News story

Preferred candidate for new Environment Agency Chair announced

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Philip Dilley selected as the preferred option to succeed Lord Chris Smith

Following an open competition, the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson is pleased to announce Philip Dilley has been selected as the Government’s preferred candidate to succeed Lord Chris Smith in the post of Chair of the Environment Agency, the independent body which delivers Government policy for the protection and enhancement of the environment.

Mr. Dilley was identified following a rigorous selection process which was validated by an independent assessor from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The recruitment process was conducted in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies.

The Secretary of State has invited the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing and to report on Mr Dilley’s suitability for the post. This is in line with the Government’s commitment to strengthen the role of Parliament in scrutinising major public appointments.

Pre-appointment hearings enable select committees to take evidence from preferred candidates for major public appointments before they are appointed. Hearings are in public and involve the select committee publishing a report setting out their views on the candidate’s suitability for the post. Pre-appointment hearings are non-binding but Ministers will consider the committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with an appointment.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Mr. Dilley confirms that he is not a member of any political party and has not made any political donations. However during his time as Executive Chairman, the consulting Group Arup have made contributions to All Party Parliamentary Groups and Charities as well as a £2k donation to the Scottish Labour Party in 2009 to cover the cost of tickets to a gala dinner hosting the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

Biography

Philip Dilley was until recently the Executive Chairman of Arup, a trust-owned global planning, engineering, and project management consulting group with fee revenues in excess of £1bn and over 11,000 staff members. His role carried responsibility for the group performance and brand. He is currently Chairman of London First, a business membership organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. It influences national and local government policies and investment decisions to support London’s global competitiveness. He is also a Member of the Governing Council of Imperial College, a world-renowned British University carrying out undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and research in science, engineering, medicine, and business.

From 2011 to 2013 Philip was a member of the PM’s Advisory Group, which comprises business leaders from sectors of strategic importance to the UK who are invited to provide regular, high level advice to the Prime Minister on critical business and economic issues facing the country.

Philip lives in central London with his wife, June. They have three grown-up children.