PA Consulting’s Ann Zhang named Chair of young infrastructure panel

28 August 2020 3 min. read
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PA Consulting's Ann Zhang has been appointed Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel. Panel members will be asked to help improve the Commission’s engagement with younger generations over the coming two years.

The UK National Infrastructure Commission is the executive agency responsible for providing expert advice to the UK Government on infrastructure challenges facing the UK. One of its main tasks is to undertake a national infrastructure assessment during each Parliament.

With the UK currently grappling with an ageing population, getting young people to engage with the Commission could be crucial to the future of infrastructure in the UK. As such, the Commission launched a new Young Professionals Panel in 2018, aiming to build a stronger voice for younger infrastructure creators and users in the Commission’s work, at a time of increased focus on infrastructure as a key engine of economic recovery.

PA Consulting’s Ann Zhang named Chair of young infrastructure panel

With its members representing different sectors and professionals including engineers, economists and planners, Panel members are asked to help improve the Commission’s engagement with younger generations and contribute to the decision-making process guiding the Commission’s work. Now, as the first cohort of ten Panel members is now officially at an end, and the second selection of 10 members has been appointed, and is set to be chaired by PA Consulting Economist Ann Zhang.

Zhang said of the news, “This is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of infrastructure. Infrastructure affects every part of our lives and the decisions we make today will define the legacy we leave to younger generations. The work of the panel will help to ensure that those who are most affected have a strong voice in these decisions… It’s also a great forum for meeting people that you may not come across in the normal workplace. Many of my fellow panel members work at the coalface and their insights are already helping me to develop a more holistic view that will strengthen the advice we provide to our clients.”

A consultant in PA’s economics and investment strategy division, Zhang was selected from over 100 candidates to lead a panel of 10 young professionals to help shape the future of the UK’s infrastructure. She will now help the new Young Professionals Panel contribute to the commission’s thinking through participation in commission meetings and workshops with the secretariat and other stakeholders on themes relevant to the commission’s current programme of work.

Christian Norris, Head Economist at PA Consulting remarked, “Infrastructure has the potential to transform the country for the better; from levelling up, increasing jobs and achieving net zero. We are delighted that Ann will be supporting the National Infrastructure Commission at this critical time. Ann has extensive experience driving smarter investments across UK social and economic infrastructure.”

These ten panel members take over from the first cohort, whose period in office ended in May 2020 with the publication of their Generational Shift opinion pieces relating to the future of UK infrastructure. Panellists were selected to be fully representative of the next generation of professionals, many of whom may eventually be tasked with implementing some of the major strategic shifts recommended by the commission.