2023 speakers

Tom Riordan CBE - chief executive, Leeds City Council

Tom has been chief executive of Leeds City Council since 2010 and during this time has overseen a significant transformation of the council and the city. He has been instrumental in securing a range of successes to Leeds, notably the new Channel 4 headquarters; the UK Infrastructure Bank; the Bank of England’s northern hub; a thriving tech sector; world-leading sporting events such as the Tour de France and World Triathlon; a transformed retail core; and the city’s low carbon district heating system. The Council has been named Council of the Year and Digital Council of the Year and achieved OFSTED outstanding ratings in 2018 and 2022. He is a champion of mental health and diversity causes in the city. Tom’s top priority is for Leeds’s growth to be inclusive. 

Tom has held various roles promoting local and central government engagement, including devising the local Covid-19 response framework during the pandemic, being a trustee on the Centre for Cities Board and a member of the Children’s Social Care National Implementation Board. He is also Trustee of St Gemma’s Hospice and an ambassador for Middlesbrough FC’s Charity Foundation. 

Tom has come full-circle from a North Yorkshire state education, via Oxford University, a Civil Service fast-stream career in international environmental policy, an MBA at Imperial College, and then leading the Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward. For his commitment to the city and Yorkshire, Tom was awarded a CBE for services to local government in the 2020 New Year’s Honours.