Steve Beel has joined Freeport East, one of 8 Freeports across England established by the Government, as its first permanent Chief Executive.
Steve has over 20 years’ experience across a range of infrastructure sectors in the UK and overseas, covering infrastructure planning, financing, procurement and operations. Most recently he has been working in Zambia as a British Diplomat with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
As Development Director and Deputy High Commissioner he has led the UK’s development partnership with Zambia in areas ranging from education to clean energy, infrastructure to health, as well as spearheading a new Green Growth framework which has delivered significant increases in bilateral trade and green investment.
Commenting on his appointment, Steve said:
“Having been brought up in the region, I have a personal desire to see a deepening of economic growth and employment opportunities in the East of England. Freeport East provides a unique chance to deliver broader and more inclusive growth through increasing employment opportunities and skills development, deepening trade connections to the rest of the world, and facilitating a greener and more innovative regional economy.
“Maximising the full potential of what Freeport East can deliver will require the broadest range of collaborative partnerships with institutions across multiple sectors. I look forward to getting to work with current and new partners to ensure Freeport East delivers more than the sum of its parts.”
Freeport East Acting Chairman, George Kieffer, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Steve to the team. His mix of experience in public and private sectors, combined with a strong focus on economic development, made him the ideal candidate for this role. At a time when energy sector investment and increased productivity are key objectives for the Government, I am confident that he will drive Freeport East forwards, opening up new employment opportunities and delivering inward investment into the region.”
Earlier in his career Steve worked at Ofgem as a Commercial Director where he was involved in many of the UK’s largest offshore wind and electricity interconnector projects, and before that at Hutchison Whampoa and PwC.