Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has appointed Nike boss Will Norman as London’s walking and cycling commissioner.
Norman is currently Global Partnerships Director at Nike, where he specialises in increasing levels of physical activity and participation in sports around the world, working with a range of international organisations. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology.
Khan today said Norman has an "impressive track record in delivering major international projects to get more people active."
Norman, who cycles every day in London, has a background of working with private and public partnerships, and experience in getting people from a wide range of backgrounds active. Before joining Nike in 2013, he set up a social research consultancy, and was also director of research at The Young Foundation.
At Nike, Norman led the Designed to Move programme to make physical activity a global policy priority. This has included working with the UN, the European Parliament, G8, World Health Organisation and International Olympic Committee. Among his work has been a partnership with UNESCO and the German Development Agency GIZ to reform physical education in South Africa.
Khan, said: “I’m determined to make walking and cycling safer and easier for all Londoners, which is why I’m providing more investment than ever before, and appointing a commissioner to focus full-time on this vital area of work. Will Norman brings to this new role an impressive track record in delivering major international projects to get more people active. As the first ever full-time commissioner, he will be able to make a substantial difference getting Londoners of all ages and backgrounds walking and cycling more – improving our city for everyone.”
Norman said: "Cycling and walking can play a transformational role in improving our health and happiness, and building better communities for everyone. I am hugely excited to have the opportunity to champion cycling and walking in my home town. London has so much potential to be a more active city and I’m looking forward to applying my knowledge and experience to open up cycling to everyone in our city, and give walking the focus it truly deserves. Too often the importance of walking has been underplayed – I’m determined to put it higher on the agenda.”
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “I was incredibly impressed by the skills, experiences and enthusiasm shown by Will. He has a proven track record of getting people from a range of backgrounds active, and will use his experience of international public and private sector partnership work to collaborate well with TfL, boroughs and other partners. He will ensure that cycling and walking are given the focus they truly deserve as we deliver our Healthy Streets vision of a city that is more pleasant to live and move around in.”
Ashok Sinha, CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “We believe that walking and cycling go hand in hand in making London a better place for everyone, and warmly welcome Will Norman into his new role. We look forward to working with him to help the Mayor to meet his promises to triple protected space for cycling, fix the most dangerous junctions, enable every borough to have a major walking and cycling scheme, and make safer, ‘Direct Vision’ lorries the norm on London’s roads.”
Norman will be responsible to Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport. Boris Johnson’s "cycling Csar" Andrew Gilligan was part-time. There were 152 applications for the new post.
Norman is expected to start in February.