Senior director for Water 2020 replaces Richard Khaldi on regulator's board

David Black, senior director, Water 2020, who has previously been tipped as one of the candidates to replace Cathryn Ross as chief executive of Ofwat, has been appointed as an executive member of the regulator’s board.

Ofwat confirmed today (25 October) that the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, appointed Black following consultation with the Welsh Assembly and Ofwat.

Black became Ofwat’s senior director, Water 2020 last year and is part of the leadership team for the 2019 price review, alongside Ofwat senior directors, Aileen Armstrong and John Russell.

Jonson Cox, Ofwat chairman, said: “I’m pleased to welcome David to the board, complementing the strong team we already have.

“David’s experience in the 2014 price review and his leadership of Ofwat’s Water 2020 programme, means he brings a depth of knowledge and skills to the board. I look forward to the valuable contribution he will make.”

Earlier this year, Black emerged as a frontrunner to succeed Ross, who will be departing Ofwat in December to take up the role of head of regulatory affairs at BT.

Hannah Nixon from the Financial Conduct Authority and Richard Moriarty from the Civil Aviation Authority, were also thought to be in the running.

Black joined Ofwat in 2012 and before his appointment as senior director, Water 2020, he was director of economics. Prior to that he led the finance and modelling workstreams for the 2014 price review.

Black has also worked in economic consulting, advising on economic regulation and competition in communications and utilities.

He has also been an economist at Oftel and the New Zealand Treasury and NZ Commerce Commission.

His appointment to Ofwat’s board follows the departure of executive board member Richard Khaldi who left Ofwat in May this year to join PA Consulting Group.

Khaldi was senior director of customers and casework at Ofwat and has recently been replaced by Emma Kelso. 

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