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Organisation Structure - The Board

The Port of London Authority Board of Directors’ role is to set the strategy for the PLA, ensure its long-term success and create stakeholder value.

In particular, the PLA has a statutory duty to manage the tidal River Thames in trust for future generations and to pass it on in an improved condition. Directors must ensure that the organisation is efficient and provides customers with cost-effective services. With no shareholders, the board is accountable to stakeholders and values their input in shaping the approach and decisions that directors take.

The board is committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance and follows the Ports Good Governance Guidance and the UK Corporate Governance Code (where appropriate for a statutory organisation). Board members regularly receive detailed financial and operational information to monitor key areas of the business. Senior managers regularly brief directors on various aspects of the PLA’s work.

Further information about the work of the PLA Board of Directors can be found in our annual reports.

Chairman Christopher Rodrigues CBE

Christopher Rodrigues became Chairman of the Port of London Authority in January 2016, Chairman of the Royal Ballet School in January 2020 and Chairman of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in April 2021.  In May 2018 he became an Ambassador for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and in January 2019 Council Member and Chairman of the Development Committee at University College School, Hampstead.

Christopher was Chairman of Openwork from January 2014 – June 2020; Chairman of the British Council from 2016 – 2019; Chairman of the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association from 2013 – 2019; Chairman of VisitBritain from 2007 – 2017; Chairman of International Personal Finance and Windsor Leadership from 2007 – 2015; Chairman of The Almeida Theatre from 2008 – 2016.  Christopher was a Council member of the National Trust from 1997 – 2004, and again from 2010 – 2012, and a Trustee from 2012 – 2016.   He was on the Executive Committee of WTTC from 2007 – 2016.

Christopher is a graduate of Cambridge University (MA) and the Harvard Business School (MBA, Baker Scholar).  He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Surrey (DUniv) in April 2013.  He rowed for Cambridge in the 1970 and 1971 Boat Races, is a past-Chairman of Leander Club and is a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta. 

Christopher was made a Commander of the British Empire in the 2007 New Year Honours list for services to British business interests and charitable works in the UK and USA.

Robin Mortimer

Robin Mortimer joined the Port of London Authority as chief executive officer on 31 March 2014.
Prior to joining the PLA, Robin had 20 years’ experience in the UK Government civil service across a range of Government Departments. He was Private Secretary to the Environment Secretary from 1996-97, Deputy Prime Minister from 1997-98 and to the Transport Secretary from 2001-03. He led the work on the UK Climate Change Bill in 2006 and in 2007, became a Director in Defra where he set up the UK’s Adapting to Climate Change programme, oversaw the creation of the Canal & River Trust and directed policy on air quality and the natural environment.
Robin is currently the Deputy Chair of Maritime UK, a Member of the CBI’s London Council and a trustee of Thames 21.

Julie Tankard

Julie Tankard, chief financial officer was appointed in October 2017. Julie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has over 25 years of experience in finance, primarily in IT and telecommunications.

Prior to joining the PLA, Julie was a vice president at BT plc and her last role was responsible for group contract & commercial management. Prior to joining BT, Julie was the finance director for Racal Datacom and prior to that was finance director for the networking division of Unisys UK & EMEA. Julie has also been a non-executive director of a mental health trust in Leeds and York since 2013.

Bob Baker

Bob Baker became PLA chief harbour master in May 2016.

He is responsible for all operational and navigational matters including vessel traffic management, pilotage, harbour services and port security.  Bob joined the PLA from Forth Ports, where he was chief harbour master and a director of Forth Estuary Towage from 2001. Bob’s seagoing career lasted from 1975 to 1991, before he came ashore to work at the Port of Tilbury, latterly as general manager, conventional operations and harbour master.

Bob chairs the UKMPG/BPA Marine Pilot Working Group, is the UK’s representative on the Marine Affairs Committee of the European Sea Ports organisation (ESPO) and is a past president of the UK Harbour Masters Association. He holds an MBA from Henley Management College.

Ian Moncrieff CBE DL

Ian Moncrieff CBE DL joined the PLA Board as non-executive director and marine member on 1 January 2015.  He was formerly Chief Executive of the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) from 2011 - 2015, having been with the UKHO in a variety of roles, including UK National Hydrographer as a Rear Admiral since 2006.

