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Executive board

The directors of the Mott MacDonald Executive Board lead a global business that has common models of employee ownership, structure, and management throughout the organization.

Collectively the board brings worldwide management and operations experience across diverse industry backgrounds to its task of continually advancing our employee-owned business in line with our vision, mission, and values, and protecting the company’s long-term stability and vitality. The board is held to account by our employee shareholders.

Mike Haigh

Mike became Chair of our Executive Board in July 2019. Of his many contributions to our business strategy, he’s known as a vocal advocate for technical excellence and digital technology, and the opportunities that this can bring to infrastructure projects. Digital transformation continues to be a major focus, creating innovative new services for clients and integrating technology into all facets of new and existing infrastructure to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits.

Mike is also a proponent of employee ownership and the creative, innovative and economics benefits such firms offer. He’s helping advance our global wellbeing and mental health programmes and our award-winning approach to equality, diversity and inclusion – which led him to being named by The Women’s Business Council and Management Today as one of the top 30 men tackling gender inequality in the workplace.

Mike joined Mott MacDonald after graduating from the University of Leeds in 1981, beginning his career as an engineer in the firm’s water sector business before taking diverse roles of increasing seniority. Since 2017, Mike has been the consultancy’s Group managing director responsible for the day-to-day management and operational performance of the global business. Prior to this, he served as regional managing director of company’s Europe and Africa (EUNA) business, and its Middle East and South Asia business. Earlier in his career Mike was director of Mott MacDonald’s water and environment business. In 2013 he became a Group board director. Mike was chairman of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering in 2017.

James Harris

James Harris took on the role of Group managing director in July 2019. He’s had a leading role in several of our core initiatives such as embedding carbon reduction in operational and project decision making and expanding support for clients to tackle climate change and build resilience. James was a member of the UK Green Construction Board’s Infrastructure Working Group, which produced the seminal Infrastructure Carbon Review (ICR) for HM Treasury in 2013, followed by the world’s first international standard for managing infrastructure carbon, PAS 2080. With the ICR setting out the principle that major cost efficiencies could be achieved by decarbonising the delivery and operation of infrastructure assets, PAS 2080 explained how to do it.

James is also known for his pivotal contribution in our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, both in galvanising colleague engagement and championing collaboration with clients to advance improvements in the wider industry. He was named a Leading Ally Executive by LGBT+ professional networking organisation OUTstanding together with the Financial Times.

James joined Mott MacDonald as a graduate after studying civil and structural engineering at University College Cardiff, beginning his career as an engineer in our UK water business in 1990 before moving overseas to work on some of the company’s major civil engineering projects in Hong Kong. James then returned to the UK in 2002 and held a number of senior roles before becoming managing director of Mott MacDonald’s water business and its Mott MacDonald Bentley joint venture. James was appointed to the executive board in 2017, when he became managing director for its UK and Europe region.

Ian Galbraith

Ian was appointed to the Board in January 2018 and is responsible for Group Strategy.

Ian joined Mott MacDonald in 2002 leading the Programme Management Division. He subsequently took responsibility in 2010 for the Groups’ Europe, Russia and Africa businesses, moving in 2016 to a Regional Managing Director position across Asia-Pacific and Australasia based out of the Singapore office. Prior to being the Group Strategy Director he was responsible for Group Operations.

In his strategy role he is responsible for the development of a consistent forward-looking business strategy which delivers strong profitable growth and continued differentiation; all considering our purpose, industry dynamics, the geopolitical landscape, technological change, market opportunity and societal flux.

Ed Roud

Ed Roud was appointed as finance director and elected to the Board in January 2014. Ed joined Mott MacDonald in 1999 as financial controller and was appointed financial officer in 2005 responsible for the financial strategy and development of Mott MacDonald worldwide. He also assisted the Board on a wider set of operational initiatives outside finance which led to his appointment to the Board.

In his role as finance director, Ed manages shareholder funds and borrowings, implements the strategy for group funding and financial performance and is responsible for the management of financial risk. He works with the rest of the Board to optimise the Group’s profitability and use of capital, to maximise shareholder value and to meet the expectations of other stakeholder.

Ed is a chartered accountant and holds an MA (Hons) Economics degree from Edinburgh University. He started his career with Deloitte, working in audit and corporate finance. Prior to joining Mott MacDonald, Ed spent four years at ICI as corporate reporting manager. His experience prior to joining the Group has brought a wider perspective in developing some of the company’s recent financial initiatives.

Denise Bower

Professor Denise Bower OBE joined our Executive Board as Group external engagement director in January 2020. She will be responsible for client and partner relationships, thought leadership activity and driving improvements in the delivery of major projects.

Denise has had an impressive career in the infrastructure industry. She is very well known through her role as the executive director of the Major Projects Association and as Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds. Denise is a member of the Infrastructure Client Group and works closely with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to improve major project preparation and delivery through Routemap Ltd. She has worked with numerous sponsor and client organisations, helping to shape major projects and programmes.

Through Denise’s work at the Major Projects Association she has helped improve the initiation and delivery of major projects. And through her role at the University of Leeds and Routemap Ltd. she has made a positive contribution to a sector that benefits economies, societies and the environment. She aims to build on these experiences and has worked closely with new colleagues to work with our clients and partners in an inclusive and socially responsible way.

Cathy Travers

Cathy was appointed as a director to our Board in January 2022. As managing director of Mott MacDonald’s UK and Europe region, she is responsible for a diverse team of 8000 talented people who operate in the built environment, advisory, transport, water, environment and energy sectors.

Cathy has spent her whole working career at Mott MacDonald, having joined Husband and Company after graduating from the University of Sheffield in 1988 with a masters in civil and structural engineering. Over this time she has held a number of senior leadership roles, including being the managing director for our buildings and infrastructure business and being the business development director for our UK and Europe region.

Cathy has continually used her expertise and insight to influence change. She is passionate about people and promotes a culture of inclusivity across the business while playing a leading role in the development of our early career professionals.

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