News story

CEO of National Infrastructure Commission appointed

The Chancellor has appointed Phil Graham as CEO of the National Infrastructure Commission.


The Chancellor has appointed Phil Graham as CEO of the National Infrastructure Commission. He joins the National Infrastructure Commission from the Department for Transport, where he has worked on many of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects.

Phil Graham led the development of the government’s high speed rail strategy, as well as leading the team supporting Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and working on the London Olympics.

The Chancellor said:

I am delighted to appoint Phil Graham as CEO of the National Infrastructure Commission.

The NIC will provide expert, independent advice to the government on the most pressing ‎infrastructure challenges facing the country. Phil’s role as CEO will be vital in overseeing this work.

Lord Adonis, Interim Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission said:

Phil Graham is supremely qualified to be the first CEO of the National Infrastructure Commission.

He has done brilliant work on a wide range of nationally significant projects from high speed rail to the London Olympics and most recently ‎as secretary of the Airports Commission.

He is an excellent public servant and I am confident he will be superb in his new role.

On 5 October 2015 the Chancellor announced the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission to provide expert independent analysis of the long-term infrastructure needs of the country.

The commission has been working in shadow form since then.

The commission will publish a National Infrastructure Assessment every Parliament setting out its analysis of the UK’s infrastructure needs over a 10 to 30 year horizon. The government will be required formally to respond to the recommendations of the commission.

The commission has also been tasked ‎with carrying out specific studies of pressing infrastructure challenges.

The commission will have a remit which will ensure that it recommends infrastructure that is sustainable, affordable and provides real economic benefit.

It will not re-open decision-making processes where programmes and work have been decided, or will be decided in the immediate future, including the Smart Metering programme, the Roads Investment Strategy or Control Period 5 in rail. It will not re-open closed price control settlements in regulated utilities such as energy and water.

The Chancellor has asked the commission to report on three initial projects by Budget 2016:

  • Northern transport connectivity, especially east-west across the Pennines
  • Large-scale investment in London’s transport infrastructure, including Crossrail 2
  • Ensuring investment in energy infrastructure can meet future demand in the most efficient way

Further information

The interim chair of the commission is Lord Andrew Adonis, a former Transport Secretary (2009 – 10), Minister of State for Transport (2008 – 09), Minister for Schools (2005 – 08), and Head of the No10 Policy Unit (2001 – 05).

He was a member of the independent Armitt Commission, which recommended an independent National Infrastructure Commission in 2013.

The Commissioners are:

  • Lord Heseltine – the former deputy prime minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities through infrastructure investment

  • Sir John Armitt – the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year’s President of the Institute of Civil Engineers

  • Professor Tim Besley – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and the LSE’s Growth Commission, which recommended an independent infrastructure body

  • Demis Hassabis – artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies

  • Sadie Morgan – a founding director of dRMM Architects and Design Panel Chair of HS2

  • Bridget Rosewell – a senior adviser at Volterra and former Chief Economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority

  • Sir Paul Ruddock – chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment

The government announced in the Spending Review that it will publish a National Infrastructure Delivery Plan next spring, setting out in detail how it will deliver key projects and programmes over the next 5 years.

The government has also committed to invest more than £100 billion in infrastructure over the course of this Parliament.

Published 21 December 2015