Following an extensive search that saw several impressive candidates, Be First, the regeneration arm of Barking and Dagenham Council, are delighted to announce that Geoff Raw will be joining Be First, in May, as the new Managing Director.

Geoff has been Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service for Brighton & Hove City Council, since 2015. He began his career with Brighton & Hove City Council in 2010 as Director of Environment, Development & Housing accountable for the commissioning and delivery of Housing, Regeneration, Planning & Building Control, Transport, Waste Management & Parks services. Previously Geoff has worked in various posts at a range of organisations including, the Mayor of London, the Housing Corporation, HM Treasury and the London Borough of Brent.

Lord Bob Kerslake, Chair of the Board, at Be First said: “Geoff is a highly experienced Chief Executive and brings significant skills, experience, strategic insight that will be critical to the next stage in Be First’s evolution. His passion and enthusiasm for place making was evident throughout this process and has been a central theme throughout his career. We believe Geoff will build on the success of Be First to date and help us to continue deliver on the significant opportunities within Barking and Dagenham and to accelerate regeneration in the borough, so that no-one is left behind.”

Geoff Raw said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of Managing Director.  Place making, enabling economic opportunity, and developing housing to meet the needs and aspirations of diverse local communities are passions that have inspired me throughout my career.  I am very much looking forward to joining the Be First team which has a great reputation and delivery track record, as well as to working with a high calibre board and a strong, ambitious Council leadership to enable the borough to thrive.”

The role was previously occupied by Pat Hayes, who departed in October 2022, it is currently being temporarily filled by Acting MD, Kevin O’Brien.