New Director General appointed to HMPO and UKVI

An image of Abi Tierney.

Abi Tierney, the former Business Development Director for Serco Health, has today been announced as the lead for HMPO and UKVI.

In this role, Ms.Tierney will be responsible for leading a workforce of around 10,000 UKVI employees and 3,500 HMPO employees, based in locations around the UK and overseas.

UKVI manages approximately 4 million visa applications a year from those who wish to come to the UK to visit, study or work, as well as thousands of decisions on asylum and resettlement.

HMPO issues approximately 7 million passports and 1 million birth, adoption, death, civil partnership and marriage certificates each year. It also receives approximately 1.8 million life-event registrations from partners in the local registration service.

As Director General of these directorates, Abi Tierney will be responsible for maintaining a firm emphasis on national security and a culture of excellent customer service, while ensuring a focus on high quality decision making.

The Home Office Second Permanent Secretary, Shona Dunn, said:

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Abi Tierney as the new Director General of Her Majesty’s Passport Office and UK Visas and Immigration.

Abi brings with her a wealth of experience both in the private and public sector, which I know she will put to excellent use in leading her organisation through the coming years and continuing to deliver for the government and the public. I know everyone will want to welcome Abi and I am very much looking forward to working with her.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Thomson for his outstanding contribution to the Home Office over the last 5 years. As all those who have worked with him know, his leadership during his time at HMPO and UKVI has been invaluable and he will be hugely missed.

As Business Development Director at Serco Health, Ms Tierney was responsible for providing strategic direction to help the business grow. With her team, she led on client relationship management, tracked new markets, recommended new products and services and developed strategic partnerships. Abi also led on transformation and operational excellence.

Serco’s Health Business provides critical support services to the NHS. It has 7,000 staff working in 16 hospitals across the UK, delivering facilities management, patient transport and transforming patient flow.

Further to her experience at Serco Health, Ms Tierney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role having previously held leadership roles in several large, high profile organisations. Ms Tierney was previously a director at University Hospitals Leicester and Aberdeen City Council, and Marketing Leader for IBM’s Global Services Business.

The new Director General for UKVI and HMPO, Abi Tierney, said:

I’m delighted to have been appointed DG for UKVI and HMPO. They are both vital organisations entering a hugely exciting time. As we transform many systems and processes within these institutions, I will engage with my teams to ensure that the already high levels of customer service are maintained and operations remain efficient and effective.

Ms Tierney will take up the role in March following a fair and robust recruitment process which opened for applications on 19 August 2019. She replaces Mark Thomson, who was in the role for 5 years. Mr Thomson took charge of HMPO in 2015 with UKVI coming under his remit the following year.

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