Fiona Fletcher Smith replaces former British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace as Centre for London chair

Fiona Fletcher Smith has been appointed chair of the influential thinktank Centre for London.

The chief executive of the £1bn-turnover housing association giant L&Q will take up the role for an initial three-year term. She replaces outgoing chair Liz Peace, former chief executive of the British Property Federation.

Fiona Fletcher Smith L&Q

Fiona Fletcher-Smith, chief executive of L&Q

Centre for London seeks to ‘develop new solutions to London’s critical challenges’ including ways of better meeting housing need. Fletcher Smith is an existing board member of the organisation, which is also a charity.

Fletcher Smith said: “I am delighted to be deepening my involvement with the Centre for London and taking over the role of chair of trustees next month.

“Stepping into Liz’s shoes will not be easy, but I am looking forward to the challenge. The need for an independent think tank for London has never been greater, and I look forward to ensuring Centre for London is at the heart of making our capital a city with healthier, safer places to live, work and socialise and a fairer, more sustainable economy that benefits its people long-term.”

Fletcher Smith took over as chief executive of L&Q in January last year, after joining the organisation in the summer of 2018 group director for development and sales.

She has also held senior positions at the Greater London Authority, and Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham and Lambeth councils.

L&Q confirmed earlier this month that it built more than 4,000 homes in 2021/22, the largest amount ever delivered by a housing association in a single year.

L&Q is also expected to build a high number of homes in 2022/23 and is forecasting nearly 5,000 completions. Annual development levels are then expected to drop back down to 3,000 homes from 2023/24 onwards as the organisation shifts more spend into maintaining and improving existing homes.

Centre for London last year appointed former GLA mayoral policy director Nick Bowes as its chief executive, replacing founding director Ben Rogers.