The Railway Industry Association has announced that former foreign office and DfT official Kate Jennings has been appointed as its new policy director with immediate effect.
Jennings has been the DfT’s head of rail strategy projects division from October 2016 to November 2019, supporting rail strategy development, including the transport secretary’s Strategic Vision for Rail, and rail policy including devolution, investment, workforce, freight, and engagement with industry clients like Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group. From December 2019 to February 2020, she worked on the development of transport policy for EU exit.
Jennings has had an extensive career in the civil service, which began in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, including a posting to Beijing working on the handover of Hong Kong. And she has subsequently worked in the Cabinet Office on the Better Regulation agenda. More recent roles in the DfT prior to rail include working with ministers on EU and international negotiations and trade visits, and airport and airspace policy.
On joining RIA, Jennings said: “The Railway Industry Association has played a significant role in helping to build a bigger and better rail supply industry, both at home and abroad. I am now looking forward to joining RIA and the railway industry - playing my part in developing policy, representing the world-class UK rail supply sector and working to ensure its continued growth and success in the months and years ahead.”
Darren Caplan, RIA chief executive, said: “I am delighted that Kate is joining us, at this important stage in RIA’s development. RIA is celebrating its 145th year in 2020, and Kate – with her experience and understanding of UK rail – will be a strong addition to our talented team as we and our members seek to build an even bigger and better railway industry in what are very uncertain times. We look forward to having Kate on board!”
Jennings takes over the role from Peter Loosley, who retired from RIA as policy director in December, after 17 years.