Board Members and Attendees

Civil Aviation Authority Board Members and Attendees

Board Members and Attendees


Dame Deirdre Hutton

Picture of Dame Deirdre Hutton

Dame Deirdre Hutton, DBE became Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority on 1 August 2009 and was previously Chair of the Food Standards Agency until July 2009. She has served on a number of public bodies and has considerable experience of corporate governance, risk-based regulation and consumer policy. She is Honorary Vice President of the Trading Standards Institute. She sits as a Non-Executive on the board of Thames Water Utilities Ltd and Castle Trust and is also Pro-Chancellor of Cranfield University. She was, until June 2008, the Vice-Chair of the European Food Safety Authority Management Board and was Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority until December 2007. For five years, until 2005, she was Chair of the National Consumer Council, having formerly chaired the Scottish Consumer Council. Prior to her appointment at the Food Standards Agency, she was a member of the Better Regulation Task Force. She has held a number of positions on bodies dealing with food issues, including Chair of the Foresight Panel on the Food Chain and Crops for Industry, Chair of the Food Chain Centre, and membership of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (the Curry Commission). In April 2010 she was awarded a Fellowship of City and Guilds.

Executive Board Members

Andrew Haines

Picture of Andrew Haines

Andrew Haines was appointed as a Board Member and Chief Executive in August 2009 and for a further 5 years in August 2012. He joined the CAA after a wide-ranging career in the rail industry, latterly as Managing Director of South West Trains, and then as Managing Director of the Rail Division for First Group plc, which, under his leadership, became Britain’s largest and most profitable train operating business. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Eversholt Rail UK Ltd.


Richard Jackson

Picture of Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson was appointed to the Board as Group Director Consumer Protection in October 2004 and is a Trustee of the Air Travel Trust Fund. He also became a Trustee of the CAA Pension Fund in February 2008. He previously worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence and Head of Investment Banking at Daiwa SBCM Europe.


Chris Jesnick 

Chris Jesnick is currently Finance and Corporate Services Director and Chair of CAA International Limited and is a Trustee of the Air Travel Trust Fund and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She has worked for the CAA since 1996, previously having a career in a variety of financial roles within the private sector, predominantly in the energy industry.

Mark Swan

Picture of Mark Swan

Appointed to the Board as Group Director Airspace Policy in March 2008, Mark previously held numerous appointments in the Royal Air Force since joining as a pilot in 1979, and he was formerly Director of Operational Capability for the Ministry of Defence from 2006 to 2008.  In July 2013 he was charged with merging the Airspace and Safety groups and re-structuring the combined group to focus on performance-based regulation. He is currently Director Safety and Airspace Regulation.

General Counsel and Secretary

Kate Staples

Picture of Kate StaplesKate Staples was appointed as CAA General Counsel and Secretary in September 2010, and prior to joining the CAA, she had led both the Rail Infrastructure & Safety and Aviation & Commercial Legal Divisions at the DfT, having opted to join the public sector after almost 10 years in private practice. She is also a Trustee of the CAAPS, the Civil Aviation Authority’s pension scheme.

Non-Executive Board Members

David Gray

 Picture of David Gray

David Gray was appointed as a Non-Executive Member of the Board in November 2009 and is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Nominations Committee. He is Chairman of the Gas & Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem) and a Governor of the Central School of Ballet. He was a member of the Panel of Experts which advised the Department for Transport on its review of airport regulation in 2008-09 and, in 2010-11, led a review of the water regulator Ofwat on behalf of DEFRA and the Welsh government.

Michael Medlicott

Picture of Michael MedlicottMichael Medlicott was appointed as a Non-Executive Member of the Board in February 2010. He is Chairman of the Air Travel Trust Fund, and also serves as a member of the CAA Audit Committee, CAA Remuneration Committee and CAA International Ltd Management Advisory Board. He has many years’ experience of the transport and tourism sectors, including a senior management position at Delta Airlines and Chief Executive of the British Tourist Authority. He sat on the Board of Manchester Airports Group from 2002 until joining the Board of the CAA. He is Senior Non-Executive Director of OCS Group Ltd, and Chairman of Myriad Holdco Ltd.

