Your best solution to date?
Inventing a new national housing and urban renewal vehicle in England (the Homes and Communities Agency). I did the base-case for merger, stitched together the coalition to agree it and helped deliver the solution. It was launched in 2009.

Why is it significant?
The HCA enabled more social homes to be produced in the downturn than had been produced in the boom. Italso innovated the terms of partnership with private sector house-builders and developers.

Your particular skill?
I’ve worked at the highest level in both the private and public sectors on housing, urban development and planning and know both the technical aspects of my trade and how to get stuff done in complex political and economic environments. My approach is technically informed but not academic.

And drive, lots of. I’m an optimist who enjoys a challenge.

Why Arup?
I was once a client of Arup and have been an MD in a consultancy practice in the UK. I would never have joined anyone else. They’re the best technically and in terms of their values. No other team offers me both.

Anything else?
I have become an expert in housing in Australia as well as the UK, where I advised five UK housing ministers. Before I became CEO of the Thames Gateway project in East London I knew nothing about housing apart from what I learned growing up in public housing in a mining community in South Wales. It enthuses me with the possibilities of life and made me committed to ensuring housing can continue to act as a platform for social mobility.