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Tessa Jowell

London, UK

Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

At the heart of the successful delivery of London 2012 Olympic Games

Member of the House of Lords

It is probably difficult for you to appreciate the impact of your visit. We have received a huge amount of positive feedback about the breakfast seminar and your speech in particular.

Tessa Jowell is one of the UK’s foremost female leaders. In a career spanning mental health provision, high profile cabinet posts and multiple academic and corporate roles, she has amassed unique experience of large project management, strategic negotiation, risk management and the development of sound governance across multiple fields. Combined with constant attention to the creation of consensus amongst diverse stakeholders she has been at the heart of some of our nation’s most defining moments, including the successful delivery of the London Olympic Games.

Tessa entered parliament after a 25 year career in psychiatry, family therapy, public service reform and social policy analysis, culminating in a directorship at the mental health charity MIND. Her first government post as Public Health Minister saw the inauguration of the SureStart Children’s Centres, and Ministerial positions for Women, Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities followed. Later, as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, she oversaw the renegotiation of the BBC Charter in the new digital age, a review of media regulation, the foundation of OFCOM, and secured a decade of funding for the arts.

As Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell was a key supporter of the London Olympics and is credited with overcoming significant opposition to persuade the government to provide crucial backing for a bid. She remained as the leading government force in the development of every aspect of the project for seven years, first as Olympics Secretary, and latterly as shadow Olympics Minister and member of the Olympics Board, appointed by the opposition government.  The London Olympic Games have become a model for long-term cross-party co-operation, and the successful completion of a highly complex infrastructure project on time and under budget. It bears all the hallmarks of Tessa’s ability to build consensus, foster team spirit, lead with emotional intelligence and deliver results.

After 23 years in parliament, 13 years of which were spent as a minister, Tessa stepped down as an MP in May 2015 and entered the House of Lords shortly after. She has since taken a senior teaching fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health teaching policy development, implementation and leadership, and a position as Professor in Practice for the Department of Government and Cities at LSE.

Within the corporate world Tessa’s media and technology expertise have led to appointments to the board of the Economist and Chime Specialist Group, a role as Bloomberg’s digital ambassador, and Senior Advisory positons with The Founders Forum and media investment firm Lepe Partners. She further sits on the board of InfraRed Capital, the leading global investment manager focused on infrastructure and real estate, is a Co-Chair of the Gatwick Growth Board and acts as a leadership mentor to senior women in organisations including Santander, PwC and the BBC.

Tessa’s expertise spans from health to education, transport to media and city planning to future proofing, and she is available for keynotes, after dinners, and conference linking.

Our Comment

"Credited with uniting the UK government behind Britain’s bid for the 2012 Olympics, Tessa played a key role in bringing the Games to London. She retains her Olympic portfolio and is a member of The Olympic Board."

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