Big challenge for new SEEDA boss

PAM ALEXANDER: "This is one of the most exciting jobs in the UK"
PAM ALEXANDER: "This is one of the most exciting jobs in the UK"

PAM Alexander, a former boss of English Heritage, is to head up the agency reviving rundown areas of Medway and other parts of the region.

She will take over from Anthony Dunnett as chief executive of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) when he steps down at the end of the year.

SEEDA is based in Guildford and has a local office in Chatham Maritime where it is overseeing development and regeneration.

It works closely with Medway council on the Rochester Riverside project and is involved in breathing new life into the East Kent Coalfields.

Ms Alexander hit the headlines in 2001 when she unexpectedly resigned from English Heritage on the eve of a five-year reorganisation plan that she devised. It was reported at the time that she fell out with the agency’s chairman over her management style.

SEEDA chairman Jim Brathwaite said: "I am delighted to have Pam as part of the dynamic team that has already made a significant contribution to the South East region under Anthony's skilled direction.

“He will be a hard act to follow. However, we still have an enormous task ahead and both SEEDA and the region will benefit from the wealth of experience Pam brings with her.”

Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Pam Alexander is joining SEEDA as its chief executive. She will have an excellent foundation to build upon, and I know will help guide SEEDA to further success.”

Mr Dunnett said SEEDA had made “gigantic strides in pulling to together a diverse range of organisations, businesses and communities to make a real difference to people's lives throughout the region.

He had known Ms Alexander for more than eight years and had no doubt that she would take up the challenge and “drive both SEEDA and the region forward with great enthusiasm and commitment.”

Ms Alexander said: "This is one of the most exciting jobs in the UK. I am delighted to be joining such an excellent organisation. I am passionate about supporting urban and rural regeneration that invests in success and gives everyone the opportunity to participate in economic and community wealth.”

Ms Alexander was chief executive of English Heritage from 1997 to 2001 after moving there from the Housing Corporation.

In nearly 20 years in the Department of the Environment from 1975 to 1994, she worked on local government, regeneration and housing policies and in Brussels on legislation to protect the environment.

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