HS2 Ltd, Chair

Body: HS2 Ltd
Appointing Department: Department for Transport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Transport
Location: London and Birmingham
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Change Management, Major Projects, Procurement, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £230,000 to £250,000 per annum
Time Requirements: 3 days per week


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    June 2018


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

In addition to the summary below, please click on the link to Attachments below for the detailed Candidate Information and Monitoring Forms for completion.

The Chair of the HS2 Ltd Board will be responsible for shaping, challenging and directing the strategy for HS2 Ltd in delivering the requirement, and ensure that the Board, the executive and the organisation operate effectively and responsibly.

He/she will:

  • Lead the Board in holding the executive to account for the effective and efficient delivery of the programme, for building the organisation, and for the overall performance of HS2 Ltd, including: ensuring the Company has robust risk management, internal controls and assurance processes; ensuring efficient and effective use of staff and other resources.
  • Lead on being a passionate advocate for the High Speed Rail Project and carry that message to the UK’s political and business leadership, and wider public, and on the national stage. The role will be of high political and public profile and the successful candidate will be expected to appear in the media, be the advocate for the programme and Company, and interact with a wide range of influential stakeholders, including Ministers.
  • Lead discussions between HS2 Ltd and the Secretary of State, reporting on progress and raising issues of concern as necessary.
  • Lead by example and encourage high standards of regularity and propriety: ensure that HS2 Ltd does nothing to bring the Secretary of State into disrepute.
  • Account to the Secretary of State for Transport in his role as the sole owner of HS2 Ltd who is, in turn, accountable to Parliament for the activities and performance of HS2 Ltd; and to the Department for Transport Permanent Secretary in her role as Principal Accounting Officer for HS2 Ltd.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria – all candidates must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • An outstanding record of achievement throughout their professional career; someone with a significant profile and gravitas, with strong personal credibility who has wide business/organisational leadership experience, across large sectors.
  • Experience in the transport, construction and regeneration / development sectors would be highly desirable and particularly relevant. However, we are very open and keen to receive applications from leaders across a range of other sectors who can demonstrate the appropriate skills and qualities for the role.
  • Strategic leadership and change management experience of one or more large and complex organisations, undergoing substantial evolutionary change.
  • Excellent leadership, stakeholder management and communication skills with the ability to manage complex partnerships, bring stakeholders together, and build consensus around high priority interventions, supported by a strong evidence base; being politically astute in maintaining relationships with a range of stakeholders and political persuasions.
  • The ability to cope with ambiguity, credibility and persuasiveness in dealings with elected members and officials, and display energy and resilience in championing a long term project through inevitable challenges.
  • The ability to demonstrate media handling skills and being comfortable in the media spotlight.
  •  Comprehensive experience at Board-level and the ability to lead a Board of a very large organisation in supporting, challenging and holding to account a strong executive team, conveying confidence in the organisation’s capability to deliver to time, cost and quality.
  • The ability to harness the knowledge and experience of a strong Board and able to complement the skills and experience of the CEO and other NEDs.
  • The capability to be a mentor and sounding Board for management, and the ability to look beyond the horizon and plan ahead.

Desirable criteria:

  •  Experience of leading on large infrastructure projects and a successful record of applying commercial strategies to major projects or initiatives.
  • An understanding of the transport infrastructure environment in the Midlands and the northern regions.
  •  The ability to advise the UK Government on issues relating to the programme; ensuring solutions are effectively brokered so that outcomes and benefits are delivered according to requirements.
  • Commercial ability and financial acumen exercised at Board level, for example funding and costs, and the legal and contractual framework in which an organisation operates and delivers; and an understanding of managing public money principles.

How to Apply

Applications should be sent by email to Responses@RussellReynolds.com quoting reference P1701-087L in the subject line.

Alternatively, they may be sent by post to:

Fiona Birkmire

Reference P1701-087L

Russell Reynolds Associates

Almack House

28 King Street

London SW1Y 6QW


The closing date for applications is Noon on Friday 6 April 2018

  • You must enclose with your application:
  • The completed Candidate Summary Form. The Register of Interest and Political Activity Forms and Equal Opportunities Monitoring Sheet, which are detachable from this document.
  • A full CV.
  • A covering note of not more than 2 pages in total summarising the evidence of your ability to meet the person and job specification.
  • The names of at least two referees who may be contacts at short list stage, i.e. before final interviews.
  • Confirmation that you are happy for DfT or Russell Reynolds Associates to undertake any necessary career and background checks.
  • Notification of any dates you are unable to accommodate within the indicative timetable above, or within proximity of the indicative timetable.
SPEC HS2 Chair Candidate Information March 2018 #901133
HS2 Chair Monitoring Forms
Return to Search