Chairman, County Councils Network
John Amaechi OBE
Organisational Psychologist, Best-Selling New York Times Author & CEO of Amaechi Performance Systems
Interim Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice
British Conservative politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2016 to 2019
David was first elected to the County Council in 2013 as the member for Harpenden North East and has previously served as the Cabinet Member for Resources, Property and the Economy, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education and Skills and Chairman of the Hertfordshire Local Government Pension Scheme Pension Committee. He became Leader of the Council in November 2017, is the chairman of the Hertfordshire Growth Board and sits on the board of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
A determined champion of local collaboration and partnership across the public sector, David chairs the Hertfordshire Public Sector Leaders’ Steering Group and is co-chair of the Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board.
Nationally, David is the chairman of the County Councils Network – a cross party grouping for the 36 county authorities that represent some 26 million people in England, cover 86% of the landmass and are responsible for 41% of the country’s Gross Value Added. David is also a deputy chairman of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium – championing the UK’s Innovation Corridor, a member of South East Strategic Leaders and the leaders’ group of England’s Economic Heartland.
Born and educated in North Wales, David enjoyed a career in retail banking and has an economics degree from Cardiff University and an MBA from Henley Business School.
John Amaechi OBE
John Amaechi is a respected organisational psychologist, a New York Times best-selling author and CEO of APS Ltd, a strategic consultancy that works across Europe, Asia and North America. John was recently named to 2019’s list of the most influential thinkers in HR that includes Simon Sinek, Amy Cuddy and Patrick Lencioni.
John partners with organisations to help leaders deliver on the promise of authentic, transformational leadership. He focuses on improving performance through an evidence-based practice: solving seemingly intractable people problems and creating thriving workplaces in the face of inevitable challenges and disruption.
John coaches individuals and consults with organisations to improve communication, leadership and teaming and enhance culture as a way to grow, improve and achieve goals. His psychological insight helps people understand the barriers to high performance and overcome them. He understands motivation and personal development and the roots of success that enables these traits to flourish. He also considers the nature of competition, the importance of cognitive diversity in organisational achievement, and aligning personal and business values and ethics.
John’s experience is unique – he created a masterplan for his own radical, personal transformation from an overweight British schoolboy to the first British NBA (National Basketball Association, USA) star to psychologist – and his experience and approach appeals to people from all walks of life.
In addition to running his own international strategic consultancy, John is also a Chartered Scientist, an elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and a Research Fellow at the University of East London and he holds various additional board and trustee positions.
Mike joined the Department of Health & Social Security in 1979 straight from school, and spent his first 6 years in the Civil Service delivering services to customers. He then moved into regional management and thereafter fulfilled a range of policy and finance roles.
He is a CIPFA qualified accountant, and has held a variety of FD roles, both corporate and operational. He was promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Department for Work & Pensions in 2012. From 1st April 2016, he was appointed the CFO for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and on 1st June July 2017 also became the Head of the Government Finance Function, HM Treasury, where he is driving the agenda to substantially strengthen the finance function’s critical role at the heart of government, ensuring better political and business outcomes.
In addition to his core roles, he has a range of additional responsibilities. Within the MoJ, he is the Accountant General of the Senior Courts of England & Wales and a Commissioner for the Reduction of the National Debt. Across Government, he is a member of the Commercial Function Oversight Board and a Non-Executive Board Member of Shared Services Connect Limited. To drive forward the finance profession,he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) Council and Chair of the CIPFA Governance & Financial Management Panel.
Philip Hammond has been a UK Cabinet Minister and key member of the British Government for almost a decade. Leading four departments over nine years and rising to the second most powerful job in government, he is one of only three people to serve continuously in the UK cabinet from 2010 to 2019, serving under Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May.
Taking on the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer shortly after the 2016 Brexit Referendum, Hammond took charge of the British economy at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Philip Hammond has always strongly held the view that nobody voted for Brexit with a view to becoming poorer or less secure, and thus believes the best way of honouring the result of the referendum is to negotiate a deal with the European Union that keeps the UK and EU close economically, after the 2020 transition period has come to an end.
He fought strongly for this approach within the cabinet and has continued to do so since leaving government. He also focused on the needs of businesses and particularly the need to protect London’s global financial markets.
Philip Hammond has focused on the challenges faced by developed economies, specifically: the technological revolution and how it is already transforming the way we work and live our lives; climate change and how to harness the market economy to deliver decarbonisation; demographic shifts and the challenges of an ageing population, and particularly in the UK, the challenge of raising productivity.
Through his roles as Chancellor and as Foreign Secretary, Hammond has considerable experience of working with China, and clear views about how to manage the integration of China as a major economic and strategic power into the global system. He also has strong connections in the Gulf region. He was part of the “E3+3” team that negotiated the JCPOA nuclear arms control deal with Iran in 2015. During his tenure as Defence and then Foreign Secretary, Hammond built strong links with the US and other allied counterparts, both civilian and military, and was a frequent visitor to Afghanistan during the campaign.
Philip Hammond retains a close interest in the strategic challenges facing the Western Alliance and then interrelationship between economic and strategic influences. Hammond grew up in Essex, England, and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College Oxford. Before entering Parliament in 1997, he ran a number of successful businesses. He stepped down as the Member of Parliament for the Surrey constituency of Runnymede and Weybridge in November 2019.