HS2 Ltd - Non-Executive Director

Body: HS2 Ltd
Appointing Department: Department for Transport
Sectors: Communities, Transport
Location: Birmingham
Skills required: Communication / Media / Marketing, Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £950 per day
Time Requirements: 2 days per month approx.


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

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today (9 August 2021) appointed Tom Harris as a Non-Executive Director to the High Speed 2 (HS2) Limited Board.

Tom has been appointed for a 3-year term, commencing on 1 July 2021, following an open and fair competition.

Tom, who has been a Non-Executive Director on the HS2 Ltd Board since July 2020, was appointed as a community engagement leader to strengthen the company’s focus on community engagement, further ensuring that those impacted by HS2 continue to be listened to and treated with the respect they deserve.

Tom, a former parliamentarian, was also a member of the Expert Challenge Panel supporting the government’s independent review of the railway industry, which recently resulted in the publication of the government’s plan to transform the railways in Great Britain, the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

This appointment has been made in accordance with the Governance Code for public appointments. It follows the recent appointment of several other non-executive directors to the board to strengthen oversight and scrutiny of the UK’s largest infrastructure project: Sir Jonathan Thompson in April this year, and Ian King and Elaine Holt last year.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said:

“I am delighted that Tom will be able to continue his important work ensuring that the company remains fully focused on the people the project impacts.

“HS2 is committed to continuously improving its engagement with local communities and minimising the impact of construction wherever possible, through new best practices and cutting-edge innovation.”

Tom Harris said:

“I’m delighted to have been appointed to the HS2 Ltd Board. I’ve enjoyed being a part of this project over the past year, helping to strengthen the company’s focus on community engagement and ensure everyone impacted by the new railway feels they are being listened to and treated with respect.

“As HS2 moves north, with work now underway on Phase 2a extending the line to Crewe, and the bill for the leg to Manchester currently being drafted, it’s more important than ever that HS2 Ltd is clear, concise and respectful in its dealings with those affected, and I look forward to ensuring that happens.”

The process to appoint a new Chair of HS2 Ltd is underway, following Allan Cook’s departure on 31 July 2021.

The vacancy for Chair of HS2 Ltd is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Following the publication of the independent Oakervee review in February 2020, which recommended proceeding with HS2, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the project would go ahead to deliver better connectivity across the country, greater capacity on the rail network and shorter journey times.

Construction of Phase One of HS2 is now supporting over 16,000 jobs and more than 650 apprenticeships, with the project expected to have a lasting impact on jobs, skills and businesses in the UK, as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. Over 2,100 companies now have contracts to deliver work on HS2 and 97% of these are UK-based businesses. In February 2021, the Phase 2a Bill was given Royal Assent in a historic milestone that will bring the new high-speed railway to the north.

Date: 09/08/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    01/03/2021 at 09:00

  • Panel Sift

    Early March 2021

  • Final Interview Date

    Mid/End March 2021

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Do you want to help shape and deliver one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe? If so, then you can play a key role by applying to join the HS2 Board.

HS2 is at the heart of the Government’s plans to build back better from Covid-19, creating thousands of jobs and providing certainty at a time when people need it the most.

This railway is a long-term investment which will bring our biggest cities closer together, boost productivity and provide a low-carbon alternative to cars and planes for many decades to come. HS2 will become the spine of the country’s transport network, playing a key role in achieving the transition to carbon net zero by 2050. But its transformational potential goes even further. By creating thousands of apprenticeships and tens of thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and rebalance opportunity across this country.

The Secretary of State for Transport is seeking a Non-Executive Director to join the board of HS2 Ltd with a real opportunity to shape the direction of this critical and highly visible project.

As Non-Executive Director, you will champion the HS2 vision and objectives, challenging Board decisions where appropriate to maintain the aspired strategic direction and culture of the organisation whilst holding the leadership team to account for effective and efficient delivery against the agreed strategy and business plan. This will include offering alternative perspectives to the sector norm, with the ability to consider strategic, complex and often sensitive issues from an informed and balanced perspective. A particular focus is on driving continuous improvements in HS2’s approach to communications and engagement with communities along the route, and for driving the Government’s goal for greater transparency.

Person Specification

You will need recent and relevant Executive Board or Non-Executive Director experience with the tenacity and interpersonal skills to operate in a high-profile organisation tasked with delivering against demanding objectives. All candidates should be able demonstrate the following:

  • Experience of the planning process for large, complex programmes and best practice for the associated risk management required
  • Excellent insight into the public’s priorities, acquired from working in customer-facing businesses or other fields with significant public exposure
  • Leadership, people and team management skills including strong coaching and development experience
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • An ability to exercise independent judgement and to constructively challenge and encourage
  • The ability to drive innovation and implement change

Additionally, expertise in the following specialisms is desirable with the strongest candidates being able to demonstrate experience in each area:

  • Engaging with and managing a range of communities and stakeholders
  • Working with government and elected representatives

HS2 is committed to being open and inclusive to all sections of society and we welcome applications from any gender, ethnicity or any other diverse background.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for these positions, please supply the following by 9am 1 March 2021:

A CV setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications.

A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the criteria of the role and required specialism(s). Please provide specific examples.

In addition, you are expected to complete and return via email the supporting documentation form attached separately, relating to referees, diversity, nationality, political activity and conflicts of interest.

Completed applications should be emailed to NED_DFTShareholding@dft.gov.uk

HS2 Ltd Non-Executive Director Candidate Pack
NED Recruitment - Supporting Documentation form
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