Development & Alumni Relations Office 



NETWORK RAIL APPOINTS QUEEN’S GRADUATE AS NEW NON-EXEC DIRECTORTrain platform with inset graduate Fiona Ross

15 May 2020

Two years after she took up post as Chair of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), the state owned corporation responsible for most public transport in Ireland, Queen’s LLM graduate Fiona Ross (2008) has joined the Board of Network Rail as a non-exec director.

Network Rail is the owner, operator and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, including 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals and level crossings. Network Rail also runs 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are managed by the country's train operating companies.

Ms Ross is a governance expert with a first class Masters of Law in Corporate Governance and Public Policy from Queen’s. She also holds degrees and qualifications from Trinity College, Dublin (BA/MA, English and History, 1987), University College Dublin (MBS, International Marketing, 1992), Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (MSc, CyberPsychology, 2017) and was awarded a Fellowship in Governance by the George Washington University in 2012.

She joined the Network Rail Board with effect from 11 May 2020, as one of three new appointments to replace recently retired Board members.

An experienced public and private sector chair and non-executive director, currently serving on a range of UK and Irish Boards, Ms Ross began her career as a stockbroker in the City of London and spent 25 years operating in all areas within capital markets in Dublin, London, Eastern Europe and the United States. She has worked with leading companies including Goodbody Stockbrokers, Bank of Ireland, Hill & Knowlton and the Industrial Bank of Japan.

She has served on 17 boards in Ireland and the UK over recent years, focusing on governance, ethics, and digital transformation and has been a member of the Board and the Audit Committee of the Irish National Transport Authority (NTA) – since 2015.

Six years ago Ms Ross was appointed by the UK’s Department of Transport to serve on the Board of the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency (DVSA), where she chaired the Health and Safety Committee and sat on the Audit and Risk committee.

Currently chair of Mental Health Ireland – a national voluntary organisation – she joined the Board of the Seamus Heaney Estate in 2016 as a non-executive director to help establish the Heaney literary estate.

Ms Ross has been a director of Ireland’s National Transport Authority, which oversees all areas of public transport from trains to taxis, since 2015 and sits on its audit committee.

Network Rail is a not for dividend organisation, which when not subject to the constrictions of the coronavirus lockdown is currently undertaking a £38 billion programme of upgrades to the network, including Crossrail, electrification of lines and upgrading Thameslink.

More than 4.8 million journeys are made in GB every day and over 600 freight trains run on the network. Members of the public depend on Britain's railway network for their daily commute, to visit friends and family and to get them home safe every day.

The Board is responsible for managing and delivering thousands of projects every year and for growing and expanding the railway network in response to the doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

For further information on Ms Ross’s appointment please contact Network Rail’s National Press Office, telephone: +44 (0)20 3356 8700.

For general enquiries about this story or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast.

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