Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CA appoint new Chief Executive

A highly experienced senior public sector leader has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

On 30 June, the Combined Authority Board voted to approve a unanimous recommendation from the authority’s Employment Committee to appoint Eileen Milner to the post.

Ms Milner is currently Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

ESFA is an executive agency of the government’s Department for Education and in this national role she is responsible for a budget of some £60bn.

She has significant delivery and policy responsibilities for the schools system and post-16 education, including apprenticeships.

Prior to this, Ms Milner was Executive Director at the Care Quality Commission, the regulator of health and adult social care in England.

Her career spans the public and commercial sectors, as well as higher education.

At the meeting on 30 June, the Combined Authority Board was asked to note that Ms Milner was subject to due process around agreeing an exit from a senior Civil Service position and to therefore withhold her identity until no later than 14 July.

Ms Milner is expected to take up her post in the autumn and in the meantime, Joint Chief Executives, John Hill and Kim Sawyer will continue in their roles.

Commenting, Ms Milner said:

I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed into this role.

“The area covered by the Combined Authority is an extraordinary one, rich in history, talent, innovation and opportunity.

“I am excited to join an organisation that has such an important remit in respect of making our area the very best place to live, work, invest and learn.”

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson added:

“The recruitment process for this vital role has been full, transparent and rigorous, was voted for by the Combined Authority Board and has involved collaboration with council leaders and stakeholders across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“I think that the fact we have been able to appoint such an outstanding, experienced individual as Eileen owes a lot to the cooperative approach taken.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Eileen during my term as Mayor and I’m very excited to welcome all of her experience and talent into the organisation.

“She is a dedicated and determined public servant and will be challenged to help me continue to embed the 3Cs of ‘Compassion, Co-operation and Community’ in the delivery of our projects and to help improve the lives of everyone in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“I want to thank our joint Chief Executives, Kim Sawyer and John Hill, who have been and continue to be a fantastic support to me since becoming Mayor and have been enthusiastic in laying the foundations for the 3Cs within the organisation.

“They have steered a growing and rapidly evolving organisation as big projects have moved from concept to delivery. It has been no small challenge and they have done a great job.”

There were 33 applications for the role following an executive search by a recruiting firm and supplemented by national advertising.

A detailed process of interviews and panels resulted in four candidates being presented to the Combined Authority’s Employment Committee from a list of seven.

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