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Plaque outside of Umbridge's office

The Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic was a high-ranking position in the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Magic, serving as the principal assistant to the Minister for Magic.[2]

Dolores Umbridge was the only person known to have held the title, serving under Cornelius Fudge,[2] Rufus Scrimgeour,[3] as well as then Pius Thicknesse,[4] until she was arrested and imprisoned in Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns in 1998.[5]

Known Senior Undersecretaries

Behind the scenes

  • The style of the title reflects the Ministry's appropriation of standard British Civil Service hierarchy and labelling of posts.
  • During Harry Potter's Careers Advice session, when Professor McGonagall supported Albus Dumbledore's return to Hogwarts after his dismissal, Umbridge went into hysterics and proclaimed that Minerva had plans to make Dumbledore Minister for Magic and that she would become his Senior Undersecretary by usurping Umbridge's position, accusations that Minerva took as offensive.
  • In general, there are distinct differences between the organisation of the British Ministry of Magic and the British muggle government. One of the few Ministry of Magic positions that might be directly linked with a Muggle counterpart is that of Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic. In the British Muggle government, under each minister is a civil servant who holds the title Permanent Under Secretary of State. This person is the senior civil servant in that ministry and is responsible for both the day-to-day operations and routine administrative matters in that ministry. If the two positions are indeed similar, it provides some insight into Dolores Umbridge and her time in the Ministry. As a civil servant she would presumably be beyond "political" matters, and would be expected to be loyal to the Ministry as an institution and not to a particular Minister for Magic. This would explain why she retained her position under several Ministers for Magic. If there is indeed a civil service in the Ministry of Magic, it would also explain why she could not be easily dismissed from her position at the Ministry after her time at Hogwarts - until, that is, she was tried and convicted of criminal charges. This would also explain why Arthur Weasley also managed to retain his position after Pius Thicknesse became Minister for Magic.


Notes and references

  1. This is when the British Ministry of Magic was founded, so it is possible that this posision was founded at this time too.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8 (The Hearing)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
  5. J.K. Rowling Web Chat
Minister for Magic and Support Staff
MinistryOfMagicLogo - Cursed Child.svg
Minister for Magic:
Kingsley Shacklebolt
Advisor to the Minister for Magic
Cornelius Fudge
Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic:
Dolores Umbridge
Junior Assistant to the Minister for Magic:
Percy Weasley
Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission
(1997 to 1998 only)
Dolores Umbridge
Others: Eduardus Limus (Exotic Symbol Analyst) • Mdme. Miraforum (Quill Control & Rune Translation) • Loretta Fieldwake (Special Advisor for Elf Legislation)