Dame Melanie Dawes – Chief Executive of Ofcom

To commemorate the College’s bicentenary in 2023, we’re showcasing 200 ‘Birkbeck Effects’ which capture the incredible stories of our vibrant and diverse community, highlighting their achievements and impact on the world. 

Melanie Dawes

Melanie is the most prominent female civil servant in the UK and a distinguished economist, with particular interests in public spending, tax, macroeconomics, monetary policy, and the Euro.  

Between 2018 and 2020, Melanie worked as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Melanie joined Ofcom as an Executive Board Member and Chief Executive in March 2020, where she is responsible for a range of jobs, from regulating the BBC to monitoring the prices of mobiles (including 5G mobile phone networks), landlines and broadband. As Chief Executive of Ofcom, she is also responsible for safeguarding people from online harm and proving other forms of consumer protection.   

Melanie is a believer in ‘soft power’ and influence. She is known for her skills in facilitating conversations and collaborations that support local communities at grassroots level.   

As a Trustee of the youth charity Patchwork Foundation, she encourages young people from disadvantaged and minority communities to engage with politics and civil society.She completed her MSc in Economics at Birkbeck and was made a Fellow of the College in 2022.


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