ACE UK appoints infrastructure policy leader Kate Jennings as new CEO

Kate Jennings, the new CEO of the UK Association for Consultancy and Engineering.

The board of the UK Association for Consultancy and Engineering Group (ACE) has appointed Kate Jennings as its new chief executive.

UK consultancy and engineering business association the Association for Consultancy and Engineering has announced the appointment of Kate Jennings as its new chief executive to replace Stephen Marcos Jones, who leaves the organisation at the end of March 2024 to become chief executive of energy industry skills body, OPITO International.

ACE said that the appointment of Jennings would strengthen the association’s position as a leading voice for UK consultants and engineers in the built environment. Her extensive infrastructure career includes serving in the UK Cabinet Office and the Department for Transport leading on EU and international transport policy, followed by a strategic leadership role at the Railway Industry Association and her most recent post as an executive board member at Logistics UK, where she established a strong policy team and strategy for success.

Sarah Prichard, chair of ACE Group, said: “Kate is joining ACE at an exciting time. We are celebrating our 110th anniversary with a strong plan, with robust governance and a talented team to take us into 2025. She will support the outstanding contributions to infrastructure our members are making and continue to foster collaboration with the next government to move the UK forward to a low carbon future.”

Speaking on her appointment, new ACE CEO Jennings said: “Nations around the world are prioritising infrastructure in the race to deliver net zero and green growth. The UK stands at a pivotal juncture, but there is a serious risk of falling behind. With a general election fast approaching and many ongoing industry challenges, I am delighted to be leading the ACE Group during this critical period for our members. Our objective is to ensure that every political voice understands the role our sector plays in contributing solutions that support sustainable growth and prosperity.

“Engaging with stakeholders, government representatives and our membership is paramount. Our members serve as partners for government, and the collective expertise of our industry uniquely positions us to translate political aspirations into reality through a solutions-based approach. I look forward to the discussions ahead, strengthening new and existing partnerships and delivering our impactful annual plan to drive our industry forward and contribute significantly to the UK’s economic prosperity.”

ACE Group comprises both ACE and the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC). ACE is the business association for more than 400 professional consultancy and engineering companies who design, deliver and manage the UK’s infrastructure and built environment. EIC represents the companies, large and small, working in the environmental services and technologies sector to deliver a more sustainable society.