A NEW chief executive has been named for Stroud District Council.

Kathy O’Leary will take up the post in November following the retirement of current chief executive David Hagg, who has been in the role for 17 years.

“I am looking forward to working with local people, the council and its partners to continue to deliver high quality services and work ambitiously for the benefit of the residents and businesses of this attractive and diverse district,” said Ms O’Leary, who currently works for a district council in Surrey.

She was picked by what the council described as a “rigorous selection process involved councillors, council employees and external stakeholders, with the recommendation being made by an all-party group of councillors and party leaders.”

Ms O’Leary has 32 years of experience in the public sector, starting her career in local government in planning for Hampshire county council.

She then worked for a number of district councils in Surrey, progressively moving into more senior management positions, and is currently strategic director of resources at Tandridge district council in Surrey.

Earlier in her career she also spent a year lecturing in geography at the University of Leeds.

Stroud district councillors voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation.

Leader of the council Doina Cornell said: “We are really delighted to welcome Kathy to her new role.

“There was an excellent list of candidates to choose from but through the two days of assessments and interviews a clear picture emerged with Kathy best fitting the bill of what we were looking for in a new chief executive.

“She has the track record of leading at a senior level, understanding how to meet the real challenges local government faces today by working in collaboration with councillors, staff and local communities.

“We also loved how keen she was to come and work here in Stroud district and look forward to when she starts later this year.”