Dr Tim Williams is CEO of the Committee for Sydney. Before coming to Australia in late 2010, Tim was recognised as one of the UK’s thought-leaders in urban regeneration and economic development. Prior to that between 2005 and 2010, Tim was a special advisor on housing, urban regeneration and planning to five successive senior UK ministers, a unique record.
As a special advisor he helped create a new national urban regeneration and affordable housing organisation, the Homes and Communities Agency, which managed an £8 billion budget. He also helped to reignite the £25 billion CrossRail project — on a ‘Thames Gateway’ alignment through both Stratford and Woolwich — part-funded through a value capture model that Tim helped to develop. Tim was part of the government team which later created the ‘UK City Deals’ now being implemented in Australia.
Before becoming an advisor, Tim was CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership between 1998 and 2003. In this position, he played an important role in attracting massive new investment in infrastructure into East London and established the urban renewal case which helped secure the 2012 Olympic Games for the area. In recognition of his work, Tim was appointed a founding associate member of Tony Blair’s Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in 2002.
Since arriving in Sydney, Tim has written some ground breaking and influential reports on housing, urban policy and the potential impact of high speed broadband on cities and public policy. He has written regular columns on public policy, housing and urban issues for the main Sydney media outlets; the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph and the Fifth Estate and regularly appears on radio and TV. He is regular lecturer on urban policy issues and has a blog hosted by the UK’s leading urban regeneration journal, Regeneration and Renewal.
Tim was a trusted source of advice on the design of the Greater Sydney Commission, based on his experience of being a ministerial advisor negotiating new powers for the London mayor in 2005 to 6. He is currently a member of the Federal Cities Reference Group within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Tim was raised in public housing in a mining community in South Wales. He has a degree in history from the University of Cambridge (1978), having been a student at Peterhouse where he had been a winner of the PC Vellacott History Essay Competition. He has a teaching qualification from the University of Oxford (1984), a Ph.D. from the University of Wales (1990) and has been called to the Bar from the Inner Temple (1998). He is currently an Adjunct Professor at both the University of Western Sydney and the Business School at UTS. He lives in Manly with his Australian wife Michelle and Cambro-Australian daughter Elinor.