City chief appointed to lead UK export drive

Department for International Trade (DIT) appoints John Mahon, former Head of Barclays Corporate Bank, as the UK’s new Director General for Exports

• John Mahon joins Dr Liam Fox’s department to work closely with business, putting exports at the heart of UK growth
• This is the latest in a series of senior appointments as DIT ramps up preparations for post-Brexit trade. Five new HM Trade Commissioners started their roles last week.

Following a highly competitive recruitment process, the Department for International Trade (DIT) today (Thursday 12 April) appoints John Mahon as the UK’s first Director General for Exports. Reporting to the Permanent Secretary, John will lead the implementation of the government’s emerging Export Strategy as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

A former Head of Barclays Corporate Bank, John brings a strong track record to DIT and is being hailed across Whitehall as a key hire. His appointment is the latest step in a major capability-building programme underway at DIT, across exports and investment promotion and the trade policy and negotiation businesses.

The new Director General for Exports is at the heart of the government’s post-Brexit trading plan, and is tasked with ensuring that new and existing exporters can access the right financial, practical and promotional support to sell overseas.

Welcoming John to DIT, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

"I am delighted to welcome John as our first Director General for Exports. With the IMF predicting that 90% of global growth will come from outside the EU, his role will be key to helping UK businesses unlock opportunities around the world.

"John’s banking expertise will help us build the world’s best international economic department as we develop our own independent trade policy for the first time in more than 40 years – making the UK a global trading nation once again."

Minister of State for Export and Trade Promotion Baroness Rona Fairhead added:

"We will soon be launching an Export Strategy to respond to the clear and growing demand from all over the world for UK goods and services. Our aim is to help UK companies of all sizes to grow by enhancing the support we offer and connecting them ever-more effectively to market opportunities. John will play a crucial role in making this happen."

John will play a vital role in DIT, reporting to Permanent Secretary Antonia Romeo, the department’s lead official, who commented:

"I am very pleased to welcome John to my top team. His appointment shows that DIT is attracting the highest-calibre talent from across the public and private sectors to work on our crucial agenda. Leading our work to boost exports up and down the country, he will play a critical role in putting trade at the heart of UK growth."

Speaking about his new role, John Mahon said:

"I am excited to join the Department for International Trade at such a crucial time where it will be my task to help companies everywhere to take advantage of the international demand for British goods and services. Through the government’s emerging Export Strategy, we will help businesses generate growth, prosperity and jobs in every corner of the UK."