Patrick White, executive director of planning and policy at the North West Development Agency, has left to join the Cabinet Office as principal private secretary to Liam Byrne MP.
White will initially be part of the Cabinet Office minister's team preparing for the G20 leaders' summit due to be held in London in April.
The move is a return to the Cabinet Office for White, a career civil servant, who previously spent seven years there in a range of policy and crisis management posts.
The vacancy for White's position, one of six at the top of the NWDA's management structure answering to chief executive Steven Broomhead, will be advertised publicly by the NWDA in the coming weeks. White headed a team of five directors at the region's most powerful Government agency and was in charge of sub-regional policy handed down to the Greater Manchester Forum, The Mersey Partnership, Cumbria Vision, Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance and Lancashire Economic Partnership.
White's replacement will arrive as the ever-changing agenda of regional development agencies focuses on producing the new single Regional Strategy in 2010 – combining the planning guidance and economic priorities formerly published separately. All the RDAs also face a major performance review by Government in the coming year.
The planning and policy department includes Dave Harrison, director of partnerships, Simon Nokes, strategy and planning, Pernille Kousgaard, policy, Barbara Woods, corporate governance and scrutiny, and Rebecca Riley, head of the North West Regional Intelligence Unit.