Sir Michael Pownall

Honorary graduates 2012-13

Sir Michael Pownall (LLD)

Tuesday 17 July 2012 3:00pm

Sir Michael Pownall studied History at the University of Exeter and was President of the History Society 1970, graduating in 1971. That year he was appointed a clerk in the House of Lords, initially working in the Judicial Office, the Public Bill Office and for the (new) European Communities Select Committee. In 1980 he was seconded to the Government as Private Secretary to the Leader of the House (Lord Soames, later Baroness Young) and the Chief Whip (Lord Denham). He returned to the clerks’ department in 1983 as Private Secretary to the Chairman of Committees and Head of the Human Resources Office, and helped to supervise the introduction of television in the Lords in 1984. He also worked from time to time for the North Atlantic Assembly and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

In 1991 he was appointed Clerk of Select Committees. In 1997 he became Reading Clerk and Finance Director and in 2003 Clerk Assistant (the Deputy). In 2007 he was appointed Clerk of the Parliaments (Head of the House of Lords Administration). As Clerk, he was a trustee of the History of Parliament and the Industry and Parliament Trusts. He retired in 2011 and was appointed KCB later that year.