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FSA chief executive returns to Defra

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Emily Miles steps down as FSA lead
Emily Miles steps down as FSA lead

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Emily Miles has announced that she will be leaving her role at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) this September, as she departs for a position at Defra.

Emily Miles will step down as the FSA chief executive as she takes on a new role as director general of food, biosecurity and trade at Defra.

Miles took on the role as the FSA’s lead in 2019, but prior to this, she held various roles in Defra, including group director of strategy and coordinating work on the domestic consequences of Brexit. Between 2002-2005, she served as a policy advisor on home affairs to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Katie Pettifer, the FSA’s current director of strategy and regulatory compliance, has been appointed as chief executive in the interim.

This news comes at the same time as Susan Jebb’s appointment as chair of the agency has been extended​. She previously stated she would be standing down at the end of June 2024, but agreed a temporary extension after Ministers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland requested she stay on.

“We are very sorry to lose Emily from the FSA, however I know that you will also join me in congratulating her on this new challenge, of which she brings a wealth of knowledge from her time at the FSA,” ​Jebb commented.

“I am confident that we will continue to work closely together and I see huge opportunities for Emily to continue her hard work to drive positive change in the food system in her new post.

Miles added that she was both sad to be leaving but proud of the legacy she leaves behind.

“The organisation has achieved a huge amount in these five years, including our determined focus on delivering food you can trust through the pandemic, Brexit, the Ukraine war, the cost-of-living crisis, the introduction of the Windsor Framework, and the creation of border controls on EU food and feed,” ​Miles stated.

“During my time at the FSA I have been so grateful for the support and partnership from colleagues from all parts of the food system. I look forward to continuing to work with you in my new role.”

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