Meet the Executive Team – Katie Judge
Tell me about your role?
“The role of myself and other members of the LEP Executive is to provide professional, policy and administrative support to LEP partners, in particular the LEP Board.
“I joined the LEP nearly three years ago and I have been involved in developing the LEP’s strategy and business plans – particularly as regards key sectors. This has involved undertaking and commissioning research and working with our Sector Champions and other partners and stakeholders to identify opportunities and design interventions.
“A particular focus for me has been the life sciences agenda. I supported the Greater Birmingham Life Sciences Commission, chaired by Graham Silk, to assess Greater Birmingham’s potential for life sciences investment and how this could be realised. Since the Commission I have been working with our secondee Richard Phillips of the Association of British Healthcare Industries and other partners to raise awareness of our offer and to start to bring forward investible propositions.
“Since I joined the LEP the focus has broadened to the Combined Authority (and Midlands Engine) perspective and I have been involved with the development of Devolution Deal proposals and the Strategic Economic Plan for the 3-LEP geography.
” Core to the role is administering LEP Board meetings and supporting our Non-Executive Directors. It also involves administering our Pillar Boards – in my case the Business & Innovation Pillar Board – sub-boards and local authority officer groups.”
What does an average day look like?
“All sorts of things can happen during a day at the LEP and quite often not to plan! There are a huge number of individuals and organisations out there who are interested in what the LEP does and what it can do for them. Quite a bit of time is spent trying to bridge the comprehension gap that we are not like the RDA and don’t have loads of money to give out but that we are very strategic and interested in how we can work with you to create jobs and growth! Fortunately we have many excellent partners who understand the dynamic and are keen to work constructively with us to identify and open up opportunities.
“Days are varied and interesting as it is a broad and fast-developing agenda and there are so many stakeholders and forums involved. Typical days involve organising and attending partner meetings and events, writing briefings and reports and responding to huge numbers of emails. Much of what we do is communicate and join things up. And then along comes a Ministerial visit or a Growth Deal submission to organise and it’s all hands to the pump!”
What do you enjoy most about your work?
“I enjoy the variety and intellectual challenge and that I get to work with so many great people and share in their knowledge and expertise. You really do learn something new every day when you work for the LEP.”
What did you study at university and why?
“I studied Anthropology & Geography for my first degree because I was interested in society and culture. I spent time before University travelling in Central America and was then able to study Mesoamerican culture at University. I also have a Masters in Town Planning and a Diploma in Economics from the Open University. I enjoy studying!”
What is your favourite piece of music and book?
“I love the soundtrack to ‘Out of Africa’ and books about nature (by Robert McFarlane for example).”
Where is your favourite place in the LEP area and why?
“The parks of south Birmingham – they are wonderful places and I enjoy spending hours there with my dogs watching and listening to nature and experiencing the changing of the seasons.”