Lord Andrew Adonis
Former Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, UK
Session 1: Engineering a Region: Infrastructure
Presentation Title: The National Infrastructure Commission: A British Perspective
Both as advisor and then minister, Andrew Adonis was a key architect of Tony Blair’s public service reforms in education, health, local government, policing and transport. He has deep and broad experience of the challenge of leadership, change management and policy implementation in complex organisations – and in difficult conditions.
As Labour Secretary of State for Transport, Andrew prepared the plan for the HS2 rail line which was adopted Conservative/Lib-Dem Government. As Schools Minister he was the driving force behind the Academies programme which led to the creation of 400 ‘independent state schools’ – again it became the model for the incoming government. He also pioneered the controversial introduction of university tuition fees, now broadly accepted by all main parties.
After an early career as Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford and Public Policy Editor of the Financial Times, Andrew spent two years as Head of the No.10 Policy Unit. One of the most ardent modernisers, he became the Prime Minister’s principal advisor on domestic policy and is widely respected by all parts of the political spectrum for his understanding of policy, implementation and strategy.
Andrew’s experience and knowledge of both policy and infrastructure saw him appointed Chair of the newly created National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission’s role is to make long-term decisions on infrastructure projects in the UK with a view to what is necessary for the economy, what is required to realise it, and its effects.
Lord Adonis is author of books on parliamentary reform, the class system and the infamous poll tax – and was named ‘Peer of the Year’ in Channel Four’s awards. After leaving the Cabinet he became Chairman of a cross-party think tank, working on ways to improve the effectiveness of government.