Noel Lavery is a chartered accountant by profession. He trained with Price Waterhouse Accountants in Belfast and then worked as a finance professional for ten years with Northern Ireland based quoted textile group Lamont Holdings PLC. He was Group Accountant there prior to his departure in 1997.
Following a 2 year secondment Noel moved to the Northern Ireland Industrial Development Board (IDB) working in areas including project appraisal and inward investment from 1997-2001.
Noel joined the mainstream Northern Ireland Civil Service in 2001 and became Finance Director for the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI), prior to promotion in 2003 to Deputy Secretary over DETI’s Corporate Services and Business Regulation Directorate.
Noel moved to the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) in 2009. After a period working on the devolution of Justice and Policing, he took over responsibility in OFMDFM for Finance, Corporate Services, the regeneration of former military sites, international relations including the NI Executive’s Washington Office and European Policy including the Brussels office in January 2010.
He was promoted to Permanent Secretary with effect from 1 March 2013 in Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DARD) and was appointed the new Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in May 2016. Noel became Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy on 19 February 2018.