Senior Management Team

Tees Valley Combined Authority is supported by a team of experts in all aspects of economic development.

To view the Tees Valley Combined Authority Organisation Chart with responsibilities click here.

Julie Gilhespie

Julie Gilhespie

Group Chief Executive


Julie was appointed Chief Executive of Tees Valley Combined Authority in November 2018. Prior to this, she was interim Managing Director of the Combined Authority, a position which she held from May 2018.

Julie joined the organisation in August 2017 as the Finance Director for the Tees Valley Combined Authority and South Tees Development Corporation, overseeing the complex financial arrangements necessary to make a success of devolution and the economic transformation of the Tees Valley.

An experienced commercial chartered accountant, Julie undertakes important statutory responsibilities to ensure the efficient and transparent use of new funding available to the area.

Previous to her role, Julie worked for Learning Curve Group Limited where she was Group Finance Director and also held a director’s role in Deloitte’s national public sector infrastructure team for more than 10 years. She brings many years’ experience in the public and private sector, particularly working on major public-private infrastructure projects for schools and hospitals.

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Helen Kemp

Helen Kemp

Group Director of Business & Skills


Gary Macdonald

Gary Macdonald

Group Director of Finance & Resources


Gary is a Chartered Management Accountant with significant experience and achievements across a variety of public services including; Local Government, National Health Service, Higher Education, Police.

He joined the Combined Authority from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where he led the delivery of financial services supporting significant efficiency and improvement programmes.

His roles have included Chief Financial Officer for North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Financial and Assurance officer at University of Sunderland and he is also a Trustee of River Tees Multi Academy Trust in Middlesbrough supporting the Trust’s Alternative Provision services to local communities.

Gary is passionate about the delivery of public services to local communities and being born in Saltburn, brought up in Redcar and living in Stockton-on-Tees will look to bring all of his expertise to support the development of the Tees Valley. He is proud that his Education has seen him attend John E Batty Primary School, Bishopsgarth School (now Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth) with his further education and professional studies also including attendance at; Redcar & Cleveland College, Darlington College of Technology and the North East Chamber of Commerce.

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