New WMCA interim Chief Executive starts role

The new interim Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Laura Shoaf, has started her role.

he former Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands officially began on 14 June after her appointment was made public on 11 June.

Ms Shoaf
joined WMCA when it was formed in 2016, having previously worked at the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority and as Director of Transport for the Association of Black Country Authorities.

A recognised expert who has advised on national policy, she has more than 20 years’ experience in delivering regeneration projects and in her previous role was responsible for delivering a multi-billion transport investment package.

She replaces Deborah Cadman, who joined the WMCA in 2017, and recently confirmed that she will be taking on the role of interim Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council.

Commenting, Ms Shoaf said: “The WMCA is a fantastic organisation, committed to making a difference to the lives of everyone in the West Midlands.

I am thrilled to be leading us through some exciting times, including our first virtual summit on climate change, a summer of skills events and recovering from the impact of Covid.

“We’ve come so far in five years and I want to build on those successes by growing our national platform and taking the West Midlands from strength to strength.

We can only achieve this together as a region, so a key focus will be about making the WMCA a great partner to the people and institutions of the West Midlands.”

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street added: “We had some very strong applicants for the role, but I am pleased to appoint Laura as our new interim Chief Executive.

The West Midlands has been badly impacted by Covid and we are now at a pivotal point in our region’s recovery and I look forward to working with Laura on that recovery.

“Laura already has a fantastic track record of successes that makes her well-suited to the role.

Her experience in managing complex, multi-million pound projects and shaping government policy will be a real asset as we look to bounce back from the pandemic and work together to build more homes, expand the transport network, upskill workers for the jobs of the future and attract more investment into the West Midlands.

“I must also say thank you to Deborah Cadman as she moves onto Birmingham City Council. Her leadership grew the WMCA from its foundations and she has helped create a great base from which we can now build further.”

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