The role of the board is to:
- ensure effective governance of the company so that the company makes decisions at the right time and properly manages risks
- shape, challenge and direct the agenda for the company delivering stated priorities
- monitor performance and risk, making choices (or recommendations to ministers) on our priorities ‘risk appetite’ (the amount and type of risk we are willing to take in order to meet our strategic objectives)
- oversee healthy relations with our stakeholders and commercial partners
The board typically meets on a monthly basis.
Allan Cook CBE, Chair
Allan Cook CBE DSc is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ international experience in the infrastructure, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.
His experience includes serving as Co-Chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, Chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, as a director of JF Lehman and Company, and as a former lead non-executive director for the then-Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under the coalition government.
Among his other senior posts, he was also chair of WS Atkins Plc, Leonardo UK, and Deputy Chair of Marshalls Group. He served as the CEO of Cobham Plc from 2000 to 2009..
Mark Thurston, Executive Board Member
Mark joined High Speed Two (HS2) as Chief Executive Officer in March 2017. With more than 25 years’ experience in project and programme management, Mark has worked in both the public and private sectors on some of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects.
Previously, Mark was Managing Director for Europe at CH2M and was with the company from June 2008. During his career with CH2M Mark spent a significant amount of time in leadership roles on major programmes, including three years as Strategic Projects Director on Crossrail, leading the Programme Partner joint venture Transcend.
Prior to this Mark was Programme Delivery Manager on the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, where he led the Power Lines Under Grounding project and the £500 million Structures, Bridges and Highways programme on behalf of the CLM delivery partner consortium.
Mark has a Master’s Degree in Engineering Project Management from Loughborough University. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management at University College London and is an honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Association for Project Management.
Michael Bradley, Executive Board Member
Michael Bradley CB joined High Speed Two (HS2) as Chief Financial Officer in November 2018 and brings with him more than 25 years’ experience operating at Board level supporting businesses in both the public and private sectors, where he has led Finance, IT and Business wide Transformation in large complex organisations.
Previously, Michael sat on the Board of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), an arms-length body of the Ministry of Defence, where he was CFO & Director General Resources from 2012, and more recently acting CEO, responsible for a multi-billion pound organisation of over 11,000 staff.
Prior to this Michael had a successful 7 year stint with leading UK infrastructure maintainer Enterprise, where he led and developed the Finance function through a period of significant acquisition and organic growth within the business.
Richard Robinson, Executive Board Member
Richard joined High Speed Two (HS2) as Chief Operating Officer on the 24 September 2018. Richard has over 20 years of experience in the heavy industry and civil infrastructure sectors.
Previously, Richard worked for AECOM where he was Chief Executive, Civil Infrastructure, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. At AECOM, Richard led the growth of the Civil Infrastructure business, first as Managing Director and then Chief Executive, leading 8,000 people across four regions and a range of infrastructure projects. Before joining AECOM Richard held leadership roles at BAA Heathrow and Anglo American Plc, and worked for ICI plc.
Richard holds a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, and an MBA from HEC Paris & NYU Stern School of Business, graduating Dean’s List. Richard qualified as a chartered chemical engineer, holds CEng and Eur Eng, and is a Sainsbury Management Fellow.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Non-executive Board Member
Andrew joined BAE Systems in May 2018 as Group Managing Director Maritime and Land UK and is a member of the Executive Committee. Before joining BAE Systems Andrew was Chief Executive Officer for Crossrail, leading the delivery of the Elizabeth line through central London; Europe’s largest engineering project. Prior to joining Crossrail, Andrew held a number of senior positions delivering major engineering projects in the UK, Asia and North America, including Heathrow Express rail link, the Terminal 5 programme and a £10 billion development programme across 7 UK airports.
Andrew began his career serving with the British Army as a Queen’s Royal Irish Hussar before resigning his commission in 1984 to pursue a career in business and engineering spanning more than 30 years. Andrew holds a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering from Southampton University.
Andrew is the Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council and has also served as a Non-executive Director for the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support Board.
Ed Smith, Non-executive Board Member
Ed Smith is the Chairman of Assura plc, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council at the University of Birmingham and Chairman of the Advisory Boards of HCA Healthcare UK and Push Doctor.
From January 2015 to October 2017 Ed was the lead non-executive director for the Department for Transport. He was a non-executive director at the Department since 2009. He is the former Chairman of NHS Improvement and Deputy Chairman of NHS England.
Ed was the former Global Assurance Chief Operating Officer and Strategy Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Before retiring he had a successful 30-year career with PwC, holding many leading board and top client roles in the UK and globally as a Senior Partner.
Mel Ewell, Non-executive Board Member
Mr Ewell brings a wealth of infrastructure and transport industry experience from the UK and around the world. He led Amey, one of the UK’s largest infrastructure support service companies, for 15 years.
During his tenure, the company delivered major road and rail projects, including the maintenance of the iconic Forth Road Bridge. Prior to joining Amey he was Managing Director at ADI group, a provider of transport and aviation services across Europe.
Richard Brown, Non-executive Board Member
Richard Brown has held high level positions in and around the rail sector. Through his association with HS1 and Eurostar, he brings experience of the specification and delivery of major rail infrastructure, and ensuring longer term value for money. He is also able to add further value through his experience of running an operational high speed railway.
Roger Mountford, Non-executive Board Member
Roger is a former member of the Board of the Civil Aviation Authority as well as Chair of The Housing Finance Corporation, which raises long term funds to finance social housing.
He is currently Chairman of HgCapital trust plc, an independent trustee of several pension schemes, and a member of the Council of the London School of Economics.
Board meeting minutes
Minutes from previous board meetings are available on request or via the National Archive website.
Audit and risk assurance committee
The audit and risk committee recommends actions or improvements to the board.
Audit and risk assurance committee meeting minutes
Minutes from previous audit and risk assurance committee meetings are available on request or via the National Archive website.
View the HS2 development agreement.
Register of business interests