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Centre for Cities CEO to step down after six years at helm

Alexandra Jones will step down after six years as the chief executive of Centre for Cities to move to the government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as director of Industrial Strategy.

It was also confirmed that current deputy CEO Andrew Carter will step in to fill Jones’s position, bringing his 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies to the role.

Speaking about her time leading the organisations, Jones said: “I have hugely enjoyed my time at the Centre, and am incredibly proud of everything that the team has achieved in recent years, from our award-winning research to the critical role we’ve played in shaping the devolution and mayoral agendas.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead work on the industrial strategy at BEIS, and am confident the Centre will continue to ensure that urban economies are at the heart of national and local policy debates in the years to come.”

In the past Jones had written pieces for PSE on a number of topics, including addressing the skills gaps following the chancellor’s Autumn Statement productivity plan, as well as calling on the government to focus on underperforming Northern city-regions in order to successfully deliver its Northern Powerhouse plans.

On top of that, Jones also penned a piece for the magazine concerning why metro-mayors matter to the devolution agenda, arguing that the discussion surrounding mayors should not be about whether they are granted too much power, but rather if they are powerful enough.

Her successor Carter said: “I am delighted to have been appointed chief executive, and I’m very excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead for the Centre in a rapidly changing political landscape.

“In the coming years UK cities will have a more important role than ever in driving growth, jobs and wealth in the national economy. Our aim at the Centre is to ensure that we offer the best ideas and research to help places grow their economies and thrive in the years ahead.”

Nigel Hugill, the Centre’s chair, also expressed his gratitude for Jones hard work at the centre.

“On behalf of the Centre’s board, I would like to thank Alexandra for her tremendous contribution to the Centre’s work over the past six years – a time in which the Centre has cemented its position as the leading authority on UK urban economies, and has helped to put cities at the top of the political agenda,” he said.

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