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Senior Leadership Team

Mark Phillips - Chief Executive Officer

Mark Phillips - Interim Managing Director

Mark was appointed Interim Managing Director in May 2016 and then Chief Executive Officer in November 2016. 

Mark joined RSSB as Director of Research and Standards where he led the technical experts who provide advice and guidance, and develop standards for the rail industry to improve efficiency and safety. The role included managing interoperability with the EU, driving the integration of EU standards into GB rail and managing the research portfolio.

After graduating in Economics from the University of York, Mark joined British Rail as an operations graduate trainee, before joining the privatisation team.  He worked for Railtrack as Head of Operational Planning and Engineering, for Network Rail as Regional Director for Anglia, and as Deputy Managing Director for the Greater Anglia franchise.

Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Railway Operators and a Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.  Mark, who has also been a board member of the British Transport Police Authority since 2013, has been appointed as the new deputy chair.

George Bearfield - System Safety Director

George Bearfield - System Safety DirectorGeorge was appointed System Safety Director in 2014.  He is responsible for the analysis and reporting of GB rail’s safety performance and risk, and for supporting the industry in all aspects of its safety management processes and capabilities.  This understanding of risk helps the industry to manage safety in an evidence-based way.

George joined RSSB in January 2006 and prior to this, worked for 6 years at Atkins Rail.  His background is in the consultancy and railway supply industries.

George has a PhD in Computer Science, specialising in railway risk modelling.  He is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Fellow of the Safety and Reliability Society.

Eileen Pevreall - Information Technology Director

Eileen Pevreall - Information Techology DirectorEileen joined RSSB as Information Technology Director in 2015.  Eileen’s role is to develop RSSB’s IT and digital services to support the rail industry systems provided to members.

Eileen has over 15 years’ experience as an IT Director in the charity and not-for-profit sector.  She has worked with the Carbon Trust and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development where she led IT programmes with a focus on member engagement and business growth.  She started her career in IT at British Gas.     



Chris Lawrence - Technical Director

Chris Lawerence - Technical Director

Chris joined RSSB as Technical Director in 2016. He is responsible for ensuring that the technical capability of the organisation meets the current and future needs of the industry, and that it consistently applies a whole-system approach to delivery of its services that reflects best practice in rail and other relevant sectors.

Chris previously worked in engineering consultancy in the UK and internationally where he led the design and multi-disciplinary engineering management of main line, mass transit and light rail projects for over 30 years.

Chris is a chartered civil engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a member of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation. He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham.

John Abbott - External Engagement Director

John Abbott - External Engagement DirectorJohn was appointed to the new position of External Engagement Director in 2014.  His role is to establish and maintain proactive relationships with RSSB’s members, focussing on understanding their needs and priorities.  This includes ensuring that the outcomes of RSSB’s work are communicated effectively across the industry.

John began his career with British Rail in 1981, as a management trainee.  After privatisation, he became the procurement manager for Trainload Freight.  Previously, John was Director of Assurance and Safety at Railtrack and Director of Health, Safety and Security at Network Rail.  He joined RSSB in 2007.

John is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.​

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