CEO, National Infrastructure Commission (SCS 2)

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About the National Infrastructure Commission

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is an executive agency of HM Treasury and was established in 2015 to provide the government with impartial, expert advice on major long-term infrastructure challenges. Its objectives are to support sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK, improve competitiveness and improve quality of life.


The Commission’s core responsibilities include:


• producing a National Infrastructure Assessment once every five years, setting out the Commission’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs with recommendations to government on how to meet them

• carrying out in-depth studies into the UK’s most pressing infrastructure challenges and making recommendations to government, for example on rail connectivity in the North and the future of economic regulation.

• monitoring the government’s progress in delivering infrastructure projects and programmes recommended by the NIC


In July 2018 the NIC published the first ever National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA), setting out a plan of action for the country’s infrastructure over the next 10 to 30 years, making recommendations on transport, energy, water and waste water, flood resilience, digital connectivity and solid waste in addition to other crosscutting issues (e.g. funding and financing). The Government is expected to respond with a National Infrastructure Strategy, and the NIC is starting work on the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

About the Team

The Commission’s secretariat stands at approximately 40 staff, composed of a mixture of policy, analytical and specialist staff, and industry secondees. It is led by a Chief Executive, supported by a senior management team, comprising the Chief Economist, Director of Policy and Chief Operating Officer. The Commission is an independent body chaired by Sir John Armitt, supported by seven expert commissioners. It is a small, friendly and dynamic organisation, which works to its values of being supportive, rigorous and creative.


Key accountabilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for leading the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) secretariat, providing strategic leadership and direction to a large team comprised of civil servants and private sector secondees.

The CEO advises the Chair and Board of the NIC on a range of strategic infrastructure issues, ensuring their recommendations are robust and based on first class analysis. They are responsible for leading engagement across Whitehall (both the key infrastructure departments (see below) and other departments), the private sector and parliament.

The CEO is an employee of the NIC but is appointed by HM Treasury and reports to HM Treasury’s Principal Accounting Officer.

We are looking for an outstanding CEO who can apply their experience to lead the Commission through a complex political landscape.

This is a high profile and challenging role with the potential to shape the UK’s infrastructure strategy. It offers the opportunity to work closely with senior officials, politicians and stakeholders from inside and outside government.

Key responsibilities include:

1. Leading and managing the secretariat to the National Infrastructure Commission to deliver a broad portfolio of diverse projects, ensuring that the government receives independent advice on the UK’s infrastructure needs on time and to a high quality.

2. Acting as the primary advisor to the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission and other NIC Commissioners on policy, strategy and governance issues.

3. Developing the strategic vision for the National Infrastructure Commission, its interaction with Ministers, parliament and the wider public and private sectors.

4. Leading the NIC’s engagement with the key infrastructure departments, including HM Treasury, as well as other government departments with an interest in the Commission’s work, regulators and regional government.

5. Leading the NIC’s external engagement, including speaking at conferences and roundtables, maintaining links with industry, NGOs and academia to build and communicate the NIC’s overall narrative and working with the Head of Comms on media plans.

6. Overseeing the NIC’s budget, delivering external advice and research as required to time, cost and quality and acting as the NIC’s Accounting Officer, ensuring effective governance to assure Parliament and the public of high standards of probity in the NIC’s use of public funds.

Key infrastructure departments across government:

• HM Treasury (HMT)

• Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

• Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

• Department for Transport (DfT)

• Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

• Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)


For questions about the job, please contact
If shortlisted, you will be interviewed against the following criteria:
Behaviours (Seeing the big picture, Changing and improving, Making effective decisions, Leadership, Communicating and influencing, Working together)


Recruitment Timeline

Closing Date: 5th December
Sifting:  Mid-December/Early January
Interviews: Mid-late January. There will be representatives of HMT and NIC on the panel, and it will be chaired by June Milligan, a Civil Service Commissioner.

Sift criteria

Candidates – Please note, you will be asked to give evidence in your application of how you meet these criteria.

Required Behaviours, Experience and Technical Skills:

1. Demonstrable ability to lead the NIC’s cross government engagement and command the trust and confidence of senior stakeholders, officials and ministers (working together).

2. A successful track record of leading and managing diverse teams, including those with a mixture of public and private sector staff (leadership).

3. Excellent strategic thinking skills, with a proven track record of articulating and delivering a long term, inspirational, vision for an organisation (seeing the big picture).

4. Ability to run an organisation, managing budgets and identifying opportunities for efficiency and change, with the ability to shift resources to meet changing priorities (changing and improving).

5. Ability to represent the NIC at major infrastructure and stakeholder events, including handling media appearances (communicating and influencing).

6. Experience of working at a senior level on infrastructure-related issues.

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