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Keith on site in Iceland on the Karahnjuker hydroelectric project.

United Kingdom / Group chairman

Keith Howells

Keith became our chairman on 1 January 2011
Keith became chairman on 1 January 2011
Keith became chairman on 1 January 2011 Keith's 40-year career with the Group has seen him working on projects in over 20 countries. He was elected Chairman of the UK’s Association for Consultancy and Engineering for its centenary year in 2013. In 2013 he was appointed to the UK government’s National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum and the Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council. Keith is also a member of the CBI’s Construction Council and sits on the Cranfield School of Management advisory board.

 Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?

On graduating, I had four job offers, but decided to join Sir Murdoch MacDonald and Partners because they specialised in water - which interested me. They had opportunities to work overseas, and their headquarters was in Cambridge, which appealed to me.

What is the best thing about your role?

Meeting people, both internally and externally. As group chairman I’m invited to events and to meet people whom I would never otherwise have the chance to meet. I also get to travel quite extensively which I enjoy.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

Collegiate, consensus driven and friendly, with clear focus on delivering an outstanding job for our customers.

How many years have you worked for Mott MacDonald, and what has been your proudest achievement to date?

I’ve worked for the company or its antecedents for 40 years and in that time have worked on many memorable projects and assignments. My proudest achievement has been in becoming group chairman, something I never expected.

What is your most memorable experience?

I have many memorable experiences, good and bad, personal and corporate – some that stick in the mind are being in a huge storm in a sailing boat mid-Atlantic; being lost in the desert in Northern Nigeria with a broken down Land Rover; driving from the UK to Iraq (and back); being caught in the thick of an attempted military coup in Lesotho; getting married (second time round) in Tower Bridge; karaoke-ing with a live band in Hong Kong; meeting a tiger on a footpath in a forest in Nepal (it was more scared than I was).

Where is your favourite place?

I have three (currently) – London, the South of France and Santorini


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