Stephen will join the County Council in February, when he will take over from the existing chief executive Gillian Beasley who announced her plans to leave earlier in the year.
Stephen has held senior roles in local government and the national health service, he has previously worked for Cambridgeshire County Council between 2005-2011 at director level and was a National Adviser for the Local Government Association.
He is currently Executive Director of Corporate Services for the City of Edinburgh Council and his previous positions have included Chief People Officer at NHS England and Deputy Chief Executive at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
He said he was looking forward to working with new Peterborough chief executive Matt Gladstone, who was appointed this week.
Stephen said: “I feel really proud and privileged to have been given this opportunity as chief executive to lead Cambridgeshire County Council. The county has not only a regional, but a national reputation. It is a big county, with big ambitions and I’m looking forward to working with elected members, our partners, staff and trade unions to deliver these ambitions.
“I’m also looking forward to working with the new Chief Executive of Peterborough City Council and I’m keen to work with the team in Cambridgeshire to respond to the challenges of climate change, address the need for sustainable finances and tackle inequalities, as we deliver essential services for the people and businesses of Cambridgeshire.”
The decisions to seek separate chief executives for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council were unanimously agreed at both Cambridgeshire’s Staffing and Appeals Committee and Peterborough’s Employment Committee in August.
Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We are pleased to announce, after a unanimous decision, that Stephen will join the County Council next year as our new Chief Executive. I’d like to thank all the candidates who applied as it was a competitive field.
“It’s important we continue to have a close working relationship with Peterborough and Stephen will be pivotal to this. We look forward to working with him on the future of shared roles and where services are helping to deliver strong outcomes for residents and communities, or resilience for the councils, shared services will continue to be an option.”
Cllr Elisa Meschini, Deputy Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council added: “What impressed us about Stephen was his commitment to the area and his in-depth knowledge of Cambridgeshire. He understands the challenges we’re facing and wants to collaboratively work with our partners to deliver the best for our communities.
“We look forward to working closely with Stephen on our big ambitions for Cambridgeshire and tackling the challenges facing Cambridgeshire following the pandemic.”