Philip Lowe was born in Leeds in 1947 and attended schools there and in Reading before going to St. John's College, Oxford where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
In 1968, he started his professional career in the manufacturing industry. He also followed the two-year M.Sc. Programme at London Business School.
At the end of 1973, he joined the European Commission where he worked in the fields of loans and borrowings, steel restructuring and regional development before becoming Chef de Cabinet of Bruce Millan, European Commissioner for Regional Policies in 1989.
In 1991, he was appointed Director of Rural Development in the Directorate General for Agriculture.
From 1993 to 1995, he was Director of the Merger Task Force in the Directorate General for Competition.
In January 1995, he was seconded to be Chef de Cabinet of Neil Kinnock, European Commissioner for Transport and Transeuropean Networks.
In December 1997, he was appointed Director General for Development; he was responsible in particular for the negotiation of the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement and the EU-South Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement.
In June 2000, he was appointed Chef de Cabinet to Vice-President Neil Kinnock, who is responsible for the administrative reform of the Commission.
From 1st February 2002, he was seconded to the Secretariat General and appointed acting Deputy Secretary General responsible for relations with the Council, until taking up his appointment as Director General of Competition on 1st September 2002.
Philip Lowe speaks French (fluent) and German (fluent).