Roads Minister Baroness Vere has appointed Dipesh J Shah OBE as the new Chair of Highways England’s. He will lead the government’s ambitious plans to level up road infrastructure across the country, being responsible for the delivery of RIS2.
Appointed after a competitive selection process he will take up the post on 1 September 2020 and will be responsible for the delivery of the second five-year road investment strategy. The £27 billion strategy, known as RIS2, began in April 2020 and will further improve the safety, reliability and connectivity of England’s strategic road network.
Mr Shah takes over from Colin Matthews who, since 2014, had led the organisation through a period of significant change, from its initial establishment as a government-owned company, through to its delivery of the RIS1 programme and subsequent plans for RIS2.
Dipesh J Shah OBE said: “I am honoured to be invited to chair Highways England, which plays a pivotal role in connecting communities across England.
“I look forward to working with colleagues to deliver the very significant programme of improvement and expansion of the road network in support of the government’s levelling-up agenda.”
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This government is determined to build our way out of COVID-19, providing the infrastructure, jobs and skills needed to support our economy.
“I am delighted that Dipesh Shah will be leading the Highways England team at this crucial time, delivering major projects that will really make a difference to communities across the country.
“I’d also like to thank Colin Matthews for seeing Highways England through its first phase as a new company, including the successful delivery of the first road investment strategy.”
He brings extensive experience from the public and private sectors.
He has served on the boards of Thames Water, Babcock International and the Crown Estate, as well as on boards in the infrastructure, financial services and energy sectors. He was formerly the CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, having earlier held several senior positions at BP, including Chief Economist.
He was also a member of the UK Government’s Renewable Energy Advisory Committee from 1994 to 2002.
Born in India, and brought up in Uganda, he is a graduate of the University of London, the University of Warwick and the Harvard Business School management program.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2007 New Year Honours and is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
A widely-experienced Chairman, CEO and Board Director operating in executive and non-executive capacities, he has particular expertise in growing and transforming the performance of listed, private equity and public sector companies in the energy, environmental technology, infrastructure, financial services and support services sectors.
He is also an experienced media commentator and platform speaker on a wide range of industry and general issues.