London Borough of Newham
Abi Gbago started as Newham Council’s permanent Chief Executive in September 2023.
Abi has extensive experience including most recently as the Executive Director of Children and Education at Bristol City Council with responsibilities including community safety and employment, skills and learning. Working closely with Mayor of Bristol, cabinet members and the senior leadership team in one of the largest Core City Councils in the UK, she has been instrumental in developing and implementing a transformation programme to deliver improved services and a sustainable budget over the next five years.
With strong credentials in transformation and change, Abi’s career started in the voluntary sector supporting adult offenders before she moved into local government, working within the Youth Offending service and then progressing into leadership at Lambeth Council. This role saw Abi leading the borough’s five-year ‘Young & Safe’ strategic partnership plans to reduce serious violence facing children and young people as well as drive improvements in Lambeth’s Youth Offending Service.
Abi moved from Lambeth Council to the Royal Borough of Greenwich where she led procurement and implementation of the Children Services Case Management Systems as part of the Council’s service area improvement plans. She was strategiclead and Head for Early Help and family support services at the London Borough of Islington before becoming Head of Housing Partnerships; and subsequently Assistant Director of Policy and Commissioning for Children Services.
Returning to Lambeth Council/CCG, Abi became Director of Integrated Children’s Commissioning and Community Safety before joining the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham as Strategic Director of Inclusive Growth. Her responsibilities there included regeneration; place making; economic development; employment and skills; Net Zero and sustainability; culture and heritage; parks and leisure commissioning; and housing strategy.