Senior management team
The Chief Executive is supported by a senior management team comprising the Chief Economist, Chief Operating Officer and two Directors of Policy. This group meets regularly and provides day-to-day oversight of the Commission staff’s activities.
Chief Executive Officer
This is a biography for James Heath
James joined the Commission as Chief Executive in May 2020. Prior to this, he served as Director of Digital Infrastructure at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
James led DCMS through the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review and Telecoms Supply Chain Review, and had overall responsibility for broadband, mobile and telecoms security policy, and the Government’s 5G Trials & Testbed Programme.
Before joining DCMS in 2017, he was Director of Policy at the BBC.
This is a biography for James Richardson
James was appointed Chief Economist to the Commission in March 2016. Prior to this, James served as Director, Fiscal and Deputy Chief Economic Adviser at HM Treasury (2012-16)and Director, Public Spending (2008-12).
He ran Spending Review 2010 and led on reforms to public service pensions, following Lord Hutton’s independent report. James joined HM Treasury in 1998 and has worked predominantly on public spending issues since, including heading the Labour Market Policy team (covering DWP spending) and the Home and Legal team (covering Home Office, MoJ and Law Officers’ spending).
Chief Operating Officer
This is a biography for Mark Ardron
Mark joined the Commission as the Chief Operating Officer in April 2021. He has responsibility for the private office, corporate governance, finance, HR and facilities functions within the Commission.
Before joining the Commission, Mark served as the Head of Finance at The Pensions Regulator. He is a qualified accountant and has over 25 years’ experience in a range of public sector bodies, across a wide range of functions, including programme and project management, organisational governance, government spending reviews and debt management. He also has served as a non-executive director within the public sector.
Director of Policy
This is a biography for Giles Stevens
Giles joined the Commission in January 2019 from Ofwat to work on the Regulation Study. He was appointed interim Director of Policy in September 2019.
Prior to his current role, Giles led Ofwat’s sector review into the impact on water customers of the ‘Beast from the East’ sudden freeze and thaw. He ran the CBA review of whether competition should be introduced to residential customers. He was Portfolio Director for the 2014 price review, responsible for transforming the way that Ofwat engaged and categorised price controls.
Previous roles include leading offshore transmission (designing the competitive tendering scheme) at Ofgem and seconded national expert at the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission.
Hannah Brown / Jen Coe
Director of Policy
This is a biography for Hannah Brown / Jen Coe
Hannah and Jen joined the Commission in December 2020, having previously worked together as a successful jobshare partnership at the Department of Health and Social Care and NHSX. Hannah has experience leading policy development and strategic relationships with industry and infrastructure in a number of Whitehall departments, including HM Treasury, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and the Office for Life Sciences.
Jen also brings a wealth of policy and Whitehall experience having worked at numerous Government Departments including the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
A dedicated team of civil servants supports the Commission's work.
The Commission secretariat stands at approximately 40 staff, led by its Chief Executive.
The Commission aims to ensure that its staff brings together a range of public and private sector skills and experience, relevant to the specific projects and workstreams being undertaken.
Our current staff team includes direct employees of the Commission and civil servants on loan from a number of relevant departments (including DfT, BEIS and Defra). We also occasionally second specialist staff for defined periods from local authorities, regulators and the private sector.
James Heath speech to Infrastructure Forum Annual Policy Summit
James Heath, Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, addressed the Infrastructure Forum Annual Policy Summit yesterday (29 September 2020). His speech explored the importance of a long term strategy for infrastructure planning, the tests which the Commission will apply to the government’s forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy, and the key policies the Commission recommends is...
My first 100 days
100 days ago, I took up my post as Chief Executive of the NIC. Like others who have changed jobs during the crisis, I’ve been navigating the challenge of being away from a tangible office environment and getting to know my new team through calls and computer screens. While it’s been a rather unconventional start, I join at a time when the Commission’s work has never...
Can data help make our crucial infrastructure even more resilient?
Now more than ever we can see the importance of data to help us anticipate, react, and recover from infrequent but potentially devastating events. But this is not just true of pandemics: data can help us to manage direct shocks to infrastructure as well. During the current crisis, our infrastructure systems have generally stood up...