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The interim position will cover the 2022 Commonwealth Games and local elections, after which recruitment for a permanent appointment will begin.  

Raised and educated in Birmingham, she was the first permanent chief executive of the newly formed WMCA in 2017, following 30 years working in public services. She worked at the city council for seven years during her early career followed by senior roles including Head of Policy at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Following roles as the Audit Commission's Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region and Chief Executive for St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency, she was Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council from 2011 to 2017. 

She was appointed OBE for services to local government in 2006 and is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’. 

Deborah Cadman said: 

“I’m thrilled to be joining Birmingham at such an important time for the city and the region – there are immense challenges ahead, but some great opportunities, too. 

“Returning to the city as chief executive of the Combined Authority has been a great experience. I’m so proud of all we’ve achieved across the region and it will be hard to leave so many brilliant colleagues here. 

“But the opportunity to become chief executive of Birmingham City Council is one I just couldn’t turn down. I’m looking forward to bringing my successful experience in working with councillors and partners across national and local government to make a difference to the city. I’m a Brummie born and bred, love the place and the people and I know how ambitious the council is to make a difference to people's lives.”