Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority, Laura Shoaf, has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List published today for services to economic regeneration in the West Midlands.
Laura receives a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) recognising her contribution for over twenty years to transport services and economic regeneration in the West Midlands.
Growing up in New Jersey in the United States of America, Laura first moved to the UK in 2002 and began her career as a Principal Consultant at GVA Grimley, a real estate consultancy.
From there she joined the Black Country Consortium as head of strategic planning, and then as director of transport. In 2016 she joined Transport for West Midlands as managing director and last year was appointed chief executive for the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Laura is a recognised expert in transport and regeneration policy, chairing the Urban Transport Group and securing unprecedented investment in transport in the West Midlands. She is also on the Board of Trustees for Cure Leukaemia and the Severn Valley Railway charitable trust.
Speaking on receiving the CBE, Laura said, “I was absolutely delighted when I received the letter from the Palace. It is such an honour to be recognised for the work that I and so many others have done in the West Midlands, which has been my home for over 20 years.
“This honour isn’t just about me, it recognises the hard work of the many talented, dedicated, and tenacious people I have worked with over the years. I accept this honour on their behalf as well.
“I have been fortunate to work with amazing people in my career, and it is only because of them that I am being recognised. The passion of my colleagues is what has helped drive the investment in transport systems and regeneration in the West Midlands, connecting people to jobs, to schools, and universities, to their families and connecting communities to each other. I am so proud of the work we have all done, and continue to do, to make the West Midlands a better-connected region.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said, “Laura is so deserving of this very prestigious honour. Through her leadership the West Midlands has seen huge levels of development and investment in transport, which has supported the economic regeneration of the region.
“Only last month we secured over £1 billion of Government investment in our transport networks which will be spent on projects across the region, ensuring as many people as possible can access reliable public transport for a greener future.
“This honour recognises the hard work of Laura and the huge successes we have seen in transport and regeneration, right across the West Midlands.”