes up the high-profile post at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on 15 October.
Reporting to the director general for strategy Rod Clark, Harbord will lead a team of 50 at the department.
She effectively replaces Mike Anderson, who held the post of director of comms at the now defunct Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) – the responsibilities of which are now within the remit of the MoJ.
Anderson has taken up a senior climate change management role at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Harbord was appointed to the role of head of UK comms for E.ON nearly three years ago (PRWeek, 22 October, 2004). Before that, she was a financial services director at Countrywide Porter Novelli.
MoJ permanent secretary Alex Allan said: ‘Clare will take forward the important responsibility of communicating the role and the work of the new department to the public and to our stakeholders, and will also help to ensure effective communications with our staff.’
In a written statement sent to PRWeek, Harbord said: ‘The new Ministry of Justice is responsible for some fundamental elements of our society – including the courts and the National Offender Management Service. It is also at the forefront of the relationship between government and the citizen through its work on constitutional and democratic renewal. It is a major player in Whitehall with a profile to match.’
The MoJ’s comms team is smaller than that of the DCA, with responsibility for strategy moved out of the directorate.
The MoJ’s remit includes the National Offender Management Service from the Home Office and the areas of policy previously dealt with by the DCA.
The Home Office is now able to concentrate on terrorism, policing, immigration and security.
The new ministry launched in May. It is being headed by secretary of state Jack Straw.