Secretary General - Department of Health

Dublin, Leinster (IE)
More information available at
12 Jan 2021
28 Jan 2021
Job Type
Fixed Term

The Department of Health provides advice on all health and social care related matters in Ireland, including analysis, formulation and implementation of policy as directed by the Minister.  Its vision for the health sector is a healthier Ireland, with improved health and wellbeing for all, and with the right care, delivered at the right time, in the right place.

The Department employs over 590 people directly and has responsibility for the health sector with total health service employment in health agencies, the HSE and other publicly funded service providers is in excess of 125,000.  The health expenditure for which the Minister and the Department are responsible is approximately €21.5 billion in 2021.

The Secretary General

The post of Secretary General is pivotal within the health system as the Minister is politically accountable for the delivery of all health and personal social services. As Accounting Officer, the role of the Secretary General is to provide:

  • vision-setting for the Department and effectively implementing that vision through delivery of its strategy;
  • effective oversight, management and leadership of the Department of Health, both in its own direct work and in its leadership role for the overall health sector;
  • advice to the Minister, three Ministers of State and the Government on all health and social care related matters; and
  • strategic leadership as a member of the overall system of public administration.

The successful candidate:

  • will have a proven track record as a leader and senior manager in a large or complex organisation in either the public or private sector and knowledge of, or capacity to acquire quickly, a broad understanding of the Department’s wide range of responsibilities;
  • will have a record of achievement in his/her career to date demonstrating excellent senior management and leadership experience in a multifunctional organisation of significant complexity and scale;
  • will have excellent communication skills and a track record in managing relationships, providing developmental leadership and managing for results;
  • will have the particular blend of resilience and flexibility needed to manage the challenges of the complexity of the health sector;

S/he will also have an understanding of, or an ability to quickly acquire an understanding of, the challenges facing the health sector both domestically and in terms of international connectivity from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.


This is a Top Level Appointments Committee position. 

If you feel you would benefit from a confidential discussion, please contact Michelle Noone on or on 087 929 4208.

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is 3pm on Thursday 28 January 2021.

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.

For more information and how to apply, visit: