The Host

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Naga Munchetty

Journalist, Broadcaster and Television Presenter

Award winning journalist and broadcaster, Naga is known and loved nationwide as one of the main presenters on Breakfast TV and can be seen on the BBC’s famous red sofa every week.

Her career as a journalist began at the Evening Standard and The Observer newspapers, and soon moved into reporting for Reuters Financial Television. Naga was named by the Asian Power List as one of the UK’s most powerful Asian females. She has presented a number of TV shows and factual documentaries and has won numerous awards.

Naga is a consummate professional and often moderates, hosts and speaks at conferences and summits around the world. The seasoned and tenacious broadcaster is comfortable in all circumstances and being a skilled interviewer, she has the ability to put her audiences at ease with her level-headed, considered, meticulous and thoughtful manner. Naga won Celebrity Mastermind. She is a keen golfer, she plays a number of musical instruments, takes part in sports challenges such as running and cycling for her chosen charities and calls herself a ‘foodie’.

In 2018, she collected ‘the ‘Media Personality of the Year’ award at the Asian Media Awards.

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Abu Siddeeq

Head of Customer Proposition, Great Western Railway

Picture of Abu Siddeeq

Abu Siddeeq

Head of Customer Proposition, Great Western Railway

Abu has spent the last six years at FirstGroup, in various roles across the Rail division. Initially focused on managing various contracts on behalf of the TOCs, Abu moved across into the largest FG TOC (GWR) where he led on a number of key initiatives across the customer journey. Prior to FirstGroup, Abu also spent six years at Transport for London, initially as a Customer Service Manager, overseeing the travel information contact centre, back-office support for Oystercard (including refunds and auto top-up) and later moving to the role of Regional Operations Manager, for Bus Operations- with responsibility for driver and engineering colleagues. As the WiR “Inspirational Man of the Year 2019”, Abu takes pride in supporting and mentoring under-represented colleagues at various levels across the organisation, ensuring that they are fully prepared for when opportunities to progress arise – and that they are working from a level platform.

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Adrian Hanstock

Deputy Chief Constable, British Transport Police

Picture of Adrian Hanstock

Adrian Hanstock

Deputy Chief Constable, British Transport Police

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock has been a police officer for more than thirty years and a chief officer since 2010. He was appointed Deputy Chief Constable of British Transport Police in 2014.

DCC Hanstock joined the police service as a constable in Nottingham in 1985, spending time in uniform and detective roles before transferring to the Metropolitan Police Service where he was appointed head of the central London task force. He led a number of undercover investigations to tackle organised criminals and serial sex offenders before taking up the role as Head of CID for Westminster. As a detective superintendent he qualified as a firearms commander, leading the development of intelligence and authorisation of high-risk operations to combat threats to life and gang-related gun crime.

DCC Hanstock transferred to North London where he established and motivated a range of multi-agency enforcement teams to address juvenile violence and domestic safety. In early 2011 after graduation from the national Strategic Command Course, he was appointed as a Chief Police Officer and took charge of Roads and Transport Policing, overseeing the transport arrangements for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As a Commander, he was seconded to the national College of Policing as director of the Strategic Command Course, coaching, developing and assessing the future generation of police leaders.

As Chief Operating Officer at British Transport Police, DCC Hanstock directs more than 5,000 officers and staff across three countries and two separate legal jurisdictions. His professional responsibilities include setting corporate strategy, performance delivery, overseeing governance, audit and risk functions, leading professional standards and championing diversity in policing, as well as handling national media and communications responsibilities.

DCC Hanstock is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead officer for the use of stop and search powers. He provides guidance to police leaders across the country, setting operational direction that has delivered better operational outcomes and enhanced community confidence. He has influenced policy at governmental level, introducing national guidelines to support effective and fair use of this intrusive, and often controversial, police power.

DCC Hanstock has won several national awards for problem-solving, crime reduction and community cohesion initiatives. He is a Chartered Company Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a graduate of the Windsor Trust Leadership Programme and alumnus of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Academy.

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Aisha Tague

Head of Customer Services for Ticketing, Revenue and Network Resources, London Underground

Picture of Aisha Tague

Aisha Tague

Head of Customer Services for Ticketing, Revenue and Network Resources, London Underground

Aisha Tague is the Head of Customer Services for Ticketing, Revenue and Network Resources for London Underground. Having joined London Underground in 2003, Aisha’s initial role was in front line operations and she has since held a variety of roles across stations and train operations.

Previously positioned as the Senior Manager for Diversity, Inclusion and Culture, Aisha led an Operation Culture Change programme within LU Operations, focusing on the key objectives of increasing the diversity of the workforce; creating an inclusive culture; and identifying the talent within LU’s operational teams.

Aisha was also the Vice Chair of the TfL Women’s Staff Network Group, a professional networking group that facilitates the development of strong, flexible and productive connections between TfL employees and aims to influence, inform and promote the issues of interest to women in the organisation.

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Andrew Haines

Chief Executive and Board member of Network Rail

Picture of Andrew Haines

Andrew Haines

Chief Executive and Board member of Network Rail

Andrew Haines was appointed as Chief Executive and Board member of Network Rail in August 2018. Prior to this, he served as Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority following a wide-ranging career in the rail industry, which included roles as Managing Director of South West Trains, and Managing Director of the Rail Division for First Group plc.

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Clair Mowbray

Chief Executive, National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure

Picture of Clair Mowbray

Clair Mowbray

Chief Executive, National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure

Clair Mowbray is the Chief Executive of the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure, having been appointed in 2016. Over the last 5 years Clair has been instrumental in the development of the College. Leading the project team to develop the first brand-new further education College in England for over 30 years. She worked on taking a concept into a reality, growing its operational base and seeking collaborative partners across the country. Clair’s key ethos for the College is to ensure that employers are at the heart of all developments. This is no more prevalent than the work she has recently been doing to expand the Colleges scope from rail and high-speed rail into other aspects of transport and infrastructure developments.

Prior to working at the College, Clair has run her own business building an impressive client base including University of Cambridge, the Medical Research Council and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors. She was a Management Consultant with PwC and Tribal Education.

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Claire England

Director of UK Inclusion and Diversity, JLL

Picture of Claire England

Claire England

Director of UK Inclusion and Diversity, JLL

Claire is a commercially focused expert in inclusion, diversity HR with 16 years’ experience in global businesses across a range sectors including legal, banking and insurance. Claire has a strong track record of delivery and implementing change through strong stakeholder relationships.

At JLL, Claire acts as an adviser to the UK Board, taking a lead role in developing and implementing the firm’s UK diversity and inclusion strategy. This includes delivering diversity and inclusion targets as part of JLL’s wider sustainability leadership programme -Building a Better Tomorrow, acting as an ambassador internally and externally for diversity and inclusion, and working with JLL’s employee diversity networks.

Claire is passionate about businesses working to develop an inclusive culture, in turn maximising employee engagement and strong team performance for improved organisational success. Claire sits on the Business Advisory Committee for the All Party Parliamentary Group – Governance and Inclusive Leadership (APPG GAIL) advising and working with UK Government to examine the best steps to aid equality for BAME people within workplaces, and has input into the ethnicity pay gap consultation.

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Elodie Brian

Finance & Contracts Director, Southeastern

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Elodie Brian

Finance & Contracts Director, Southeastern

Elodie joined Southeastern as Financial Planning & Analysis Manager in 2008 after starting her career at Renault. Now Finance & Contracts Director at Southeastern, Elodie drives the financial performance and sustainability of the business by overseeing the budgeting process and financial reporting, as well as managing the IT and Procurement teams.

Elodie grew up in Paris and Hong Kong. She holds an MSc in Management from HEC Paris and a Masters degree in English and Spanish. She lives in London and is married with 4 children between the ages of 4 and 10. She is a Governor at her children’s school and active within her local community, all of which keeps her busy in the hours outside of work.
As a Director, Elodie takes great pride in the sense of purpose that is shared amongst staff, making a difference to thousands of people’s lives on a daily basis. Elodie loves working in an environmentally friendly industry with an increasing focus on customer service and consistent high standards of delivery.

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John Larkinson

Chief Executive, ORR

Picture of John Larkinson

John Larkinson

Chief Executive, ORR

John’s previous role at the ORR was as Director of Railway Markets and Economics, responsible for the 2018 periodic review of Network Rail, the ORR’s consumer role, decisions on track and station access and industry financial analysis, and leading on policy issues for Scotland and Wales.

He previously held a number of senior roles at ORR, including director of Planning and Performance and Director of Economic Regulation. He joined ORR from the Strategic Rail Authority where his final role was as Director Network Regulation & Affordability.

He is an economist by background and has held a range of transport related posts in central government and consultancy.

He has been an executive member of the ORR board since March 2017.

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Laura Cawdell

BDM, TÜV Rheinland UK Ltd, Member of Board of Directors, Rail Forum Midlands & Chair of People, Skills & Diversity ODG for RFM

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Laura Cawdell

BDM, TÜV Rheinland UK Ltd, Member of Board of Directors, Rail Forum Midlands & Chair of People, Skills & Diversity ODG for RFM

Laura Cawdell is BDM at TÜV Rheinland UK Ltd, Member of Board of Directors at Rail Forum Midlands and Chair of People, Skills & Diversity ODG for RFM. Having been in the rail industry for over 7 years, previously within the Senior Management Team at Tecforce Ltd, Laura has held a range of roles including Customer Services, Marketing and Account Management. In addition to her career, Laura is a Trustee of the local charity Children First Derby and holds a Masters in Business. Her current focuses are building on current and new business relationships for TÜV and driving the skills and diversity agenda within the RFM strategy.

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Maggie Simpson

Director General, Rail Freight Group

Picture of Maggie Simpson

Maggie Simpson

Director General, Rail Freight Group

Maggie Simpson is Director General at the Rail Freight Group, the representative body for rail freight in the UK. Since joining in 2005, she has been leading work to ensure that Government and rail industry policy is supportive to a growth of rail freight and that member companies of the Group have the opportunity to participate fully in the sector.

Previously Maggie worked in a range of passenger and freight roles at the Strategic Rail Authority and OPRAF, including freight strategy development, and franchise management. She has also worked in consultancy.

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Mohanad Ismail

National Vice-Chair, Young Rail Professionals & Senior System Consultant, WSP

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Mohanad Ismail

National Vice-Chair, Young Rail Professionals & Senior System Consultant, WSP

Mohanad Ismail currently works as a Senior Systems Consultant at WSP.

Mohanad has been involved with the YRP for 4 years now, holding multiple positions from committee member to West Midland External Relations Manager to West Midland Chair and currently to National Vice Chairman. During his time as WM Chair he has created a new relationship between the YRP and NCHSR and also delivered the first Welcome to Rail Event at NCHSR.

Being in a volunteer only organisation he is often asked why he does what he does, and his response is that the YRP gives himself and all those who are keen to develop and grow the opportunity to do so, the only limitation is your imagination and your drive, YRP does the rest.

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Neil Robertson

Chief Executive, National Skills Academy for Rail

Picture of Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson

Chief Executive, National Skills Academy for Rail

Neil joined the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) in 2015, from the utility sector where he was CEO of the Energy & Utility Skills Group.Before that he was CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping.

Prior to these sectoral CEO roles, he held senior positions in government departments for education and business where had responsibilities in skills, employability, English and migration, regional economic development and European Structural Funds.

Neil has also worked with Babcock, City & Guilds and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

NSAR’s current priorities are workforce planning, standard setting, company support and quality assurance of training and assessments.

In his spare time, he likes riding motorbikes and planting trees.

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Paul Plummer

Chief Executive Officer, Rail Delivery Group

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Paul Plummer

Chief Executive Officer, Rail Delivery Group

Paul Plummer is the CEO at Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which brings together all passenger and freight operators with Network Rail and the supply chain. He is also a Non-Executive Director at National Grid’s Independent Electricity System Operator and at Network Homes, which is a leading housing association. Prior to RDG, he was Group Strategy Director at Network Rail for thirteen years. Previously he worked on business strategy, restructuring, privatisation, corporate finance and regulation in the utilities sector.

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Philip Luxford

Director One Railway and Security, Department for Transport

Picture of Philip Luxford

Philip Luxford

Director One Railway and Security, Department for Transport

Philip currently works in the Department for Transport covering portfolio management, security and policy. Prior to moving to DfT earlier in the year Philip spent 20 years in the Home Office in a wide variety of roles. Most recently Philip was a director in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism and was responsible for the UK’s strategy for protective security and emergency response.

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Rachel Turner

Head of New Trains, East Midlands Railway

Picture of Rachel Turner

Rachel Turner

Head of New Trains, East Midlands Railway

Having joined British Rail as an Engineering Management Trainee, Rachel has enjoyed a long and interesting career in the rolling stock sector. Her current role sees her leading the team to deliver the new Hitachi Bi-Mode Fleet into East Midlands Railway. Rachel has always been involved in the 'extra-curricular' aspects of working life, with a passion for encouraging young people into the industry and supporting them in their careers. Rachel is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, former Chair and current Honorary Secretary of the IMechE Railway Division Midlands Centre, Chair of Derby College Rail Skills Advisory Board and a member of the Midlands Rail Forum People, Skills and Diversity Operational Delivery Group. Rachel has supported Women in Rail from the start, is a member of the Mentoring Working Group and is now honoured to be asked to be a judge for the Women in Rail Awards 2020.

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Rob Brighouse

Chairman, East West Railway Company

Picture of Rob Brighouse

Rob Brighouse

Chairman, East West Railway Company

Rob holds a civil engineering degree from Leeds University & an MBA from Aston Business School, where he now Chairs the Advisory Board. He has spent over 30 years in the rail industry in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong, initially involved in the delivery of major infrastructure projects but more recently leading businesses in and beyond the rail sector.

In recent years having set up the London Overground operation (which delivered a 400% increase in patronage over its first 4 years of operation), he became the Managing Director of Chiltern Railways; opening a new route to Oxford and overseeing the record growth of the business on the back of it delivering the UK’s highest punctuality and achieving its highest ever customer satisfaction ratings.

In 2016, Rob was appointed as a non-Executive Director on the Network Rail Board and is also a co-founder of Snap Travel Technology; a fast growing on-demand platform for inter urban coach travel.

In 2017 he was appointed Chairman of the East West Railway Company, an arm’s length body of government, established to finance, construct and operate a new railway between Oxford and Cambridge.

He is married with 4 children and is the founder of Life Trust which is helping to provide water and sanitation to rural communities in East Africa.

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Tim Danvers

Head of Business Development - Rail, SNC-Lavalin's Atkins Business

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William Wilson

Managing Director, Siemens Rolling Stock

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William Wilson

Managing Director, Siemens Rolling Stock

William Wilson is Managing Director for Siemens Rolling Stock business in the UK, which includes the new rolling stock delivery and service of approximately 35% of the UK’s rolling stock. William is an experienced and successful Senior Director, with varied and extensive General and Project Management and Commercial Contract Management experience, having worked in senior roles at Siemens, Alstom and GE over his 20 years career. He has proven P&L responsibility with excellent skills in project delivery, stakeholder and relationship management, dispute resolution, Sales and Manufacturing.