Michelle Ashford
Chief Operating Officer

Michelle is a chartered civil engineer and a highly experienced management professional, with 30 years in the water industry. Her particular areas of expertise are in strategic business and asset planning, performance monitoring, and technical and regulatory governance for business planning and risk management.

Michelle joined WICS in 2017 as Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for the technical management of the Strategic Review of Charges 21-27, including oversight and challenge of the asset management approach to business planning by Scottish Water as part of a co-creation process.
By drawing on her communication skills and expertise in collaborative working, Michelle has helped support the development of stakeholder trust.

More widely Michelle’s work as Chief Operating Officer involves leading on aspects of the office such as maintaining the corporate risk register and records management, including GDPR and freedom of information requests. She is also responsible for overall management of information and reporting, including coordinating Commission meetings and papers, internal audit and governance. 

Before joining WICS, Michelle was Head of Network Asset Planning at Bristol Water, where she was responsible for managing the company’s network assets, and for developing the PR19 investment plan. Prior to this she was seconded from PA Consulting into Ofwat as the Programme Director for the Retail Market Opening Programme. Michelle had previously worked for Black & Veatch, where she led on a number of strategic business and asset planning assignments. She also led the Independent Review of Thames Water’s mains replacement programme for Ofwat and Thames Water, which reported in 2012.