Natalie Brahma-Pearl has been selected as Portsmouth City Council’s new chief executive, following a recruitment process.

The recommendation of the appointment sub-committee is expected to be confirmed by councillors at Full Council on Tuesday 20 June.

Natalie has been chief executive at Crawley Borough Council since 2017, having previously been director of community services at Horsham District Council.

At Crawley, Natalie has led the council through a significant programme of improvements, including transforming the council’s organisational culture, delivering a new energy efficient town hall, chairing the £80m Crawley Growth Regeneration Programme, leading on improvements to the borough through the £22M Crawley Towns Fund, and delivering more than 1,000 new affordable homes since 2018.

Natalie will be replacing current chief executive, David Williams, who is retiring from full-time work after a 40-year local government career, and 16 years at Portsmouth City Council.

David Williams will remain in post as chief executive until the end of September, when Natalie is expected to start her new role.

Council Leader, Cllr Steve Pitt, said: “I am pleased to say that the selection panel made up of the different group leaders and Cllr Suzy Horton, has unanimously agreed to appoint Natalie Brahma-Pearl as the new chief executive of Portsmouth City Council.

“Natalie has a wealth of local government experience, including six years as chief executive at Crawley, and she impressed the recruitment panel with her clear and obvious commitment to, and ambition for, making a positive difference to our residents and communities in Portsmouth.

“I am looking forward to welcoming Natalie to her new role in Portsmouth, and to working with her to continue to take forward our projects and plans to improve the city and the lives of the people who live here.”

Natalie said: “I am very excited and honoured to have been offered the role of Chief Executive at Portsmouth City Council. I am passionate about improving public services, and this is therefore a really exciting opportunity for me to build on Portsmouth’s excellent reputation. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead such a progressive and ambitious council in one of the best and unique cities in the UK.

“I am very much looking forward to working with councillors, staff and partners to take the many great opportunities forward for the city and build on the strong foundations in place. I will continue supporting residents and businesses and further improve the city into the future.”