Head of Defence Estate Optimisation


The role is based at MOD Main Building, London. Lately however, the team has been working at home in accordance with Government COVID-19 advice.



The Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio (DEO) isn’t about infrastructure, it isn’t about the buildings, it’s about the people and defence capability it supports. It’s the opportunity to build homes, training grounds, facilities, hangars, barracks, offices, ranges, parade grounds that our service men and women deserve to the tune of £8bn over the life of what we’re doing. But these need to be more efficient, better designed, more sustainable and better value for money than their predecessors because we won’t get this chance twice. It’s also our way of upholding our end of the military covenant and helping improve recruitment and retention, which is why I need you to work with me as the Senior Responsible Officer to lead portfolio management and capability team to develop and deliver the Defence Estate Optimisation Protfolio Portfolio, and provide direction to the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio delivery team in DIO and the front line commands and other TLBS.

As the head of an integral team working at the forefront of realising one of the most exciting projects currently within Defence, This role is ideal for an ambitious team leader who thrives off delivering multifaceted and technical projects. As the Senior Responsible Officer, we would be looking for a candidate with outstanding stakeholder management skills and high levels of resilience. The role provides an unparalleled opportunity to engage with diverse teams across Defence and in wider government project delivery. You will join a team of motivated colleagues in a fun and high-paced environment.

Job description

Finance and Military Capability (FMC) sits at the heart of all the Ministry of Defence major capability and financial decisions. It is jointly headed by the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Capability) (DCDS MilCap) and the Director General Finance (DG Fin). It is responsible for taking a pan-Departmental view of MOD’s strategic balance of investment decisions and works closely with Defence Resources to finalise the Department’s financial planning rounds.

Director Infrastructure reports directly to DCDS (Mil Cap) and is responsible, on behalf of DCDS (Mil Cap) for setting the strategic direction and policy for the Defence Estate and Infrastructure, acting as a infrastructure functional owner to safeguard MOD’s interests, managing enterprise-wide infrastructure requirements and risks to ensure infrastructure management effectively supports military capability and outputs, and delivers against wider government commitments. Working in a truly joint military and civilian environment the Head of Defence Estate Optimisation will report directly to Director Infrastructure (the Senior Responsible Officer) and lead the portfolio delivery of the Defence Estate Optimisation Programme, a Government Major Portfolio Programme (DMPP) programme. Interacting with a wide range of senior official and ministers across Defence.

We set the strategic direction and policies for infrastructure so that our infrastructure supports Defence capability. The new Strategy for Defence Infrastructure will be published near the end of this year. We are also responsible for Sustainability across the department and our work is the diver behind how the department meets its Net Zero commitments.

As the leader ensuring the delivery of the portfolio, you will love a challenge and not be phased by scale or pace and be driven by the importance to transform our estate into something that truly supports Defence aims and capability. You will have a strong delivery background and portfolio and programme management skills, be commercially savvy and experienced in either infrastructure or property sector.

Please see attached the candidate information pack for further details.


• Leading and developing a portfolio management and capability team to develop and deliver the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio, and provide direction to the Defence Estate Optimisation delivery team in Defence Infrastructure Organisation

• Direct and assure delivery of Defence Estate Optimisation programmes on behalf of the Senior Responsible Officer

• Manage changes to the portfolio, including supporting balance of investment decisions around re-investment of disposal receipts generated by Defence Estate Optimisation programmes

• Support the Head of Infrastructure Function in developing further strategic programmes and initiatives within the infrastructure change and efficiency portfolio to deliver Departmental objectives to rationalise the estate

• Support the Senior Responsible Owner in holding Defence Estate Optimisation Programme Senior Responsible Owner to account for delivery of their mandates

• Monitor and assure delivery of portfolio and programme objectives and benefits

• Ensure programme plan and programme-wide risks, issues and dependencies are effectively managed, including coherence between the Defence Estate Optimisation Programmes, engaging with Programme Senior Responsible Owner and provide arbitration of programme issues

• Manage coherence with other linked programmes (accommodation and Future Accommodation Model) and with the wider infrastructure system and strategy.

• Manage portfolio governance, aligned with wider infrastructure governance within the Department, ensuring effective scrutiny and assurance of Portfolio and Programme investment decisions and that the Portfolio is managed within approvals. Lead the provision of external review such as IPA and NAO audits

• Direct and oversee the Defence Estate Optimisation programme work, assure delivery by the enabling organisation(s), and lead the Head Office Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio Support Office

• Manage portfolio-wide senior stakeholder engagement, including Ministers, Defence Board, Armed Forces Committee and Executive Committee and Parliamentary business

• Ensure Government Major Project Portfolio, Defence Major Project Portfolio, and Defence Board assurance and performance reporting requirements are delivered

Please see attached the Candidate Information Pack for further details.

Apply today!