Director General Rail Group

Bernadette Kelly CB


Bernadette Kelly became Director General, Rail Group, Department for Transport in September 2015. From September 2013 Bernadette was Director General, Business and Local Growth. Prior to that she was Director General, Fair Markets in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Bernadette joined the Civil Service after graduating. She has spent most of her career working on public policy in relation to business and the economy. She has led work in government to strengthen the regulation of utility sectors; reform the planning regime in the UK; increase housing supply; and control public sector pay and expenditure.

While Bernadette has worked principally in BIS and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), she has also worked at HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office, and in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit; as well as on secondment to ICI plc. From 2000 to 2002 she was Director of Corporate Law and Governance in DTI where she led work to strengthen company law and corporate governance.

Bernadette was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2010.

Director General Rail Group

To contribute to the collective leadership of the Department for Transport as a Board and Executive Committee member and lead of the Rail Group. The main areas of responsibility are:

  • the government’s response to the recommendations proposed by Sir Roy McNulty and subsequent proposals for the reform of the rail industry
  • delivery of major rail investment projects, involving cross industry leadership
  • ensuring rail passenger franchises deliver customer benefits and that financial and other risks are effectively managed
  • sponsorship of Directly Operated Rail and the British Transport Police

Previous roles in government

  1. Director General, Business and Local Growth, BIS

    • 2010 to 2015