David Waboso is currently capital programmes director at London Underground, one of the profession’s most high-profile, challenging jobs where he is responsible for leading the £1.5bn annual Tube investment programme – the largest in London Underground’s history. He manages a team of more than 3,000 people and a supply chain of more than 15,000 to deliver on investments that affect millions of Londoners every day.
An internationally renowned engineer and project manager with decades of experience in leading major infrastructure projects both in the UK and abroad, Waboso will lead Network Rail’s Digital Railway directorate, including the Digital Railway Programme – a cross-industry programme funded and facilitated by Network Rail to boost the capacity of Britain’s rail network using digital signalling and train control technologies. He will report to chief executive Mark Carne, replacing Jerry England, who retires later this year.
Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive said, “Attracting someone of David's talent highlights the progress we have made and our determination to use technology to unlock capacity on Britain's congested network. The single biggest challenge for Britain’s railway is how to provide the capacity we need for the future”.
As such, David Waboso’s experience at London Underground, where he has led the upgrade of both trains and infrastructure to digital technology, will be hugely valuable as Network Rail makes the case for an accelerated programme to roll out similar technologies across Britain’s rail network.
David was recently appointed president of the Association for Project Management. He has an Honorary Fellowship at APM and was awarded a CBE for his services to transport in London. Prior to joining London Underground in 2005, David was executive director at the Strategic Rail Authority where he was responsible for integrating engineering, safety and standards across the industry and led cross-industry national programmes for new signalling and communications systems. Waboso’s project management pedigree includes leadership roles on the Jubilee Line extension and on the Docklands Light Railway. Further afield, he has worked on projects for the European Railway Agency and World Bank-funded infrastructure developments in Africa. This world-class leadership and experience was a major influence behind his appointment as APM's new president.
“All of these roles have helped me to develop the core skills that a project manager requires; that is, learning how to deliver on time, on budget and with the desired outcomes,” he explained in an interview with APM Project editor Jason Hesse.
“The key is to demonstrate that you are an efficient project organisation and are delivering to the right milestones. The investment in the project needs to be turned into assets, which then must turn into benefits. So if you promise to do something by a certain time, you must do it. That’s how you build a world-class organisation.”
And that is what he intends to continue to do in the next phase of his distinguished career.