DfTc, Emma, Senior Policy Advisor

Working in Air Quality as a G7 Policy Advisor 

I am a Senior Policy Advisor for the NO2 Programme responsible for reducing roadside Nitrogen Dioxide emissions in our towns and cities across England. My team works directly with Local Authorities to develop Clean Air Plans to improve air quality for residents living in urban areas across the country.  

A typical day as a Senior Policy Advisor can be varied – I will usually start the day by meeting online with my immediate team which is spread across London, Birmingham and Leeds to discuss the priorities for the day. I will then spend the morning writing letters to members of the public, drafting an answer to a Parliamentary Question or writing a paper for an upcoming board meeting. After lunch with colleagues, I will have a meeting with our in-house scientists to understand some air quality data we have received and then I’ll usually end the day with a meeting with one of the Local Authorities in our Programme to understand how their plans are progressing on the delivery of their Clean Air Plan. 

Being based in DfT Leeds means I am close to our northern stakeholders in Bradford, Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester. I know that my stakeholders appreciate that I am located nearby as it helps me to understand the local needs better. This has also allowed me to visit the areas where we fund air quality measures to see firsthand what the issues are and what my team can do to support them.  

To ensure I’m connected to my team, I travel monthly to London to do workshops in person or meet Ministers in the Department and also take the train to visit Birmingham to see team members. Our offices are great places to work and Leeds has a really vibrant community with plenty of talks, activities and socials to get involved in.  

Being a Senior Policy Advisor is a great role which offers so many opportunities to learn and develop as a Civil Servant. You will become the expert on your policy area and be responsible for delivering real change for the public. 

Please note that the role title “Senior Policy Advisor” has been updated to “Senior Policy Lead.”