Senior Strategy and Policy Adviser

U.S. Department for International Trade
  • Location
    Hybrid remote, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 28

Position description

The Strategy Unit sits at the heart of the Department for International Trade, supporting ministers and senior officials to set and deliver the department’s priorities and objectives. 

The Strategy Unit is responsible for: 

i) Ensuring robust strategic planning in DIT; 
ii) Maximising the impact of DIT’s agenda across Whitehall and; 
iii) Providing evidence-based analysis and options for policy problems faced by DIT. 

We are a high-performing, multidisciplinary team combining policy, analysts and project delivery professionals. Our work is very varied, supports a number of senior stakeholders and spans the full range of DIT’s activity. The team has a vibrant corporate culture – we are actively engaged in how we work, regularly celebrate each other’s work, and place a real focus on staff development.

Job description

This is a leadership role with line management responsibility. At times you may oversee a dedicated team to run a longer term work programme, and at other times you may be charged with running a cross-unit team on short or urgent workstreams. 

The role holder will therefore work flexibly across the Strategy Unit’s remit which ranges from driving departmental planning and in particular our Outcome Delivery Plan, to supporting Strategic Priorities from Devolution, Better Regulation to Cross-Whitehall strategies. 

This is a truly collaborative role which will enable you to work closely with colleagues from across the Department – including Private Office, Policy teams, Finance, Analysis, Project Delivery and HR – to develop, implement, track and advocate for the Department’s Plan and Priorities. 

Role Duties: 

  • Leadership and/or line management of a small team of high performing individuals; responsibility for talent conversations, performance management and growing the capacity and confidence of your team.

Supporting senior leaders, ministers and colleagues to set the strategic direction for the department: producing a clear set of objectives; and a framework through which to measure success. 

  • Supporting the delivery of DIT’s Outcome Delivery Plan.


  • Guiding teams across the department to consider their long-term business needs.


  • Delivering on cross-cutting briefing requests for the Secretary of State and Permanent Secretary.


  • Being an expert in your area and driving strategic priorities and cross-whitehall engagement on policies such as Better Regulation, Devolution, Levelling up and other emerging priorities.


  • Developing effective and collaborative relationships with colleagues across the department and cross-Government to effectively shape thinking on strategic priorities, ensuring alignment with the analysis and finance functions.

Hybrid working 

The role will be based in either Darlington or London. You will be asked to express a location preference during the application process. 

Please be aware that this role can only be worked from within the UK and not overseas. 

Informal hybrid working arrangements will be available as agreed with the vacancy manager and in line with the requirements of the role. 

Most DIT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average. If your office location is London, you will be eligible to receive London weighting. 

Appointments will be made to candidates in merit order based on location preferences. 

Support in applying for our vacancies is available by joining a virtual Candidate Support Session. These sessions include helpful tips and advice on the recruitment process, from application to interview.” 



Essential Criteria

  • Strong leadership credentials; ability to engage with, champion and drive progress in your team.
  • Interest in trade, business and/or international affairs.
  • Experience of working with Ministers and senior officials (or equivalents).
  • Excellent communication and people skills.
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to manage multiple and competing priorities often to tight deadlines.

Desirable Criteria 

  • Understanding of the Department for International Trade’s objectives and priorities. 
  • Experience of, or capacity for, building effective relationships across teams and other government departments. 
  • Experience in strategy development and delivery. 
  • Knowledge of or capacity to upskill on HMG’s devolution policy. 

Person Specification 

We are looking for a self-starter who is comfortable leading high-profile projects with a significant degree of autonomy. They should be able to manage multiple stakeholders and operate in a fast-paced environment. We welcome those with policy and strategy skills derived from a wide range of backgrounds, recognising that subject-specific knowledge will often be developed in the role.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership


  • Learning and development tailored to your role 
  • An environment with flexible working options 
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity 
  • A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check. 

See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Application instructions

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