I lead on the development of the UK’s independent maritime trade policy to support free trade agreement negotiations led by the Department of International Trade and other bilateral maritime agreements.

I lead a team to manage and deliver an ambitious work programme to support FTA negotiations by analysing existing FTAs, engaging with stakeholders, reviewing both UK and foreign legislation and policies, to understand barriers to foreign investment and market access for the maritime sector.

My team has developed the UK independent maritime trade policy and negotiations positions to use this in trade negotiations. I have now participated in the trade negotiations with both Japan and the US and am finally witnessing the fruition of efforts of the past two years.

A typical day consists of analysing legislation and policies, drafting position papers, engaging with lawyers and other policy teams across HMG, engaging with stakeholders to understand issues and identify solutions, drafting legal instructions, refining legal text for negotiations and then participating in the negotiations to achieve the UK’s maritime objectives.

I have found DfT to be an inclusive and supportive workplace. I started as HEO in DfT a couple of years ago and with the help and support of my managers have now progressed onto a Grade 7 role. My managers have been extremely supportive and have always pushed and challenged me to become a better Civil Servant.

I have taken advantage of the learning and development opportunities in DfT and was on the Stepping into Leadership Programme as a HEO and am now on the Interdepartmental Talent Programme. Furthermore, the Department financially supported me to attend a two week residential programme at Oxford University to help refine my leadership skills.