Pia Wilkes has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
Wilkes joins the VCA from HORIBA MIRA, where she is the senior manager for the Test Engineering, Homologation and Certification Product Groups.
Her role will see her lead the agency’s work to ensure and improve the safety standards of all new vehicles on UK roads.
The VCA is responsible for approving new on and off road vehicles and ensuring they have been designed and built to international standards of safety. The agency also publishes the vehicle emission data which forms Vehicle Excise Duty rates.
Philip Rutnam, permanent secretary at the Department for Transport (DfT), said: “I am delighted to welcome Pia Wilkes as chief executive of the Vehicle Certification Agency.
“We have some of the safest roads in the world and the VCA’s work ensures we continue to improve the safety of our highways.
“Pia will provide excellent leadership for the agency and her industry experience, strong commercial background and engineering expertise will help drive the VCA through busy times ahead.
“I would like to express my personal thanks to Paul Higgs for the outstanding commitment he has shown during this period as acting chief executive.
Wilkes said: “I am pleased to be joining the agency at this exciting time and to play a part in the future of type approval in the UK.
“I hope to use my experience from working in the automotive industry and in central government to bring the different parties and agendas together and I am looking forward to again working with the highly skilled team of engineers at VCA.”
Wilkes has previously worked for the VCA in the management team as a member of the board for business development between 2004 and 2008 followed by three years in the DfT as deputy director in the regional and local transport delivery team.
She also worked on the management board of the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency, now the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before re-joining the automotive sector in 2011.
Wilkes will join the VCA mid November 2016.