David King

Picture of David King 

Appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Member of the Board on 1 September 2013. David serves as a member of the Audit Committee and Nomination Committee. David also serves as Chairman of the Board Safety Review Committee for Cathay Pacific Airways and is a visiting Professor at Cranfield University. He was formerly the Chief Inspector of the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) where he was responsible for hundreds of investigations, many involving large public transport aircraft. 

Graham Ward

Picture of Graham WardAppointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Member of the Board on 1 September 2013, Graham also serves as Chair of the Audit Committee and as a member of the Remuneration Committee. He is an Honorary Officer of The World Energy Council and a Governor of Dulwich College and of Goodenough College. Graham was, until June 2015, the first Chief Commissioner of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact. He spent 36 years, including 24 as a partner, with PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a former: Deputy Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and President of the International Federation of Accountants.

Ashley Steel

Ashley became a Non-Executive Director of the CAA in September 2015. Ashley is a former Vice-Chairman at KPMG, who retired from the firm in September 2014.  She has significant international experience and has advised numerous FTSE/Fortune 500 boards.  Her sector experience includes professional services, transport, leisure, logistics, technology, media, business services and healthcare. She has a family background of owner-managed retail business.

Air Vice-Marshal Richard Knighton

Picture of AVM Richard WardAVM Knighton was appointed as a Non-Executive Member of the Board in January 2015. As Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, AVM Knighton is a member of the Air Force Board and is the policy and strategy lead for the Royal Air Force within the MOD.  His breadth of responsibility includes the development of policy for the UK Military Low Flying System, the development of MOD policy for the continued use of Joint and Integrated UK Airspace and also the Release to Service Authority for dealing with specific aspects of airworthiness for UK Military aircraft.


Peter Drissell

Picture of Peter DrissellPeter was appointed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as its first Director of Aviation Security in 2013 and led the transition of operational aviation security functions from the Department for Transport (DfT) to the CAA on 1st April 2014. In February 2015, he took on the additional role of Director CAA Transformation Programme. Prior to his appointment, Peter was Director of Security & Business Continuity for the Home Office. He was also the Home Office HR Diversity Champion. Prior to this, Peter had served for 32 years in the Royal Air Force from which he retired as an Air Commodore in April 2007. In his military career, Peter served in a number of operational and staff appointments within the UK and overseas.  After a year serving as Provost Marshal for the RAF, his last appointment combined the roles of Commandant General of the Royal Air Force Regiment and Air Officer RAF Police. Until 2014, Peter was a Director of Plan UK, an international children’s charity, a position he had held for some 10 years, and until 2014 had been a trustee of the City and Guilds; he remains on the governing council of that organisation.

Richard Stephenson

Picture of Richard StephensonRichard Stephenson joined the CAA in January 2015 as Communications Director. Prior to joining the CAA, Richard held senior communications roles in high profile and leading FTSE businesses, including as Group Strategic Communications Adviser at Centrica plc, Corporate Affairs Director at AXA and Director of Public Relations at Royal Mail Group.  A postgraduate of Cardiff Journalism School, Richard is non-executive chairman of a fledgling public relations agency, non-executive director of Coventry University London Campus and a Director of County Hall Management Company Ltd. He has been a prolific charity fundraiser, climbing Kilimanjaro and traversing New Zealand and the Arctic for good causes, is currently chairman of a youth charity and has undertaken political work, in four continents, for over 20 years. 

Manisha Aatkar

Picture of Manisha AatkarJoined the CAA in September 2013. Prior to this, worked predominantly in Financial Services, Asset Management being part of and leading various and HR and Business led transformation programmes and Mergers and Acquisition projects. In the earlier part of career, she spend a lot of time playing an active role in mergers and acquisition projects, followed by several organisational design and restructures. The latter part of her career to-date has been specialising in various remuneration projects i.e. designing share and incentive schemes and large business transformation programmes.

Tim Johnson

Picture of Tim JohnsonTim is Head of Policy for the CAA, responsible for driving forward the CAA’s approach to major cross-cutting policy issues such as runway capacity, Better Regulation, consumer and environment strategies and the EU aviation agenda. Prior to joining the CAA in January 2014, he was Head of Strategy and latterly Head of Regulation at NATS. His earlier career was spent in Government, and included postings at HM Treasury, the Shareholder Executive, the MoD and the DTI.

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