Senior Jacobs executives join Railway Industry Association

Global infrastructure giant Jacobs has revealed John Downer, transportation growth director Europe, has been appointed to the Board of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) - the national trade association for UK-based suppliers to the railway industry. 

Downer, who is also a Board Director of the High Speed Rail Group, has long advocated the environmental sustainability opportunities that the rail industry offers the UK, while RIA collaborates with industry partners to help drive positive change in areas such as decarbonisation, innovation, equality and diversity, and supporting SMEs.

Downer has nearly 20 years of business leadership experience at Jacobs – largely focused in rail and decarbonising the transportation sector since 2012, and in environmental sustainability prior to that.

He described his appointment as a tremendous opportunity to work more closely with RIA and Board colleagues to share insight and solutions on seizing the opportunity to help the industry deliver passenger first and net zero outcomes.  

"This is not solely about delivering rail infrastructure for today’s needs, but also looking at how society will operate in the future, its changing needs and how the needs of our day-to-day lives will evolve,” he said.

Downer, who will be supporting efforts such as RIA’s Rail Decarb23, a campaign to accelerate plans to decarbonise rail, added: “I look forward to further strengthening the collaborative relationship between RIA and the High Speed Rail Group, particularly in promoting the supply chain’s efforts in decarbonising transport.”

Meanwhile, Jessica Ellery, Jacobs director of market solutions Europe, was also recently elected Chair of the Railway Industry Association Consultants Group, representing the rail consultancy and design community.

Ellery said: “This is a brilliant opportunity to harness the collective influence within the Consultants Group, accelerate delivery and deploy combined capabilities to drive up service levels and contribute to industry improvement and development.”

A project management professional with the last four years spent at Jacobs and 12+ years with Transport for London prior to that, Ellery has a strong record of delivering £multi-million transport infrastructure and active travel programmes.

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