Patrick O’Connell, an international executive with computer science expertise, is the executive director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel. Dr. O’Connell has lived and worked in a number of different countries, including England, where he was the interim director of program and strategy for High Speed Rail 2 Ltd. (HS2). In this position, Patrick O’Connell helped to transition HS2 into a delivery organization by developing complex strategies and organizational structures that will ultimately lead to the successful and timely completion of the world’s fastest commuter train system. HS2 has taken a multi-tiered, intentional approach to the design of the rail system.
HS2 is an ambitious $85 billion project that will serve as the backbone of Britain’s transportation network. By linking Britain’s largest cities, the country’s economy will be bolstered by the creation of new jobs and increased trade and tourism. HS2 will connect a number of city centers and serve 300,000 passengers per day. With that in mind, the design panel, led by Sadie Morgan and consisting of experts from a wide array of disciplines, is carefully considering every aspect of the design to make sure it meets the projects three core concepts: people, place, and time.
Without question, the HS2 line needs to benefit everyone. The transportation system must work intuitively and effectively, serving and engaging a number of diverse audiences. The design of various elements needs to respect national, regional, and local interests.
In addition, the design of HS2 needs to respect place. New spaces, including stations, terminals, trains, and natural environments will all be created with an overarching goal of improving the quality of life of those that use them. Projects will reflect the local context while also maintaining a cohesive HS2 identity. Well-designed spaces will serve to enhance the public’s national pride.
Finally, the design of HS2 must respect time restraints and be completed on budget without compromising quality. The design team is aware that every aspect of HS2 needs to be built to endure and evolve for future generations.
The chief of naval personnel for the United States Navy, Patrick O’Connell has more than three decades of public and private senior executive experience.