Jack Lemley

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Jack K Lemley CBE was the Chairman of the United Kingdom Olympic Delivery Authority, which is responsible for delivering the infrastructure for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, until his sudden resignation on October 18, 2006 [1].

From 1989 to 1993, Lemley was Chief Executive of Transmanche-Link, the consortium of five British and five French companies responsible for constructing and equipping the Channel Tunnel; the largest privately funded construction project in history.

He now runs his own consultancy Lemley and Associates in the United States with high-profile contracts including reviewing the management of the $14bn Massachusetts Turnpike.



  • 1960-1967: Various Graduate Positions (Guy F. Atkinson Company)
  • 1967-1969: Assistant Project Engineer — Shift Superintendent, Guy F. Atkinson Company Mica Dam Contractors
  • 1969-1970: President, Healthcare, Inc.
  • 1971-1972: Project Manager, Walsh-Canonie Joint Venture (Guy F. Atkinson Co.)
  • 1972-1975: Contracts and Engineering Manager, Water Tunnel Contractors (Consortium led by Guy F. Atkinson Co.)
  • 1975-1977: General Manager, Walsh Construction Company (Subsidiary of Guy F. Atkinson Co.)
  • 1977-1979: Vice President, Special Assignments (Marketing), Guy F. Atkinson Co.
  • 1979-1981, General Manager, King Khalid Military City Project, M-K Saudi Arabia Consortium
  • 1981-1983, Vice President, Heavy and Marine Group, Morrison-Knudsen Company, Inc.
  • 1983-1985, Group Vice President, Heavy and Marine Group, Morrison-Knudsen Company, Inc.
  • 1985-1987: Senior Vice President, Construction Division, Morrison-Knudsen Company, Inc.
  • 1987-1988: President and Chief Executive Officer, Blount Construction Group of Blount, Inc.
  • 1989-1993: Chief Executive Officer, Transmanche-Link Joint Venture — TML, The Channel Tunnel Contractors
  • 1995-2001: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American Ecology Corporation
  • 1988–present: Principal, Jack Lemley Associates

Professional qualifications and education[edit]

  • Chartered Civil Engineer #443241 (UK)
  • UKFEANI Registered European Engineer #14679 (UK)
  • BA Architecture, University of Idaho (1960)

Board positions and consultancies[edit]

  • IDACORP, Inc., Board of Directors
  • IDACORP Technology, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Albertson College of Idaho, Trustee
  • 2005-2006: Chairman, Olympic Delivery Authority (London 2012 Olympic Games)

Olympic Delivery Authority[edit]

Lemley’s tenure as CEO of the Olympic Delivery Authority and subsequent resignation in October 2006 has been surrounded by controversy and recrimination. Originally claiming his resignation was due to pressing commitments in his international construction business, Lemley International, he later asserted to the Idaho Statesman that his departure seemed necessary because political infighting and the unwillingness of government ministers to face up to construction challenges threatened the project and his reputation. “There was a huge amount of local politics,” he stated, “Those are the kind of things that confuse and frustrate the process.” (Idaho Statesman, Oct. 31, 2006) Later he insisted that Culture Minister Tessa Jowell and London Mayor Ken Livingstone ignored warnings that the project budget was spiraling out of control, refused to accept that chemical contamination of Olympic sites, particularly the Olympic Park in the Lea River valley, presented unexpectedly large challenges, hid additional expenses, such as VAT (Value Added Tax) costs, and refused to confront the reality that the Olympics may have to be scaled back keep within costs. Predicting “exponential” cost increases, Lemley maintained that “all they wanted to hear was good news” and that cost estimates for site preparation were, from the beginning, unrealistic: “A blind man could see there was a huge environmental problem. I thought it was highly likely they underestimated [the costs].” (Mail on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2006).[2]

Following these revelations, government figures disputed Lemley’s version, criticizing him for breaking confidentiality and suggesting that due to health concerns Lemley was not fully aware of work and plans for the Olympic site. Mayor Ken Livingstone roundly criticized Lemley and suggested he had been treated more than fairly when asked to resign, being allowed a dignified departure due to his past services to the nation on the Channel tunnel project and a generous compensation package.(Mail on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2005 [3]; The Guardian, Dec. 4, 2006 [4]. With the reputations of leading politicians and industry figures at stake, as well as billions of pounds in the balance, the charges and counter charges left the planning for the Olympics under a public cloud of criticism.

Lemley’s departure opened the Olympic project to a stormy public reassessment and admissions of cost overruns and technical difficulties. These are being dealt with by the new chief of the ODA, John Armitt, in the light of unprecedented public scrutiny. Despite the controversy, public and government support have continued to grow in the run up to the games as new expertise has been directed to solving the challenges the 2012 games face.[5]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Opal award, ASCE Lifetime Achievement Award In Construction (2005)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, North Idaho College (2003)
  • Engineering News-Record, “125 Years…125 Top People” selection. (1999)
  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, University of Idaho (1998)
  • Idaho’s Hall of Fame Association, Outstanding Achievement in Industry (1997)
  • Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (1996)
  • British Construction Industry Awards, Special Award for Channel Tunnel Tunnels (1994)
  • ASCE-John I. Parcel-Leif J. Sverdrup Engineering Management Award (1994)
  • Civil Engineering Management Award (1994)
  • Michigan State University Dean's Award for Distinguished Contributors to Engineering Science, Design and Practice (1993)
  • Golden Beaver Award for Supervision (1992)
  • ACEC Fellow - Distinguished Award of Merit (1992)
  • American Underground Space Association Award of Merit (1991)
  • Engineering News-Record "Man of the Year" (1991)[1]
  • ASCE Construction Management Award (1991)
  • University of Idaho Alumni Hall of Fame (1991)

Professional associations and memberships[edit]

  • Member, American Arbitration Association
  • Member, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow, Institution of Civil Engineers, United Kingdom
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers; Served on various committees & subcommittees including Vice Chairman & Past Secretary of the Underground Technology Research section & Member of its Executive Committee
  • Member, American Society of Military Engineers
  • Member, American Underground-Space Association
  • Member, British Tunnelling Association
  • Life Member, International Tunnelling Association Executive Council; Secretary and Past Chairman of the Working Group on Contractual Sharing of Risks
  • President, International Tunnelling Association (1983–1986)
  • Ex-Officio Member, US National Committee on Tunnelling Technology and Past Chairman and Member of the Subcommittee on Contracting Practices
  • Member, United States Committee on Large Dams
  • Member, International Committee on Large Dams
  • Member, Underground Technology Advisory Panel
  • Member, The Moles
  • Member, The Beavers

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Lewis, Scott (April 20, 2015), "ENR Marks 50 Years of Excellence", Engineering News-Record, New York: Dodge Data & Analytics, vol. 274 no. 11, pp. 42–56, ISSN 0891-9526