30 NOV 2022


Denise Bower OBE, executive board director at Mott MacDonald, has been appointed as chair of the infrastructure council at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). 

Representing 190,000 UK businesses, the CBI seeks to create a healthier, more diverse, greener and innovative economy in consultation with its members. 

The CBI’s infrastructure council is made up 20 senior executives from across the sector and sets the strategic direction of the CBI’s infrastructure work.  

Bower said: “I’m honoured to be appointed chair of the CBI’s infrastructure council and look forward to continuing the great work that has already been done on topics such as major projects, infrastructure finance and the infrastructure pipeline.”

Bower, who takes over as chair from Stephen Paine, Deutsche Bank’s global head of infrastructure and utilities, will prioritise system-wide responses to developing and delivering infrastructure. 

“If we continue to deliver infrastructure in silos, we cannot hope to meet the environmental and socio-economic challenges we face,” she said. 

“The challenges are intertwined and interrelated, and so our responses to them must be at the system level. 

“My vision for this group is to convene the conversation at the sector interfaces so that we can not only deliver growth and better understand the needed supply-side reforms but also deliver the many other positive outcomes possible from our infrastructure.” 

A member of Mott MacDonald’s executive board since January 2020, Bower is well known through her role as the executive director of the Major Projects Association and as professor in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds. 

She was a long-standing member of the UK’s Infrastructure Client Group and has worked closely with the UK government’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority to improve the preparation and delivery of major schemes. 

“Infrastructure represents one of – if not the – most important sectors of our economy,” she added. “From water and energy, to transport and data; our infrastructure acts as both the bedrock of society as well as the solution to the major societal and environmental challenges we face. 

“It’s therefore vital that there is strong collaboration within our industry and a clear and coherent voice representing the sector both in the UK and around the world.”  

Brian McBride, CBI president, said: “The CBI’s infrastructure council is an absolutely vital part in shaping the CBI’s position on the key issues for the infrastructure industry. 

“Now more than ever high performing infrastructure is of the upmost importance in growing and supporting the UK economy. I am excited to appoint Denise as the voice of our infrastructure council and look forward to working with her to help the UK navigate the challenges and opportunities we face ahead.”


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