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Ilias Drivylas is Associate Director in AECOM’s economic development team. He has 18 years’ experience as an economic development consultant and has been an IED member for most of his career having first joined the Institute in 2005.

Ilias originally became an IED member as it provided a voice for economic development practitioners and an opportunity to network, and share knowledge and skills, through events such as IED workshops and the annual IED conference. Ilias said: “I have attended several IED conferences over the years, from back when they were two-day events held in different cities across the UK, to today’s one-day format in London. I have always found them a great way to keep my finger on the pulse of what is happening in the field of economic development, and to network with colleagues and clients.”

Ilias says that working in a multi-disciplinary company where planning, environment and transport colleagues are chartered members of their respective professional institutions makes it even more important to have a high-profile professional body for economic development. “The IED is doing a great job of raising the profile of our profession, and of providing bespoke technical training and knowledge-sharing opportunities that can benefit colleagues at all levels of experience,” Ilias explained. “It is particularly good to see the Institute and its members responding to calls for evidence on hot topics such as the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund, or to comment on and contribute to the debate about key topics such as the Industrial Strategy or the Budget.”

He added: “I am excited that AECOM is now a corporate silver member of the IED and everyone in AECOM’s economic development team is looking forward to maximising the opportunities for continuous professional development, and contributing towards the Institute’s goals.”