The senior leadership team is responsible for managing the activities of our staff and for advising councillors on the potential implications of political decisions. By law, senior council staff are not allowed to participate in any party political activity and are expected to advise and assist all councillors irrespective of their political affiliation.
The Chief Executive is the senior officer who leads and takes responsibility for the work of the paid staff of the council. The role of Chief Executive is a full time appointment. Post holders are selected on merit, against objective criteria, following public advertisement. They are appointed by the whole council.
The Leader, together with the Cabinet, takes all of the significant decisions within the council (excluding planning and licensing issues) through their Cabinet meetings or individual decision-making process.
Stella Manzie CBE, Interim Chief Executive
Stella has held a number of senior positions in public service, ranging from chief executive of local authorities like Coventry, Barking and Dagenham, Redditch and West Berkshire to Director General in the UK Civil Service (Scottish Government) and worked at Birmingham City Council earlier in her career. She was Government-appointed Commissioner-Managing Director at Rotherham Council 2015/16. She has worked on improving frontline public services in a democratic environment as well as on regeneration, neighbourhood and community issues. Stella is a graduate of Cambridge University, a post-graduate of the University of Birmingham and Visiting Fellow of the Open University. She was awarded a CBE in 2007 for services to local government.
Jonathan Tew appointed, Assistant Chief Executive
An experienced public servant, Jonathan was Assistant Director (city engagement and policy) at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Head of Policy and Performance at Blackburn with Darwen Council, and Business Manager, County Durham Unitary Programme, at Durham County Council. He also has extensive experience of working closely with Government departments and supporting Home Office and CLG national programmes. For the last 21 months Jonathan has been an Associate Director at KPMG LLP’s public sector and health consulting practice, advising senior politicians, chief executives and statutory directors across the UK public sector.
Dr Graeme Betts, Interim Corporate Director
Adult Social Care and Health directorate
Graeme is working as the interim Director for Adult Social Care for Birmingham City Council. Before joining Birmingham City Council, Graeme has been a chief officer and chief executive in local government and the NHS for around 20 years and has extensive experience of leading organisations, implementing national and local strategies and managing major change.
Graeme is a qualified executive coach and mentor. He was awarded his PhD 1991 and published Local Government and Inequalities in Health the following year. He has published numerous articles on health and social care.
He was awarded an Honorary Professorship from the University of East London in June 2013 for outstanding contributions to the advancement of his profession through publications and the development of public policy and services.
Colin Diamond CBE, Interim Corporate Director,
Children and Young People directorate
Colin has worked in education leadership roles for more than 30 years. He cut his teeth professionally as a teacher, youth worker and child psychotherapist in inner-London. He took on some challenging schools in the East End of London as associate headteacher.
He has also worked as a local authority special educational needs and disability (SEND) adviser, Director of Education, Director of Children’s Services (taking a local authority from “special measures” to “outstanding”), OfSTED inspector and associate lecturer at three universities. He was Department for Children, Schools and Families South West Director and then moved to the Department for Education. He headed up their department’s education advisers for academies and free schools, then took on responsibility for the performance of open academies. Colin is driven by what is best for our kids and young people, and the transformative power of education for working-class children, in particular.
Jacqui Kennedy, Corporate Director
A lifelong Villa fan, Jacqui has spent her whole career at the council, joining as an office junior in housing finance. She notably created and hosted the Illegal Money Lending project for the whole of England, alongside the regional Scambusters team, as head of Regulatory Services.
Jacqui is responsible for leading an eclectic and significant mix of cradle to grave front-line services in the Place directorate, from highways, housing, sport and refuse collection to parks, local libraries, community cohesion and youth services.
Waheed Nazir, Corporate Director,
With a wealth of experience in driving forward economic growth, Waheed has already had responsibility for a wide portfolio including, planning, regeneration, economic development, housing, skills and transport as Director of Planning and Regeneration, and as Chief Planning Officer.
During his 15 years’ at the council, Waheed has been responsible for overseeing the Big City Plan, Birmingham Development Plan, Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, and the £1.2bn Enterprise Zone.
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Mike is on part-time secondment from the London Borough of Camden, where he is the Executive Director, Corporate Services. He will continue to cover his role at Camden alongside this interim role in Birmingham. Mike has been at Camden since October 2005, having previously been the Director of Finance for Swindon Borough Council, and having held a number of other senior finance posts in London local government. He is also a non-executive director of the London Pension Fund Authority, where he chairs the Audit and Risk Committee.
He is a qualified accountant and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy member. He chaired the London Financial Advisory Committee from 2008 until April 2014, and is a past President of the Society of London Treasurers.
Mike was educated at the University of Sussex and then achieved an MSc at the London School of Economics. In 2008, he also completed the Investment Management programme at the London Business School.
Angela Probert, Chief Operating Officer,
Strategic Services directorate
Angela has responsibility for the council’s Human Resources (HR), Policy, Procurement, Information Communications Technology (ICT), Communications and Customer Services. She has a wealth of experience in transforming public and private sector organisations. Before joining Birmingham City Council, she was Nottingham City Council’s Strategic Director for Organisational Transformation and led its ‘Good to Great’ corporate transformation programme, which delivered £55 million of savings within four years.
Angela began her local government career with Sheffield City Council and has also held senior roles in the private sector.