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Dipesh J Shah appointed as independent Chair for the Oxford to Cambridge Partnership

3 July 2023

Dipesh J Shah OBE Dipesh J Shah OBE

The Oxford to Cambridge Partnership has announced the appointment of Dipesh J. Shah OBE as its first independent Chair. This milestone appointment comes after the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) confirmed the government's support for a locally-led Pan regional Partnership.

The Partnership brings together leaders from local councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Arc Universities Group, and England's Economic Heartland. The collaboration aims to unlock opportunities for the region's innovation-led economy while simultaneously protecting and improving the area's environment. The ultimate goal is to secure a future in which all communities prosper from the very best in sustainable ways of living and working.

As the independent Chair, Dipesh will work closely with the new Board, Dr Richard Hutchins, the Partnership’s newly appointed Managing Director, and stakeholders to shape and deliver the Partnership's mission. His leadership will help drive the region towards better outcomes for residents, businesses, and the environment.

Welcoming Mr Shah to the role, Cllr Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council and the Partnership’s interim chair said, “Dipesh Shah's distinguished career and experience in the public and private sectors, as well as his passion for community development made him an ideal candidate for the role. Dipesh’s appointment marks a new chapter for regional collaboration for this area and I wish him and the Board the very best as we continue our efforts together to create positive change for our residents.”

Speaking about his appointment, Dipesh Shah said, “I am delighted to join the Partnership as its first Independent Chair. The Region is a hub of innovation. There is great ambition to propel its strengths to further stimulate the economy in a manner which benefits all communities, is sustainable and environmentally progressive. The Partnership will meet this imperative by building on the collaborative endeavour across the region. I look forward to working with stakeholders and colleagues to advance the delivery of the Partnership’s mission.”

Minister for Levelling Up Dehenna Davison said, “I’m pleased to hear that the Oxford to Cambridge Partnership has appointed a chair so that it can deliver its ambitions for the area to be a world leader in innovation. Dipesh Shah brings a wealth of experience to the role to help communities in the region.

“This partnership will play an important role in growing the local economy and boosting opportunities for people, contributing towards levelling up across the country.”

Dipesh joins the Partnership from 1 July 2023.



Dipesh J. Shah OBE is currently Chair of National Highways. He also Chairs the Investment Committees for three sizeable pan-European Infrastructure Funds which invest in energy transition, digital transformation, water/ waste, and transport. In the immediate past, he was a Board member of a Canadian Investment Bank, Trustee of the British Youth Opera and Governor at Merchant Taylors’ School.

Formerly the Chief Executive Officer of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and of large businesses at BP, Dipesh was an early mover on energy transition and sustainable development. He led the development of a solar company into one of the largest globally, using advanced technology. Moreover, he Chaired the European Solar Industry for many years at a formative stage for the sector. He was also a member of the Government’s Renewables Energy Advisory Committee and subsequently helped to supervise the initial licensing terms for offshore wind (round 3) whilst a Commissioner of The Crown Estate.

Dipesh has Chaired several other organisations both in the UK and Internationally. These include a FTSE- listed power utility and one of the largest social housing associations in the country. In his roles, Dipesh has gained valuable insight on how inclusive development of communities can benefit from place-making, augmented by connectivity across communities. Beyond his Chair roles, Dipesh has served on the Boards of Lloyd’s of London, the global Insurance market, Thames Water and Babcock International Group Plc amongst others.

Born in India and raised in Uganda, Dipesh graduated from Warwick and London Universities, and from the Management Programme at Harvard Business School. He also attended short executive courses at the University of Oxford and at the University of Cambridge. He is married with two children. Family, sports and travel remain his abiding passions outside work and charitable commitments.

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