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Our Executive board
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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.

James Harris

James became Chair of our Executive Board in August 2022. He joined Mott MacDonald as a graduate in 1990 after studying civil and structural engineering, beginning his career as an engineer in our UK water business. He worked on some of our major civil engineering projects in Hong Kong and then returned to the UK in 2002 to hold several senior leadership positions, being appointed to the Executive Board in 2017 and as Group managing director in 2019.

James has made a pivotal contribution to Mott MacDonald’s strong operational performance worldwide, especially in leading its response to COVID-19. He has been instrumental in shaping our award-winning approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion — galvanizing colleague engagement and championing collaboration with our clients to advance improvements in the wider industry.

James has also had a leading role in several 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.

Cathy Travers

Cathy was appointed as Group managing director to the Board in August 2022. Cathy has spent her whole working career at Mott MacDonald after graduating from the University of Sheffield in 1988 with a masters in civil and structural engineering. During this time she has worked in several senior leadership roles including managing director for the buildings and infrastructure business and most recently as UK and Europe managing director.

In her role as managing director of Mott MacDonald’s UK and Europe region, Cathy led a diverse team of 8000 employees delivering infrastructure projects across transport, water, energy, and the built environment.

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.

Denise Bower

Professor Denise Bower OBE joined the Board as Group external engagement director in January 2020. She is responsible for client and partner relationships and thought leadership activity, along with the supporting business functions of marketing and internal communications. Denise is responsible for driving improvements in the delivery of major projects and for our corporate commitments on global issues. She works with external organizations that are bringing about transformative action on climate change and sits on the steering committee of the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI).

Denise has had an impressive career in the infrastructure industry. She is 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 was a long-standing member of the Infrastructure Client Group and has worked closely with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to improve major project preparation and delivery. She has worked with numerous sponsor and client organisations, helping to shape major projects and programs.

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 Program Management Division. He subsequently took responsibility in 2010 for the Groups’ Europe 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.

David Johnson

David Johnson joined the Board as development director in July 2023. Key areas of focus are maximising the benefits for clients and the company from ongoing digital transformation, and business growth in defence and buildings. David was managing director for Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and continues to provide leadership for the region.

Throughout his career David has championed teamwork, cross-discipline capabilities, lateral thinking, technical innovation, and attention to clients’ and end users’ experience. This combination has been brought to bear on a host of world-leading projects, including Sydney Metro and Adelaide Oval Redevelopment in Australia, and Wembley Stadium in the UK.

David’s connection with Mott MacDonald started in the 1990s. He established our business in Australia and New Zealand in 2010. Under his leadership the Australia and New Zealand business has now grown to 1,500 people, with further expansion across Asia taking the regional total to 3,000 staff.

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 optimize the Group’s profitability and use of capital, to maximize shareholder value, and to meet the expectations of other stakeholders.

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.

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