Adonis was plucked out of journalism by Tony Blair in 1998 and became head of the Number 10 policy unit. In 2005, he was ennobled by Blair and made a junior education minister. He moved to a junior posting at the Department for Transport last year and was made secretary of state last week.
What's his background?
Brought up in a Camden council flat by his father Nicos, a waiter. He went to Kingham Hill boarding school on a state scholarship and to Oxford. He worked as an academic before joining the Financial Times, then The Observer.
Where does he sit politically?
As Blairite as they come. 'He obviously thinks as Tony does,' former education secretary Baroness Morris told The Guardian.
Is he one to watch?
Adonis has prospered against the odds under Gordon Brown but remains a divisive figure in the Labour Party.
Something I might not have known
Adonis spent four years as a Lib Dem councillor before joining Labour.