Joanna Killian

Chief Executive, Surrey CC and Vice Chair, Association of County Chief Executives, Surrey County Council

Joanna was appointed Chief Executive of Surrey County Council in 2018. She has worked in partnership with the Council Leader, Tim Oliver, to modernise the council, building strong financial foundations and improving service quality for residents. Her focus on partnerships has enabled the council to contribute to a thriving Integrated Care System in Surrey, as well as building the to strengthen the economy, address the impact of climate change and tackle inequalities.

In June 2021, as part of the Government’s intervention of Liverpool City Council, Joanna was appointed by the Secretary of State as Local Government Improvement commissioner. Joanna currently holds this role alongside her SCC Chief Executive role.

Prior to joining SCC, Joanna worked at KPMG, where she led relationships with local and regional government, advising clients on how they could transform their organisations, and work more innovatively with their customers and citizens. Joanna and her teams worked on innovative devolution and public service reform programmes. Joanna worked with top teams to rethink their strategic ambition and agree new approaches to address the challenges and opportunities that the public sector faces, including with a county council, as well as a group of health organisations.

Joanna has more than 30 years’ experience in the public sector and has deep experience in delivering transformational change, cost reduction and service improvement. She has expertise in achieving improved outcomes through partnerships as well as across public sector systems. She has worked on leadership, governance and corporate reform programmes and is skilled in working in complex political systems.

Joanna joined KPMG in 2015 from Essex County Council, where she was the Chief Executive for nearly 9 years.

Joanna started her career in social housing and regeneration - she has deep knowledge and expertise in these fields. In her spare time, she is Chair of St Mungo’s, a large charity with a mission to support people who experience street homelessness and eliminate rough sleeping.

My Speaker Sessions