He served with the Royal Navy for 35 years, accumulating over 20 years’ seagoing experience in 11 warships. His senior roles included Commander British Forces South Atlantic and he commanded the ice-breaker HMS ENDURANCE and destroyer HMS NOTTINGHAM and was executive officer of the aircraft carrier, HMS INVINCIBLE.  Ian is on the NERC Operational and Safety advice Panel for the British Antarctic Survey, Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Somerset, a trustee of the Falklands Conservation charity and a governor of Taunton School.  He is also a Younger Brother of Trinity House and member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. 

Paula Carter

Paula Carter joined the PLA as a non executive director on 1 June 2018. She worked for 30 years in broadcasting, most recently as Director of Planning and Board Secretary at Channel 4 where she was responsible for all corporate planning. Before joining Channel 4 in 2007 she held senior policy and management roles at the BBC and ITV and worked as an advisor to various government departments, regulators and agencies on communications matters, including the joint Parliamentary committee that scrutinised the Communications Bill in 2002. Before joining the BBC in 1989 she worked in advertising in the UK and New Zealand.

Paula is an elected member of the Wine Society, a non executive director of the productivity movement “Be the Business”, a magistrate on the South East London Bench, chair of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for England and a non executive director of the RFU. She sits on the Disciplinary Panel for the Lawn Tennis Association.

Alun Griffiths

Alun Griffiths joined the PLA on 1 September 2014. He worked at WS Atkins plc for over 25 years in a variety of management consulting, business and corporate roles before becoming group HR director, joining the board in 2007.  Alun is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Having retired from Atkins in 2014, Alun has a number of non executive director roles with Severfield plc, the Ramboll Group A/S and the Anchor Trust.

He has worked extensively across the science and engineering sectors to improve gender diversity at all levels up to and including the boardroom.

Darren James

Darren James joined the PLA Board in December 2016.

A chartered civil engineer, Darren graduated with honours from the University of Surrey in 1990. He was appointed chief executive officer at Keltbray in early 2020, having spent the majority of his career at Costain. He came through the graduate programme at Costain as a civil engineer, project management on some of the UK’s largest infrastructure programmes to become managing director of their Infrastructure Division. Darren sits on the Prince’s Trust Leadership Group, championing the entry of young people into the industry and is a director of the Rail Industry Association.

Judith Armitt

Judith Armitt was appointed a non executive member of the Port of London Authority board on 1 December 2016.

She retired as chief executive of Local Partnerships LLP in April 2016. Prior to this she worked in the Cabinet Office, was managing director of Ashford’s Future Company, Thames Gateway chief executive, and chief executive of Medway Council.

Judith is chair, trustee and director of the Rochester Diocesan Board of Finance; a trustee of the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME), and of Design: South East. She is a non-executive director of the Housing and Finance Institute and a member of the governing body of Canterbury Christ Church University

Toril Eidesvik

Toril Eidesvik was appointed non-executive director of the PLA in September 2020.

Toril has worked within the shipping industry in various positions since 2006 where she was elected executive chair of the reefer shipping company Green Reefers. She later served as CEO from 2008 to 2012. Toril served as CEO for the general ship supply company Seven Seas and more recently for the cargo handling equipment supplier TTS Group (now Nekkar).

Toril has extensive board experience from several shipping related companies and is presently a board member of Solstad Offshore and Eksportfinans.

She holds a Master of Law from the University of Oslo, worked as a lawyer for the first nine years of her career, firstly within a private law firm and later within the legal department of a bank.

Sue Mackenzie

Sue Mackenzie was appointed non-executive member of the Port of London Authority board in December 2020.

Sue brings a wealth of international, commercial shipping operational experience, having served in senior management and advisory roles for both public and private companies for more than 20 years. She held a variety of roles during nearly 13 years at P&O Ferries most recently as Operations and Business Transformation Director. Prior to that she was Operations Director of London Luton Airport at a time of unprecedented growth following the launch of easyJet.

Sue’s early career was spent in military service and not-for-profit sectors both within and outside the UK. After leaving the Army, Sue spent time as Chief Executive of the charity Cities in Schools, which ran partnership programmes between business and the community to provide education, training and support to disadvantaged young people. Sue currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of BMT Group Ltd and Medway NHS Foundation Trust and is also on the Board of the Logistics UK.

She has degrees in Agricultural Science and Emergency Planning Management and has completed the General Management Programme at Harvard Business School. Sue continues to work voluntarily in support of her fellow servicemen and women and is involved as a trustee and / or volunteer of several charities in the UK.